Much Ado About Very Little (Updated)

As I write this at 10:20 pm, it’s been a long day.  I spent the afternoon at City Hall for the TTC meeting, had a quick dinner, went to a movie (Hitchcock’s The Lady Vanishes) and then came home to a mountain of accumulated comments on this blog.

The TTC voted today to defer service improvements planned for September including the opening of Mt. Dennis bus garage, to get a pile of additional information, and to launch a series of community meetings to discuss service proposals.

Updated July 21 at 8:30 am

Now that I’m awake, here is a rundown on the discussion and proposals at the July 20 emergency TTC meeting.

By way of introduction, you can listen to a podcast of my interview on Ontario Today that aired just before the meeting.

The TTC has been asked by the City Manager to trim $30-million from its operating deficit in 2007, and at least $100-million from 2008 to flatline the subsidy at the 2007 level.  Various proposals were put forward (you can see the full list in the presentation), but most of these cannot kick in until 2008.  On the table for 2007 were:

  1. Cut poorly performing routes ($1 million)
  2. Cancel service improvements planned for September through December ($2-3 million)
  3. Defer opening of Mt. Dennis Garage ($2 million)
  4. Miscellaneous cost containment (travel, etc.) (amount to be determined)
  5. A fare increase of 10-25 cents effective September 1 ($3-15 million)

Of these, the Commission approved items 2-4. Continue reading

How They Voted — TTC Commissioners and the New Taxes

In the midst of the huge pile of comments I have received (with thanks to the Toronto Star for linking this site to their article), we need to look at just whose vote landed on which side of the debate earlier this week.

On the motion to defer consideration of new taxes until the October Council meeting:

TTC Commissioners in favour:

  • Suzan Hall (Etobicoke North)
  • Peter Milczyn (Etobicoke Lakeshore)
  • Anthony Perruzza (York West)
  • Bill Saundercook (Parkdale-High Park)
  • Michael Thompson (Scarborough Centre)

TTC Commissioners opposed:

  • Sandra Bussin (Beaches- East York)
  • Glenn De Baeremaeker (Scarborough Centre)
  • Adam Giambrone (Davenport)
  • Joe Mihevc (St. Paul’s)

This means that there is a majority of the Commission who were behind the deferral at Council and in whose hands rests the fate of the TTC’s service.  The weak vote, I am sure, is Anthony Perruzza, a junior member nominally one of Miller’s camp, but who jumped ship on the vote at Council.

When I report on the events at the emergency TTC meeting, I will include the voting pattern. 

I can think of a few wards where service cuts make good economic sense — let the authors of this mess explain why their buses don’t run any more.