How will the TTC make up for an $172M budget shortfall?
The TTC budget committee meets Wednesday to discuss cuts
The TTC budget committee has a big job to do when it meets Wednesday.
The TTC is facing a shortfall of $172.6 million and a request from the mayor's office to deal with a 2.6 per cent reduction in the subsidy it receives from the city, an amount totalling $15.8 million.
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The budget committee is expected to discuss and endorse a list of cash-saving initiatives, and to begin the process of brainstorming many more.
"There's two pieces. One is finding that $15.8 million to address the 2.6 per cent, which has been done," said TTC Chair Josh Colle. "But there is still a gap beyond that."
A staff report to the TTC budget committee provides a window into the kind of moves the TTC is considering to get back in the black.
To hit the mayor's 2.6 per cent reduction target the report suggests a list of cuts, the largest being a $10.3 million slice from the staff healthcare budget (the report notes that employee healthcare claims have decreased lately).
'Vast majority' of added service will stay, Colle expects
To make up for their larger budget shortfall, the TTC will have to dig even deeper.
"We'll be looking at each part of it, line by line, service by service," said Mayor John Tory.
The original shortfall was about $215 million.
The report suggests the TTC could save millions of dollars by delaying the rollout of the Presto fare system and capitalizing on reduced prices for diesel fuel.
But even with those reductions, the commission still has to find $172.6 million dollars in savings.
Despite that, Colle said he doesn't think rider services will be affected.
"I think there's going to be a lot of difficult decisions to be made, but I fully expect that the vast majority of the service that's been added in the last two years will continue," he said.
The missing money is the result of decreasing TTC ridership, increasing numbers of Wheel-Trans users, and other project costs.
Any money saving ideas that the committee comes up with will be submitted to the TTC board for approval later this fall.
- An earlier version of this story said the mayor's office has requested the TTC reduce its budget by 2.6 per cent. In fact, the TTC has been asked to make cuts to deal with a 2.6 per cent reduction in its subsidy from the city, an amount totalling $15.8 million.Sep 21, 2016 8:40 AM ET