Where's the money to help avoid a TTC fare hike?
In anticipation of today's special meeting to consider their 2011 operating and capital budgets, the TTC released a modified budget on their website that acknowledges the cancellation of Monday's proposed 10 cent fare hike with revisions in a blue pen. Perhaps the hasty looking nature of the updates is understandable given the rather "sudden" development that the City had come up with $16 million to devote to the TTC -- a discovery that leaves the Commission in the position of coming up with the remaining $8 million needed to avoid a hike -- but what remains unclear is just where exactly that money is going to come from.
A look at the document embedded below would seem to indicate that the TTC was resigned to a fare hike, regardless of whether or not its announcement and subsequent cancellation were a bit of political grandstanding (or incompetence) on the part of the Ford team. According the Globe's Kelly Grant, the TTC "simply couldn't find a way to scrap it in the mad rush to assemble a draft budget more than a month before the traditional deadline."
As a result, the words "unspecified budget reduction" make a number of appearances on the modified 2011 Operating Budget, which in this scenario plays the role of a question mark. If there's one area that looks to directly affected by the need to come up with the $8 million it's customer service. At a couple points in the document, the number of staff allocated to such a task is slashed from 60 to 31. According to TTC spokesperson Brad Ross, however, this merely indicates that they're spreading out the staff increase out over a two year period.
The document is embedded below, but your guess is as good as mine when it comes to figuring out where the Commission is going to locate the $8 million that they need.
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