Capital Ideas For the TTC

Rob Granatstein for The Sun:

The TTC is facing a huge problem as it seeks $7.6 billion over the next 10 years to maintain and improve the transit system.

City staff have told the TTC to look elsewhere for $2.3 billion of that money. That it can’t afford to keep borrowing for the TTC as the city hits its debt ceiling in 2014-2016.

What won’t happen, TTC Chief General Manager Gary Webster said Monday, is a return to the pre-subway-crash days, where maintenance was deferred and the system was not kept in a state of good repair.

What will happen is anyone’s guess.

via Why Rob Ford can’t save TTC: Granatstein | Rob Granatstein | Columnists | Comment | Toronto Sun.

This is scary stuff, and it goes beyond the reaches of the Ford administration. You would think Metrolinx and the provincial government would be the obvious source for funds necessary funds for a transit system used by the whole of the GTA. A transit system that is, by all accounts, a vital component of the provincial — and national — economy.

Unfortunately, the current provincial government hasn’t been overly forthcoming. The potential provincial government is not going to be any better, and will likely be much much worse.

The only upside is that necessary capital spending will evaporate if service deteriorates and ridership goes down. But to think any kind of government would actually seek to decrease ridership to offset costs is veering into conspiracy theory territory, isn’t it?

…Isn’t it?