TTC budget

The TTC says it won't lose money this year

If every cloud has a silver lining, the Bombardier streetcar fiasco is one for the TTC — in the form of extra cash.

Lower than expected spending on labour costs (due to, you know, a lack of vehicles to drive) are one of several factors that have resulted in a projected $44.5-million surplus for the transit agency this year.

According to TTC CEO Andy Byford, $13.7 million of those funds were underspent by the paratransit service Wheel-Trans, which saw less ridership in 2017 than initially budgeted for.

The rest of the expected surplus – $30.8 million – is the result of less money spent on fuel, vehicle maintenance, staffing, employee benefits and Presto system fees for the transit system.

The good news here is that the TTC won’t need to make a one-time, $14-million dip into a city reserve as planned.

The bad news is that a city policy prevents the TTC from reinvesting any of that extra cash into service improvements this year.

Thus, we can all still expect to get mad about longer than normal travel times due to signal problems on Line 1 – at least for the rest of 2017.

TTC spokesperson Stuart Green told The Star that, while the policy prohibits them from spending surplus money on the current year’s operating expenses," the agency hopes to learn from this year's finance records.

"Money from areas that were underspent (in 2017) could be redirected in next year's budget to other priorities," he said.

Can we suggest shuttle busses for when service is suspended due to a fire investigation? Thanks.

Lead photo by

Akib


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