TTC scrambles to deal with dropping ridership rates
Despite record highs last year, the TTC now faces a ridership problem that could result in a $25 million shortfall for 2016. Coming off strong numbers, 553 to 555 million rides were forecast for this year, a projection which now appears overly ambitious.
At present, the TTC estimates that ridership will more likely hover between 540 and 545 million rides, just a slight increase over last year. The problem is that this year's budget is based on the higher projection, which has left the transit provider with a shortfall to deal with.
The good news is that TTC CEO Andy Byford promises that the TTC won't cut service to make up for the shortfall, but there will be other consequences. Improvements to service scheduled for the fall will likely be put on hold, while a hiring freeze on non-essential employees is also on the table as a way to save up to $10 million.
Softer ridership numbers have caught the TTC by surprise, but there are a myriad of culprits that could be to blame. According the CBC, Byford cited lower gas prices and ridesharing apps as two possible culprits for the weaker-than-expected use of the TTC.
Photo by Adrian Badaraco in the blogTO Flickr pool.
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