TTC to use $47.7 million surplus to freeze fares in 2015
TTC board also voted to reduce the number of streetcar stops by at least 70 locations throughout the city
The TTC voted to pass a motion introduced by Coun. Karen Stintz that would see a $47.7 million surplus be used to avoid a fare increase in 2015 on Wednesday.
At a meeting this morning, the TTC board received a report regarding the adjusted figures for the reduced operating subsidy requirement in its 2013 operating budget. That figure now stands at $47.7 million, funds that mayoral candidate Stintz has thus deemed a surplus.
Ahead of the board meeting, Stintz had signalled her intention to move a motion for the TTC to obtain city permission to hang onto those funds, so they can be used to keep riders’ fares down.
On Wednesday afternoon, the board unanimously adopted her motion which asked "that the board request council approval for the TTC to retain the $47.7 million surplus for next year’s budgeting purposes to avoid a fare increase for 2015."
In a statement Stintz released Wednesday, the mayoral hopeful took a swipe at two other high-profile mayoral contenders — John Tory and Olivia Chow — for what she said was silence on the surplus issue.
"While I have continued to advocate for an efficient and affordable transit system, John Tory and Olivia Chow have refused to comment on how they would allocate this substantial amount of money," Stintz said.
"Mr. Tory has repeatedly demonstrated his inability to make a decision. At the other end of the spectrum, Olivia Chow continues to make promises with no plan for how she will pay for them."
Stintz, Tory and Chow are among a handful of high-profile candidates seeking to be elected mayor this fall. Others include Sarah Thomson, former city councillor David Soknacki and the incumbent, Rob Ford.
In total, more than 50 people have registered to run for mayor. The election is on Oct. 27.
Streetcar stops reduced
The TTC board also voted to reduce the number of streetcar stops throughout the city by at least 70 locations, citing concerns about pedestrian safety.
The new streetcars being introduced over the coming months are significantly longer in length, and therefore the distance between most stops will be increased.
Currently, the average distance between stops is about 250 metres, while the board ruled today that 350 metres is a more appropriate distance.