TTC holds off on fare increase, service cuts

UPDATE – January 12, 5PM
At the special meeting today, transit Commissioners deferred any decision on the proposed cuts to bus service until its next regular meeting on February 2nd, 2011. As a result, the service reductions listed below will not take effect on March 27. Anyone interested in commenting on these changes should contact the Commission ahead of time in order to make a verbal and/or written deputation.  Details on how to do so are here.

UPDATE – January 11, 4PM
The Toronto Star reports that TTC Chair Karen Stintz has confirmed that there will be no fare increase. However, the service cuts are still on the table.

The original post is below the fold.

In a news release dated January 10, the TTC  announced that they expect another year of record-high ridership. Ridership for 2010 was recorded as a record 477 million rides; the TTC expects it to grow to 483 million this year.

But to budget for this increase in ridership in the Rob Ford era, the Commission, of whom all but one are Ford allies, perversely plans for another fare hike as well as cuts to service hours to 48 bus routes, effectively reversing most of the Ridership Growth Strategy’s plan to provide service on all routes at all regular operating times, adopted less than 2 years ago.

The excuse for the cuts to bus service is to “meet the forecast increase in ridership” – but any service increases are scheduled for September, though the cuts are planned for March 27.

In addition, fares will go up as of February 1. The cost of a token (sold in multiples of 5) wll go up by 10 cents to $2.60 each, and the cost of a Metropass will go up by $5 to $126, with corresponding increases for other fare categories. This is in contrast to the elimination of the vehicle registration fee and an unexpected proposed property tax freeze.

The Commission claims that the cuts will save $9 million in the 2011 fiscal year, especially as the cancelled service will not be allocated to other routes until September at the earliest. The TTC has not released an estimate in additional revenue for the fare hike (the last such hike was a large 25-cent token/$12 Metropass fare increase effective January 3, 2010).  That fare increase was expected to raise an additional $62 million for the 2010 fiscal year.

A special meeting of the Commission to consider these cuts and fare increases will take place Wednesday, January 12 at 9AM. You can ask to make a deputation at Wednesday’s meeting until noon tomorrow.See below for the full list of proposed cuts to service as listed in the press release.

