Selections from the TTC Capital Budget Report 2011

A few interesting bits from this document, which — unlike its operating cousin — does not have notes made in blue ink, and thus has selectable text. Emphasis has been added. I was going to include page numbers but then I forgot. Apologies.

On Transit City:

The Official Plan was designed to ensure that no resident of the City of Toronto would be disadvantaged from a mobility perspective from not owning a car. That required higher order transit along those arterials. The TTC undertook an analysis of how best to serve that population growth and those arterials and the result was the Transit City Plan. This was a series of surface rail expansions within separated rights-of-way with sufficient capacity to handle the projected ridership demand for the next few decades.

On the Downtown Relief Line (yay!):

There really are limited options for dealing with the increasing ridership demands on the Yonge subway. Making maximum use of this critical asset, while expensive in absolute dollars, is a cost-effective step before considering the construction of a new multi-billion dollar Downtown Relief subway Line (DRL) to handle some of the ridership burden the Yonge line faces.

On the Downtown Relief Line (boo!):

Overall, it is expected that a 30%-40% plus (perhaps as high as 50%) increase in carrying capacity [due to Platform Edge Doors, Automatic Train Operation and the new Toronto Rocket Subway Cars] in the peak hours of operation will ultimately result from this work, pushing out the need for the DRL by many years.

Spending a ton in capital dollars to forestall the need to spend a ton in capital dollars is, I’d argue, kind of dumb.

On PRESTO Smart Card Payments:

($192 million not currently budgeted): This project reflects the costs (above and beyond the CSIF included funds of $140 million) estimateted [sic] a total of $332 million to implement the Provincially backed PRESTO fare collection system at the TTC. Staff is currently assessing the business case for an open payments system as directed by the Commission in May 2010 and pending this decision, funding from senior levels of government may be impacted.

Open Payments are still in the budget – it will be interesting to see if they continue on this track or revert to the PRESTO plan.

On Proof-of-Payment for the new Streetcars:

($87 million): The new LRV cars will require ticket vending equipment on board the vehicle and off-board at select TTC streetcar stops. In addition, infrastructure work is required for concrete pads and power to support the installation of off-board equipment at 150 street level stops.

A well-implemented Proof of Payment system should dramatically improve loading times (and thus reliability) on streetcar routes.

On involvement from other levels of government:

[W]hile the plans are practical and achievable, they are dependent upon funding from all three orders of government – funding that is predictable and long term.

In other words: You need to restore the goddamn subsidies, provincial and federal governments.

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