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Ride the Richer Rocket


The TTC is going to be $200 million richer. In a recent announcement the federal government said it is going to give $800 million to transit across the country over a period of two years. Toronto is obviously getting the largest chunk of it.

Fixing and maintaining the TTC system is currently $385 million and is expected to cost more than $630 million next year. How far can the $200 million actual go?

The TTC, despite it's managerial SNAFUs, deserves more money than it actually gets. Years of tax cuts have not done the TTC any good and neither has the provincial government's ignoring of Toronto's transit issues. Granted, the "new deal" for cities will help remedy some problems; so will the gas tax redistribution plan. The main reason that this money is needed is that the TTC needs to expand its services and replace old equipment.

Busses and subways are ageing and repairs are getting more and more expensive, thus the increase in maintenance costs. If politicians realized that long-term planning is actually good for transit (as opposed to short-term band aid solutions) Ottawa would give enough money to allow the TTC to buy new busses, streetcars, and maybe subways. Of course, we can say the same things about Queen's Park.

Constant band-aid solutions are not enough to get the TTC back into efficient operation. Of course, a little creative thinking can go a long way. Sustainable funding is what is ultimately needed. $200 million helps now, but it merely delays problems that will have to be confronted eventually. The recently announced money is said to be going to

There is the other issue that this money may never appear.

The federal Liberals have not passed the budget yet and that is where the proposed money currently lies. If the budget does not pass then the TTC will be short this much-needed $200 million.

I hope we see this $200 million soon, and wishfully I would like to see it accompanied by long-term sustainable funding.


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