  • 5 Avenue Rd – No service after 7:00 p.m., Monday-Friday. No service on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.
  • 61 Avenue Rd North – No service after 10:00 p.m., Sundays and holidays.
  • 6 Bay – No service after 10:00 p.m., every day.
  • 9 Bellamy – No service after 10:00 p.m., Monday-Friday. No service after 7:00 p.m., Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.
  • 8 Broadview – No service after 10:00 p.m., Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.
  • 120 Calvington – No service after 10:00 p.m., Monday to Saturday. No service on Sundays and holidays.
  • 20 Cliffside – No service after 10:00 p.m., Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.
  • 42 Cummer – No service east of Kennedy Road after 10:00 p.m., Monday-Friday. No service east of Kennedy Road on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.
  • 127 Davenport – No service after 10:00 p.m., Sundays and holidays.
  • 105 Dufferin North – No service after 10:00 p.m., Sundays and holidays.
  • 26 Dupont – No service after 10:00 p.m., every day.
  • 32 Eglinton West – No 32D (Eglinton West Stn-Jane & Emmett) service after 10:00 p.m., Monday-Saturday. No 32D (Eglinton West Stn-Jane & Emmett) service after 7:00 p.m. on Sundays and holidays. No 32A (Eglinton Stn-Renforth & Skymark) service west of Renforth on Saturdays.
  • 15 Evans – No service after 10:00 p.m., Sundays and holidays.
  • 33 Forest Hill – No service after 7:00 p.m., Monday-Friday. No service Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.
  • 135 Gerrard – No service after 10:00 p.m., Monday-Saturday. No service after 7:00 p.m., Sundays and holidays.
  • 14 Glencairn – No service after 10:00 p.m., every day.
  • 122 Graydon Hall – No service after 10:00 p.m., every day.
  • 169 Huntingwood – No service after 10:00 p.m., Monday-Friday. No service after 7:00 p.m., Saturdays. No service on Sundays and holidays.
  • 110 Islington South – No service on Horner Avenue or Browns Line to Long Branch Loop after 10:00 p.m., Sundays and holidays.
  • 43 Kennedy – No 43B (Kennedy Stn-Scarborough Centre Stn via Progress) service after 7:00 p.m., Monday-Saturday. No 43B (Kennedy Stn-Scarborough Centre Stn via Progress) service on Sundays and holidays.
  • 30 Lambton – No service after 10:00 p.m., Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.
  • 162 Lawrence-Donway – No off peak service. Service to operate Monday-Friday morning and afternoon peak only.
  • 56 Leaside – No service after 10:00 p.m., Monday-Friday. No service after 7:00 p.m., Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. No service west of Laird Drive to Eglinton Station Sunday/holiday daytime.
  • 51 Leslie – No service after 10:00 p.m., Monday-Saturday. No service after 7:00 p.m., Sundays and holidays.
  • 59 Maple Leaf – No service after 10:00 p.m., Monday-Friday. No service after 7:00 p.m., Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.
  • 130 Middlefield – No service after 10:00 p.m., every day.
  • 132 Milner – No service after 10:00 p.m., Sundays and holidays.
  • 116 Morningside – No 116A/E (Kennedy Stn-UofT Scarborough Express/Conlins) service after 10:00 p.m., Monday-Friday. No 116A/E (Kennedy Stn-UofT Scarborough Express/Conlins)service on Saturday, Sundays, and holidays.
  • 62 Mortimer – No service after 10:00 p.m., Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.
  • 74 Mt Pleasant – No service after 7:00 p.m., every day.
  • 103 Mt Pleasant North – No service after 10:00 p.m., Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.
  • 72 Pape – No 72A service south of Eastern Avenue to Commissioners and Union Station after 10:00 p.m., Monday-Saturday, September-May. No 72A service south of Eastern Avenue to Commissioners and Union Station after 7:00 p.m., Sundays and holidays, September-May.
  • 101 Parc Downsview Park – No service, September-May.
  • 167 Pharmacy North – No off peak service. Service to operate Monday-Friday morning and afternoon peak only.
  • 80 Queensway – No off peak service east of Humber Loop, every day. No service after 10:00 p.m., Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.
  • 48 Rathburn – No service after 10:00 p.m., Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.
  • 73 Royal York – No 73B (Royal York Stn-Eglinton & La Rose) service after 7:00 p.m., every day.
  • 76 Royal York South – No 76B (Royal York Stn-Queensway & Grand Ave) service after 10:00 p.m., Monday-Friday. No 76B (Royal York Stn-Queensway & Grand Ave) service on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.
  • 78 St Andrews – No service after 10:00 p.m., Sundays and holidays.
  • 86 Scarborough – No off peak 86D (Kennedy Stn-Beechgrove via Lawrence) service. Service on 86D (Kennedy Stn-Beechgrove via Lawrence) to operate Monday-Friday morning and afternoon peak only.
  • 115 Silver Hills – No off peak service. Service to operate Monday-Friday morning and afternoon peak only.
  • 60 Steeles West – No off peak service west of Martin Grove to Highway 27. Service west of Martin Grove to operate Monday-Friday morning and afternoon peak only.
  • 124 Sunnybrook – No service after 10:00 p.m., Sundays and holidays.
  • 55 Warren Park – No service after 10:00 p.m., Sundays and holidays.
  • 94 Wellesley – No service west of Wellesley Station after 10:00 p.m., Sundays and holidays.
  • 112 West Mall – No 112C (Kipling Stn-Disco Rd) service north of Eglinton Avenue after 10:00 p.m., Saturdays. No 112C (Kipling Stn-Disco Rd) service north of Eglinton Avenue after 7:00 p.m., Sundays and holidays.
  • 98 Willowdale-Senlac – No service after 10:00 p.m., Monday-Saturday. No service after 7:00 p.m., Sundays and holidays. No service east of Sheppard-Yonge Station, Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.
  • 96 Wilson – No 96C/F off peak service to Tandridge Crescent or Thistle Down Boulevard. Service on 96C (York Mills Stn-Tandridge & Thistle Down via Albion) to Tandridge Crescent or Thistle Down Boulevard to operate Monday-Friday morning and afternoon peak only.

38 comments

  1. This proposal is absolutely crazy! Fee increase + service cuts = less ridership as has been proven in the past. It takes a long time to recover ridership. Also, are we not trying to get people out of cars and into transit or do Ford and his buddies want to see the reverse?
    In my view, the TTC should be reducing fares, no service cuts and need to have a hard look at cutting back the ineffectives management at the TTC.

    Why? Three words: poor customer service. TTC is top heavy with management.

  2. “80 Queensway – No off peak service east of Humber Loop, every day. No service after 10:00 p.m., Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.”

    If I’m reading this right, this is significantly less that the service on 80 then before the Ridership Growth Strategy. Before it was just no service east of Humber Loop after 10:00PM and Sundays.

    I was expecting reduction in service that used to only run in peak periods before, but this is much worse.

  3. So… lemme get this straight. Users of less efficient means of transport (cars) are being rewarded via the elimination of the registration tax, but users of more efficient means of transport (transit) are being punished via fare increases?

    Smrt.

  4. I support the fare hike. We didn’t have one last year, and there is such a thing as inflation. Even though the TTC is the most efficient transit agency on the continent, they still lose money on every rider. If they don’t raise fares, they’ll just cut service even more.

