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TTC thread: Subway extension officially scheduled to open Dec 17

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TTC thread: Subway extension officially scheduled to open Dec 17

This is my transit thread that is TO centric. I think the only rule that is applicable to this thread is NO POLITICAL DISCUSSION WILL BE TOLERATED! If anyone puts anything political here, THEY will be punished by mods, NOT the thread! Alternatively, any perpetrators will be sucked up by the polar vortex and deposited at the north pole where Santa claus will be waiting for them to provide 3 months of community service at Santa's toy workshop in the toy testing centre, feeding the reindeer, stirring santa's hot coco, leading Christmas carol sessions, and washing Santa's sleigh as well as taking care of the elves.

This whole thing about Toronto having the most poorly funded transit is so annoying. Toronto is such a great city and we are known to have among the best gov'ts in the world. So any ideas why the government makes Toronto have the worst funding situation of any city transit system on the continent?

This seems to go against the logic of the kind of city Toronto is. Atlanta, Detroit, Montreal, Chicago and LA AND even Mexico city 3rd world are all cities known as being less or much less livable than Toronto, so I don't get why we get stuck with the worst transit funding. Every single other city manages to fund it well somehow. Somehow only Toronto can't. That is utter bs. How can they just refuse to fund it when the crappiest cities on the continent do better?
Last edited by Ilovejaneandfinch on Feb 18th, 2015 9:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Whether it is poorly funded is relative to the cost. First of all, why is the cost so high?
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Aznsilvrboy wrote:
Feb 18th, 2015 9:19 pm
Whether it is poorly funded is relative to the cost. First of all, why is the cost so high?
the thread right below this one, mentioned 2 times about the funding being the issue. One post said Toronto was the second worst funded sytem on the continent second only to GO wich is also in our neck of the woods. So it is definatly a funding issue. They do the worst job of any other city funding transit and it makes no sense. I expect a failing city like Detroit, Montreal or a guetto like LA, chicago or Atlanta to fail to provide an essential public good like this and be labeled as the worst on the continent. But Toronto it is? This is illogical.
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Well care to share which aspect of Toronto transit you're particularly unhappy about (and contrast it with the other cities in your OP)? Having been to 3 of the other cities you mentioned (Montreal, LA and Atlanta), I wouldn't say the TTC is particularly inferior to any of those nor would I say their system is significantly better (perhaps in some aspects but certainly not as clear cut). You sure it's not a case of "grass is greener"? I don't deny many cities do transit better than Toronto, but of the ones you named, I don't think they're doing that much of a more stellar job than Toronto either.

There's a myriad of factors involved when planning and funding transit. Things like demand, population density, distance coverage and whatnot are all things that can and will influence transit. Also, the TTC is one of the least subsidized systems in North America despite being in the top 5 most used systems.
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uber_shnitz wrote:
Feb 18th, 2015 9:26 pm
Well care to share which aspect of Toronto transit you're particularly unhappy about (and contrast it with the other cities in your OP)? Having been to 3 of the other cities you mentioned (Montreal, LA and Atlanta), I wouldn't say the TTC is particularly inferior to any of those nor would I say their system is significantly better (perhaps in some aspects but certainly not as clear cut). You sure it's not a case of "grass is greener"? I don't deny many cities do transit better than Toronto, but of the ones you named, I don't think they're doing that much of a more stellar job than Toronto either.

There's a myriad of factors involved when planning and funding transit. Things like demand, population density, distance coverage and whatnot are all things that can and will influence transit.
This thread is specifically concerning the fact about "TTC has the lowest subsidy of any transit system in North America" smaller cities will have less or different features of public transit. Toronto is the 3rd largest city in N america leaving out Mexico so it still has to have something better about its transit than a small city even if funding level is better there. But we all know the TTC is horrible. It is undisputable that everyone has a big complaint about it. So the fact that it is the least funded, is the worst thing and proves that it really can be much better regardless of if say Atlanta is worse quality. They should line it up with at least the average level of funding a city in north america gets, which is not asking for much since Toronto is supposed to be tops in living quality.
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Ilovejaneandfinch wrote:
Feb 18th, 2015 9:32 pm
This thread is specifically concerning the fact about "TTC has the lowest subsidy of any transit system in North America" smaller cities will have less or different features of public transit. but we all know the TTC is horrible. It is undisputable that everyone has a big complaint about it. So the fact that it is the least funded, is the worst thing and proves that it really can be much better regardless of it say Atlanta is worse quality. They should line it up with at least the average level of funding a city in north america gets, which is not asking for much since Toronto is supposed to be tops in living quality.
Yeah but having lived in 2 other cities and used transit there, EVERYONE complains about their transit system, even NYC and Mexico City.

