The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) budget committee expects the city to increase their subsidy to help pay for some of the $172.6 million budget shortfall the organization is facing. This comes after the TTC found 2.6 per cent in budget cuts, as per the City of Toronto’s insistence.
These cuts came from a variety of creative places — removing landline telephones; limiting overtime; reducing training and travel; and, lowering health care costs. These cuts equal approximately $15.8 million in spending.
The TTC has been working hard to reduce their spending, as per city council’s request, but now they need our support. Weeks ago, the agency promised not to reduce or compromise services during their attempt. They have done just that, despite the fact that the TTC really needs MORE money and not LESS. And yet, they were able to make those sacrifices in a transparent and open way.
Everyone wants budget cuts and increased/better quality service — but Toronto can’t have both. You can only cut so much before it becomes impossible to provide public transportation for the city, especially such a large region as Toronto. City Council will be discussing budgets in the next few months and the Transit Alliance hopes that councillors can push aside their politics and support creative revenue options (yes, including an increase in property taxes) to help pay for that missing $172.6 million.
Politicians and agency CEOs have called this era a “transit renaissance”, but how is that possible if there is no money to pay for it? The TTC has done their budget cuts — now let’s reward them with the cash they really need.