    NO SERVICE CUTS, though. The value of the network is greater than the sum of the individual links. We lose more ridership by cutting service than currently uses that specific service.

    Cash fare in York Region is going up to $3.50, BTW.

  5. Apparently no one in Rob Ford’s inner circle rides any of these routes or has ever been on a bus in this city. Removing service after 7 or 10 pm, on weekends, holidays, etc. is ridiculous. People work late in this city, are out after 10 pm, and ride transit on the weekends. It’s ironic that Ford uses the justification that bus service can be cut since the routes aren’t operating with a high enough ridership during certain hours, but he wants to make the Sheppard LRT a full subway that is unlikely to operate at the necessary peak ridership to make the subway economically viable for many years to come. Common sense seems to be missing in a lot of decisions at City Hall and more like this are likely to follw.

  6. I think the city really needs to consider a complete restructuring of the TTC, starting at the top. The TTC has become a pushy little tyrant that is now trying to flex its muscle now that its become an essential service. And who is to blame for that ? Well, they are. You broke your word, and decided to strike without due notice and cost the city millions per day. The fact of the matter is, The TTC is too expensive as is, the service is POOR at best outside of the subways. Drivers are arrogant and lazy, with little sense of any compassion. Yet they expect us, the riders, to show them the courtesy that they refuse to show us in return ? I didnt vote for ford, but slowly Im starting to agree with his methods. The ttc has been rampant with corruption and false promises. Its time for that to change.

  7. Honestly they have had reduced service on the Yonge line for over a year now with subways stopping at bloor at midnight. They’re cutting services for sooooo many bus routes and increasing the fare.

  8. Chris…. you do realize the city controls the TTC. It’s Rob Ford’s people on the board. 

  9. I think we should do a complete restructuring of the comments of idiots. It’s Rob Ford who’s pushing the “essential service” business, not the TTC. And the Commission that’s meeting to discuss the fare increase and service cutbacks is, er, appointed by Ford.

    In Chris’s fantasyland, reduced fares would result in better service everywhere and happy operators. I guess that’s because it’s hard to provide better service for more money, but easy to provide better service for less money. Also, people get happier as their wages are cut.

    But Chris, you forgot about ME. I absolutely INSIST on my Magic Pony. Where’s my Magic Pony? Oh yes, and world peace too.

  10. You can that all the NDP/Pinkos for the mess the TTC is at now. And of course the Union, never enough money. So don’t blame the good mayor and chair

  11. A property tax freeze and elimination of the vehicle registration benefits those who can afford property and vehicles. A fare hike and service cuts penalizes those who can afford neither. Nice looking out for the little guy, Mr. Ford.

  12. Uh, Leo,

    Sorry to burst your bubble, but we DID have a fare hike last year (January 2010).

  13. Someone has to say it, so it might as well be me. 

    JF…you’re an idiot. And a troll. 

    Mostly a troll. 

  14. A few points:

    The 105 Dufferin North bus is under contract to York Region Transit to provide service north of Steeles. I don’t know the details of the contract, but reducing service could result in a lawsuit.

    Many routes are within walking distance to other services, so those using them in off peak times won’t be left high and dry. Without mapping every single line, the only route which could cause a serious problem is the Leslie one, as it is about a kilometer away from Don Mills and 2 kilometers away from Bayview.

    Still, this is Rob Ford flip-flopping. Where is the right winged media (Sun, Post, 640, etc) calling him out on it? We all know if a left leaning politician did this, they would be calling for blood!

  15. City Manager Joe Pennachetti”We can’t get to zero property taxes without the [TTC] fare increase.” quoted by Torontoist.
    So – is Rob Ford assuming all property owners have and use cars only? Weird, considering 50% of TO is tenants and that much of city economic engines production comes from those low paid service workers way out in the suburbs with no means of transport but the TTC.

  16. I work in affordable housing and where I’m working right now these service cuts. Both of the buses that service this area will no longer be running after 10pm. Given how many of the tenants are physically unable to walk 10 minutes to the subway and how many tenants work nights, this is totally unacceptable.

  17. The proposed cuts to Islington South 110A (via Judson/Horner to Long Branch), combined with the same kind of cuts to Evans, leaves a large swath of Alderwood and the industrial area south of the Gardiner without late-night service Sundays and holidays.

    Sure, anyone who’s a retiree living in Alderwood is unlikely to care, but what about shift workers at the many plants and warehouses in the area? It can be well over a kilometre hike in from Brown’s Line, Kipling, or Islington. Access south to the streetcar on Lake Shore is blociked by the railway tracks, and even if they weren’t there, it’s still a long way. And the Queensway bus won’t be running either.

