TTC approves service cuts but delays vote on fare hike
Get ready to experience the fun of even more crowded TTC vehicles, as earlier today the Commission voted to approve a number of service cutbacks to help reduce its 2012 operating budget by $70 million dollars. What that means for riders is that bus service will effectively return to the level that it was at prior to 2008 when a Ridership Growth Strategy was put in place under then mayor David Miller.
A number of cuts to the TTC's captial budget were also approved at the meeting. Not decided today, however, was whether or not the decreased level of service will also cost more money. A decision on a proposed 10 cent fare hike was put off until a Commission meeting in December, at which a time a decision will also have to be made as to whether or not dialysis patients will still be eligible for Wheel Trans service (which costs about $5 million per year).
If there's good news, it's that the TTC voted to keep Blue Night buses running, a service cut suggested in a City staff report earlier this week. But even with the cost-saving measures approved today, the TTC is still looking for $29 million in savings to meet its 2012 spending targets, which reflect a 10 per cent decrease mandated by Mayor Rob Ford across all city departments. "I'm not happy with this budget. I'm not sure our customers are happy with this budget," said TTC General Manager Gary Webster. "I think it is the best that we can do." That's a scary thought, especially considering that a fare hike may prove to be inevitable.
Photo by sjgardiner in the blogTO Flickr pool