TTC Riding Continues to Grow Despite Budget Constraints

The Chief General Manager’s Report covering the month of June is now out in the TTC’s agenda here.

In it, we learn that riding for the first half of 2006 is up 3% (6.4-million) over last year and 1.8% over budget.  The numbers would have been higher without the loss of 1.2-million rides to the May 29th wildcat strike.  Revenue is better than budget and expenses are slightly under.

Current projections show the total 2006 ridership at about 442-million (6-million over budget), and there will be a small surplus at year-end.  The impact of the recent changes in tax policy for monthly passes have not yet been factored in.

This continues a familiar pattern with TTC budgets that are conservatively cut, but brings us back again to the same problem we had last year:  the City’s bean counters won’t let the TTC actually spend the surplus or commit it to additional service, and if last year is any indication, this money will reduce the City’s contribution to TTC operations.  Year after year of conservative budgeting by the TTC constrains our ability to run more service because riding and revenue growth are underestimated. Continue reading