  18. I work at Sunnybrook Hospital weekend evenings and occasionally stay late to use the gym or if I’m needed on the unit. I take the 124 bus to Lawrence Station where I transfer onto the 52 Lawrence bus. I’m sure this service cut is minor to Mr. Ford who probably has never heard of this route, but for ME it is a major service cut, because it requires additional transfers or a 30 – 40 minute walk (making my hour long commute home even longer). Just wondering where we draw the line between minor and major service cuts. I understand it doesn’t effect the millionaire minivan driving Mr. Ford, but it does effect the university student/weekend evening service worker without a car.

  19. Do you have numbers on this? What is the value of these service cuts and/or the fare increase in comparison to the $50M Ford threw away by cancelling the vehicle registration tax?

    It’s reprehensible, but hardly surprising that Ford is trying to balance the budget on the backs of transit users.

  20. Paul: I couldn’t find specific numbers as to the amount of additional revenue raised by the fare hike (but the budget for last year estimated an additional $62 million from the 25 cent fare hike; this probably was even more given the higher-than-budgeted ridership forecast), but the service cuts are supposed to save $9 million this year.

    I would estimate that the service cuts and fare hike would take somewhere around $30-35 million.

  21. Thanks for checking those numbers for me Sean.

  22. This man is going to ruin Toronto. Be logical, that’s no hyperbole. Something must be done, now.

  23. BETTER BUSES TORONTO-STAND UP FOR EVENING BUS SERVICE ORGANIZING MEET

    Wednesday: January 12 · 7:00pm – 10:00pm
    Location: Starbucks Yonge & King Location

    Are you concerned about the possible fare increases, and service cuts to evening TTC service?

    Want to help protest and educate city council and the TTC Commission on the importance of evening TTC service, and increasing TTC services?
    Come on out to the organizing meeting for Better Buses Toronto, and lets get started on letting Toronto City Council and the TTC Commission know how important evening TTC service is.

    Meet in the Starbucks at King and Yonge Streets after 7 pm.

    Feel free to email me at michaelb_@hotmail.com

  24. Yes, in Rob Ford’s world we should feel sorry for the people who can afford thousands of dollars to purchase a car, drive it every day, pay for gas and parking, because of an “unfair” $60/year vehicle registration tax, and instead dump $60/year on Transit users, many of whom don’t drive because THEY CAN’T AFFORD TO.  

  25. What have you done with the place while I am in Tokyo?! Sorry, everybody here reads, so I am accusing the wrong people (but I won’t get published alongside the Sunshine Girl). As stupid as Ford and his policies are, this is really a creation of the provincial and federal governments, neither of whom come close to matching even American levels of transit subsidy, much less European. Harris created it, and McGuinty coasted on it, as is his wont. All of those people who believe in the free-market fantasy will not be on the bus with you and I, just like the politicians, so we don’t have to believe a word they say until they are.

  26. Hey Spacing folks — you guys are good at maps, you should put together a map showing areas of the city that will be without bus service after 10pm under the new plans.

  27. @Dunro: Ah, oops, you are right. My bad. I was thinking of YRT, which went up to $3.25 in 2009, froze fares in 2010, and is going up to $3.50 now.

  28. The 98 is my route. I take it after 10pm. Hmpf.
    For me it’ll mean 10 more minutes on a different route and 650m more of a walk which might not be so bad. The people further along the route though… gulp.

  29. You guys do realize that, on a monthly pass basis, Toronto is already the most expensive one-zone transit system in North America? Does no one ever seem to think there might be something wrong with that and that perhaps other sources of funding (payroll tax, sales tax, gas tax, federal, provincial, etc.) are required in order to keep the city competitive with its peers?

  30. The problem is that the increases in salaries, most of the budget is on salaries. The strikes has cost us more then anything eles. These creedy people including the City staff and all these Union people is screwing large.

  31. these arent ‘service cuts’, they are ‘opportunities for people to find another way to get their sorry asses to and from work’.

  32. @LEO … check your facts. YRT said fares might be going up, but nowhere did it say ‘CASH’ fares. Stop worrying those single cash fare paying people until it’s a proven fact and written in stone that cash fares are going up. Besides, people would be much smarter to buy tickets or passes anyways. Plus don’t forget YRT offers 2 hour transfers, whereas TTC doesn’t. You can’t compare the two services (Urban VS. City).

  33. This is our chance to defeat Rob Ford now and make him a lame duck for the next 4 years.

    If councillors think they will lose the next election over this issue they will quickly switch sides and vote against the extremist right wing agenda of Ford and his small group of hardliners.

    Call Mayor Ford at 416-397-FORD (3673) and email him at mayor_ford@toronto.ca and contact other city councillors http://app.toronto.ca/im/council/councillors.jsp to demand that they not only don’t cut the Tenant Defense Fund but increase it due to the rapidly rising rates of rent increases since the recession that are causing widespread economic evictions of the poor, visible minorities, disabled and elderly.

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