In this section, we will see the complete mess that Toronto’s transit funding is in. Years of putting off a proper funding arrangement coupled with a naïve hope that Ottawa will fund 1/3 of capital projects leaves us with a huge menu of projects and expectations, but no money to pay for them.
As before, the material is the TTC’s presentation, reformatted to simplify it in this medium, with my comments appearing in italics.
- CSIF signed; Transit-Secure signed; TYSSE pending
Ontario Bus Replacement Program
- Revised; now 1/3 funding but amortized over 12 years
- Requires City adjustment to Debt target for delayed timing of payment
- Funding provided for Quick Wins re YUS Subway Capacity requirements
- Consideration of LRV Cars, SRT, TCP Initiatives pending Regional Transportation Plan in Fall 2008
- No current commitment for planned award in Fall 2008
- Federal reduction for population change for 2010-2013
CSIF is the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund.
You can see how Queen’s Park is attempting creative accounting by paying its share of the bus replacement over the nominal life of the buses. This stretches out payments into future budget years, but if the same approach is taken to other projects, the result is the same — a mountain of transit payments that Queen’s Park won’t be able to afford. Also, this type of accounting may violate recent principles for the public sector if it hided an unavoidable debt as a future budget requirement.
Note also the expected reduction in gas tax revenue due to population shifts.
Needs are covered $83M surplus
LRV contract subject to funding commitment
Projected shortfall with funding assumptions $807M
Funding assumptions not yet secured $621M
Base Funding Shortfall $807 million
Unsecured Funding: Provincial Long Term Funding $249 million Metrolinx ATO Funding $ 20 million Federal BCF Funding $352 million
Total Funding Shortfall $1.428 million
This is just for the basic “keep the lights on” projects, never mind anything new like Transit City.
HOW ADDRESS SOGR FUNDING GAP?
- Okay for 2009, problem in 2010 and beyond
- Need funding commitments from Provincial and Federal governments
- Review linkages between base SOGR capital program and Move Ontario 2020. Benefits include:
Move Ontario is proceeding
Approach consistent with expectations
TTC Base SOGR capital program gets support
- Consider Strategic Funding Packages
- 204 LRVs in base SOGR program $1.25 billion ($609 million in 2009-2013)
- Provincial and Federal funding required to proceed (one-third each)
- Potential joint TTC/other GTA procurement for Move Ontario 2020 vehicles
- Consider alternate financing options
Note again the reliance on Federal funding. “Alternate financing” includes schemes such as leasing or some other mechanism to shift the debt from the public to the private sector. All this does is to convert a capital debt into an ongoing operating budget commitment, and that violates accounting standards. A debt is a debt is a debt.
Combine SOGR project with Move Ontario 2020
SRT vehicle replacement $139 million (2009-2013) SRT conversion $221 (SOGR subtotal) $360 million SRT Extension / cars $685 (Project total) $1.045 million
- $1.7 B combined total project could be considered for funding directly by Move Ontario 2020
- Third party could handle some or all elements (eg. procure cars, convert infrastructure, extend line)
In case anyone thought my claim in Part 1 that the SRT project is a scheme to shift this mode to the private sector (for which read Bombardier as they are the purveyor of this technology), it’s right here in black and white. This also explains some of the pressure for a “metro” in the Eglinton corridor in Metrolinx’ plans replacing the proposed LRT from Transit City. Yet another sop to Bombardier that will divert billions of public money from other projects.
- AODA Provincial goal of full accessibility by 2025
- TTC goal – all facilities and services accessible (Services 2010/Stations 2020/Light Rail 2018)
- Need Provincial commitment to long-term sustainable funding for accessibility
Easier Access Phase III ($157 million in 2009-2013)
AODA Projects (est of $36 million)
Wheel Trans Vehicles ($67 million)
Wheel Trans Operating
- Funding of $140 million included under CSIF
- TTC working with Province and GTA Transit Agencies on GTA Farecard Project
- TTC Smartcard Business Case Analysis -June 2007
- TTC report back anticipated by early 2009 after Provincial response on analysis of Provincial farecard system & comparison to June/07 review
- Current estimate of TTC Fare system implementation cost in order of $365 million
STRATEGIC FUNDING PACKAGES
2009-2013 IMPACT ON BASE CAPITAL PROGRAM FUNDING SHORTFALL
1. Streetcars $953 million 2. SRT 360 3. Accessibility 204 4. GTA Farecard 24 Total $1,541 million
- TTC OPERATING
Not fully funded
- Need increased subsidy to:
Move forward with RGS and support City’s Official Plan
Operate new lines as they come on stream
By this point in the presentation, I was getting seriously depressed, but there’s more.