That being said, yes, the TTC isn't subsidized. TTC operating costs are estimated at 1.6 billion and of that amount, $1.1 billion is from ridership fares so most of their costs get passed on to riders as opposed to taxes. That's 70% of your operating costs relying on user fare which means if your user ridership dips or doesn't increase significantly year to year, you're in trouble. Compare that to Montreal, where I believe about 45% of their operating costs are covered by ridership fare.

From CBC:
"According to the TTC’s 2014 budget highlights, the subsidy the TTC receives remains the lowest in North America at just $0.78 per ride.

The subsidy other municipalities get:

Montreal – $1.16
Vancouver – $1.62
Chicago – $1.68
New York City – $1.03
Mississauga – $2.21
York Region – $4.49"
As you can see from these numbers, even other cities in the GTA (at least Mississauga) subsidizes their ridership fares more than the TTC. For the other cities, hard to say if the subsidies are at the municipal or higher level (I would bet the Canadian cities receive provincial funding).

Funding has been a point of debate for just about every provincial/municipal election in Ontario/Toronto. Why? Well I suppose there's hundreds of pages of political platforms you could go through as to why and why not it's not being subsidized as much as other places. I would assume part of it has to due to sheer scale. While it's true other cities get more funding proportionally, I doubt any of them reach anywhere near the $1.6 billion operating cost the TTC has. To be honest, the only other city which might be worth comparing are Canadian cities so Vancouver, Ottawa & Montreal because down south in the US they rarely have to deal with winter so their infrastructure (including transit) likely lasts way longer than ours AND it likely costs less to build/operate (no need for pesky things like heating). Vancouver's costs are likely also low with their mild winters and Montreal's subway system is entirely underground (saving a bit of cost in operations but at the cost of higher building/implementation).
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First things first. This is the case with all Canadian transit, there's absolutely no form of federal funding that any transit authority can rely on. Rob Ford's Scarborough subway was a one time thing, next time Toronto asks the feds they're not getting 600 million for anything. Paul Martin did propose federal transit funding for the first time on the condition his government get re-elected, he wasn't and the Conservatives never put any real attention to this issue. US transit does have federal funding, so yes in this aspect Canadian transit is underfunded as one level of government simply isn't involved in the process.

TTC unfortunately had to deal with the big cuts under Mike Harris. Prior to the Harris government the provincial government for instance covered roughly half the cost of a new bus(my memory on the actual percentage is a bit hazy might be more or less). When the Common sense revolution was put in place, that bus funding was outright cut, that pretty much forced the TTC to overhaul the entire bus fleet to operate well beyond their planned 18 year lifespan, so yes some of those old GMs were stretched sometimes to 30 years of service. The Liberal government of Dalton McGuinty did bring back some of the funding lost from the Harris era but its not as generous as it once was and likely will never return to original levels. Then there was city politics, at a time when TTC was forced by necessity to collect more from the fare box, you had TTC commissioners like Howard Moscoe who was more concerned with his own special interests like accessibility rather than the realities of running a tight operation. Basically with characters like this, the TTC wasted its limited resources on new natural gas low floor buses that not only weren't cost efficient at the time but not too dependable either, great for those with a wheel chair...not so good for everyone else. City politics although specifically Moscoe is why former TTC general manager David Gunn left. His successor Rick Ducharme was supposed to be more politician friendly including with Moscoe but even he got backstabbed by Moscoe during the strike talks and he left shortly after that. Later on we have Rob Ford, Ducharme's successor being Gary Webster despite being a successful general manager who avoided politician confrontation for the most part...for going against Ford's subway plan was fired. The TTC was apparently gravy in Ford's mind so again it got cut where we lost some routes and the frequencies have been decreased, meaning more buses were scrapped and the idea of a new bus garage was shelved. Of course that administration didn't seem to care that now the TTC is now crush loaded on the bus front.

