TTC Riding Rising! (It’s Not Levitation!)

The year-end 2005 Chief General Manager’s Report is on the agenda for the March 22 Commission meeting.  At this point, I only have the covering report from the TTC’s website, not the full version with detailed appendices.

Riding is going up at a rate the TTC has not seen for decades, especially if this is sustained through 2006 and beyond.

For the year 2005, ridership totalled 431.2-million, up 13.1-million (3.1%) over 2004.  For TTC’s “period 12” reporting data from November 27 to yearend, ridership was up 7.6% over last year.

All of this extra riding, even net of some unexpected expenses, left a surplus of $11.9-million that will go toward the 2006 Operating Budget.  This has already been taken into account in the budget and is one reason why the fare increase is only a dime.

The real issue facing the TTC and City Council is the effect of a sustained increase in ridership.  We know that capacity problems are already an issue, and there is a good chance that the 100 new buses purchased for the Ridership Growth Strategy will actually be eaten up just handling natural growth in peak demand. 

We must remember that over half of the TTC’s riding is outside of the peak when there are no issues with the fleet size, only with the TTC’s willingness to operate more service and the City’s willingness to pay the additional subsidy.

If you’re wondering where the Dundas car or the Dufferin bus is at 9 o’clock in the evening, don’t let the TTC tell you they have no spare vehicles.