TORONTO-YORK SPADINA SUBWAY EXTENSION
- $2.634 billion over 10 years (to 2015)
- Provincial and Federal funding confirmed
- EA approvals received
- Contribution Agreement pending
- Project team and reporting being set up
- Continue to progress design phase into 2009
The Toronto-York subway represents about 10% of the total capital needs over the next decade, but holds most of the committed funds. This is the danger of project-based funding. Our “partners” say “we’ve given you your subway, now bugger off”. That’s exactly what happened on Sheppard, and it’s here again with the Spadina extension.
BELOW THE LINE (over 10 years)
- M02020/ Transit City Plan ($13.75 B)
- Other Recommended ($674M)
- Waterfront – ($355M)
M02020 / Transit City Plan Initiatives $13.750 billion over 10 years (to 2018)
- Under Provincial MoveOntario 2020 funding of $17.5B announced June 15, 2007 for 52 Rapid Transit initiatives in GTAH
- EAs and construction for new LRT lines
- LRV facility requirements / New LRV Cars
• Subtotal: Transit City Plans $10.13B
- SRT Extension / Cars ($1.2 B)
- Yonge North Subway Extension ($2.4 B)
• Subtotal: Other M02020 $3.62B
Move Ontario, like the TTC’s own projects, presumed 1/3 Federal funding. Ottawa has already been quite clear that new transit money is not in the pipeline, and plans based on such funding are not credible. Add to this the understated cost estimates in Move Ontario and Metrolinx proposals for additional projects in their White Papers, and we have a big problem with funding transit capital programs for the GTAH, not just Toronto.
Other TTC Recommended
- $674 million over 10 years (to 2018)
Bremner Streetcar Line Expansion ($195m)
Integrated Ticketing System ($225m)
Energy Conservation ($30m)
Industrial Facility / Subway Car Cameras ($79m)
AODA Initiatives ($39m)
Toronto Coach Terminal ($22m)
The Integrated Ticketing System is a project to hold the cost overrun in the GTA farecard plan. This is the difference between the original and current cost estimate.
As for Toronto Coach Terminal, why is the TTC even in this business? The existing Bay Street terminal has been propped up by TTC loans for years, and the only way we will ever see this money back in the TTC’s account is to sell the land. Why should the TTC be involved in a new coach terminal when this is clearly a Metrolinx responsibility?
And, no, I have no idea what the “Industrial Facility” is all about, although I will try to find out.
- $355 million over 10 years (to 2018)
Union Station New Platform ($127m)
East Bayfront / West Donlands ($217m)
The Portlands line is cheap compared to the rest because it is a relatively short extension, all on the surface, and it does not include any major structures or vehicles.
- Capital Program:
consistent with Commission and City Council approved plans
budget envelope largely unchanged (+1.6%)
- Long-term, stable a predictable capital funding is required:
2009 budget affordable within City debt guidelines
$1.4 billion funding shortfall for base program in next 5 years
Support of Strategic Funding Packages will address shortfall
- Additional funds must be secured to proceed with Transit City, MoveOntario 2020, Waterfront, Other
- Secure LRV Funding before award this fall
- Follow-up with Province
Long term funding agreement required
- Follow-up with Federal Government
BCF program funding to be confirmed
Thank you for reading this far if you are still with me. Normally I wouldn’t publish infomation like this in such excruciating detail, but I wanted people to see how bad the situation is with the TTC’s own document. It would have been simpler if it were online, but they have not yet mastered the art of publishing everything that appears at meetings online before, or at least immediately after the sessions.
Soon we will see the Draft Regional Transportation Plan from Metrolinx. How any of this will be paid for is a huge question, although somehow money will be found at least for the pet projects. The big question will be whether we continue on a project-by-project basis grabbing all available funding for one or two projects with the right political and commercial backing, or whether we will make real choices about transit needs and recognize that the whole system, unglamourous though that may be, needs major improvements.