So going back to the question why is the TTC so poorly funded. My answer is our stupid political system especially when it was run by so many bad actors. Today things are a bit better, Premier Wynne got her majority from cities so guess what, Ontario cities care a lot about transit so on this file the premier is thus far making good on her promises. Then we have Mayor Tory, his plan for improving bus services after studying the decay under the previous administration appears more ambitious than the proposal from Olivia Chow during the election. Keep these two honest and we might see some improvements. For federal funding, you'll have to push your local NDP or Liberal candidate/MPs to get this as part of their election platform, the Harper Conservatives have shown they don't care about this file in the 9 years they've been the government so there's no point in asking them.
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uber_shnitz wrote:
Feb 18th, 2015 9:40 pm
Yeah but having lived in 2 other cities and used transit there, EVERYONE complains about their transit system, even NYC and Mexico City.

That being said, yes, the TTC isn't subsidized. TTC operating costs are estimated at 1.6 billion and of that amount, $1.1 billion is from ridership fares so most of their costs get passed on to riders as opposed to taxes. That's 70% of your operating costs relying on user fare which means if your user ridership dips or doesn't increase significantly year to year, you're in trouble. Compare that to Montreal, where I believe about 45% of their operating costs are covered by ridership fare.

From CBC:


As you can see from these numbers, even other cities in the GTA (at least Mississauga) subsidizes their ridership fares more than the TTC. For the other cities, hard to say if the subsidies are at the municipal or higher level (I would bet the Canadian cities receive provincial funding).

Funding has been a point of debate for just about every provincial/municipal election in Ontario/Toronto. Why? Well I suppose there's hundreds of pages of political platforms you could go through as to why and why not it's not being subsidized as much as other places. I would assume part of it has to due to sheer scale. While it's true other cities get more funding proportionally, I doubt any of them reach anywhere near the $1.6 billion operating cost the TTC has. To be honest, the only other city which might be worth comparing are Canadian cities so Vancouver, Ottawa & Montreal because down south in the US they rarely have to deal with winter so their infrastructure (including transit) likely lasts way longer than ours AND it likely costs less to build/operate (no need for pesky things like heating). Vancouver's costs are likely also low with their mild winters and Montreal's subway system is entirely underground (saving a bit of cost in operations but at the cost of higher building/implementation).
York region seems to have a super high level compared to even any american cities.

I did read that Toronto "remains the Most Expensive City for Transit in North America"
Low ridership might be the cause for need to have high funding in York Region, a region where they are probably green conscious and try to encourage public transport despite low ridership.
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Because all politicians waste & steal money, pointing fingers at everyone else. Every day citizens are too stupid to realize this is happening & they do the same.

The funny thing with a city like Toronto is people act like they're in the 1%, talking down to everyone else, but they don't realize that 99% of them of them are nowhere near the 1%.

They're like American Republican voters who are not rich at all, but think they are.
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I think the government should operate in a way that it treats public transportation like healthcare, welfare and other things it does so well at. It seems to excel at those. So if it could treat transportation like it treats those other things, sice it is just as important as them, then it would be in great shape. the govt is not bad cuz of how well it does those other things. for some reason it is the transit they are choosing to do so badly.
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Ilovejaneandfinch wrote:
Feb 18th, 2015 10:37 pm
York region seems to have a super high level compared to even any american cities.

I did read that Toronto "remains the Most Expensive City for Transit in North America"
Low ridership might be the cause for need to have high funding in York Region, a region where they are probably green conscious and try to encourage public transport despite low ridership.
Acutally, York Region also likely has the highest local transit fare in North America at $4/ride ($3.30 with Presto).
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LNahid2000 wrote:
Feb 18th, 2015 10:46 pm
Acutally, York Region also likely has the highest local transit fare in North America at $4/ride ($3.30 with Presto).
I did notice already that these regions, like Sauga, Brampton, York etc that have higher subsidies also have more expensive transit and/or lower level of service to make up for the funding issue, especially due to low ridership. I did not see about Brampton posted in that one post, but I assume it is similar to the nearby cities compared like Sauga and York.

Taking public transport in Brampton sucks big time! the cost and the wait time is so not worth it.
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beachdude wrote:
Feb 18th, 2015 10:39 pm
Because all politicians waste & steal money, pointing fingers at everyone else. Every day citizens are too stupid to realize this is happening & they do the same.
The funny thing with a city like Toronto is people act like they're in the 1%, talking down to everyone else, but they don't realize that 99% of them of them are nowhere near the 1%.
They're like American Republican voters who are not rich at all, but think they are.
But if I think I'm rich, doesn't that make me rich? Poverty of knowledge equals wealth does it not?

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