Emergency TTC Meeting re Budget Cuts [Updated]

In response to a request from the City, the TTC is holding an emergency meeting on Friday, July 20 at 1:00 pm in Committee Room 1 to discuss possible budget cuts.

Jeff Gray at the Globe reports that the TTC is considering options such as a 25-cent fare hike and closing the Sheppard Subway to save $10-million per year.

Jim Byers in the Star has additional details about the type of cuts we are looking at.

Critics call this fear-mongering, but I believe that it is important that the residents of Toronto and the TTC users understand the position the irresponsible action of Council has created.  The TTC was already having trouble convincing even pro-transit members of Council that they should continue spending to roll out the Ridership Growth Strategy, and with the latest decision, any hope of new services vanishes.

From an activist’s point of view, this is a black day for the TTC.  As I have already written, if the City is going to walk away from supporting the TTC, then the real alternative is higher fares, not service cuts.  Better we have a transit system that people want to use than one that comes a distant fifth in preference after driving, walking, cycling or cabs. Continue reading

What Driving For the TTC Pays

In response to a comment in the thread about TTC costs, someone claimed that a TTC operator made $75K per year.  The perception of how well paid, or not, an operator is deserves its own thread, and here is a comment I received on the subject from an operator named Gord:

Just a quick comment to correct a little bit of mis-information showing up in this discussion.  Tom B. states that TTC operators earn about $30.00 per hour.  I wish I did.  The actual top rate of pay is $26.58 per hour for an operator with over 30 months on the job.

Doing the basic math shows that $26.58 X 40 X 52 = $55,286.40 annually.  If you factor in the cost of our benefits, pension, etc., I am sure that you can make the argument that we earn more than this but that is not what I actually receive in my pay each week.

Just to set the record straight: I am paid for 8 hours and 53 minutes each weekday BUT my actual workday is 11 hours and 46 minutes long because I work split shifts (swing work in TTC parlance).  I start work at 5:49 am and do not finish until 5:35 pm with 4 hours and 16 minutes between the two pieces of work that I do.

I’m not complaining; I choose my own work and I enjoy what I do (like most TTC operators).  I don’t have weekends off (but get two weekdays off instead) because only the most senior operators can get this work.

In terms of operators/collectors showing up on the Sunshine list, think of how many hours they have had to work to get there. This is because there is a lot more work available than there are operators to do it. In order to provide service, the TTC needs to pay overtime to fill the vacancies.

You are correct to state that recruitment is falling short. There are a lot of trainees who do not make it through training, and there are also a number who do not make it through their first year on the job due to the stress involved.

Working for the TTC isn’t a “9 to 5″ job (unless you drive a night bus).  We’re on the job long before most people even wake up in order to be there when they want to go to work.

I’m sorry about the length of this comment (maybe you could start a new topic on the typical day in the life of a TTC operator).

Steve:  Don’t worry about the length of the comment.  Some of my regular contributors are rather long-winded themselves.  Thanks for filling in this information for others to see.

Just one bit of clarification:  The reason for the oddball amount of time in a day is that an operator is paid for the time actually scheduled for the run plus some basic allowances such as travel time to and from the route if they don’t pick up the bus or streetcar at a garage or carhouse.  Very few operators get exactly 40 hours pay per week because it is impossible to divide up the work that way.

Comments on this post have been closed.  I am not running a site for info on how to apply for jobs at the TTC or pass their screening tests.