TTC CEO hails "stable, permanent source of funding," while Rob Ford avoids streetcar photo op.
“I think it’s hugely significant. I mean, since the day I got here, I said we must have stabilized, predictable funding—and we need more funding to cope with expansion and to maintain our system in a state of good repair. So to have this announcement that not only makes the gas tax permanent, but also indexes it so that we can be certain of income that’s going to come our way to buy new vehicles—that is a massive step forward, and I really welcome it.”
-TTC CEO Andy Byford, speaking to reporters after federal finance minister Joe Oliver’s announcement that the federal gas tax fund will become a stable, permanent source of funding for infrastructure projects in Ontario municipalities—which this year, will receive a combined $8.12 billion. Byford indicated that he’s not yet sure how much the TTC will be receiving—the specifics will now be worked out with the City—but he stressed that “it does mean stabilized, predictable funding that we can now actively invest in more vehicles.”
Mayor Rob Ford, who was also present, and called the news “absolutely fantastic,” managed not to refer to the new streetcars while standing very close to them, and then bowed out of a “here we are standing proudly in front of a beautiful new streetcar” photo op involving his fellow politicians.