The TTC’s Capital Budget Report is now available online. I will not comment on this in detail until after the staff presentation at the Commission meeting on September 24.
Of particular note, although it is not mentioned explicitly in the Capital Budget Report, the TTC now has an “SRT Conversion and Expansion project” that is mentioned on Page 6 of the July Chief General Manager’s Report. Presumably there will be more information about this at Thursday’s meeting.
Such a change has long been rumoured by staff at the various community EA meetings, but we have never actually seen an LRT, as opposed to ICTS, design for the RT and its Malvern extension.
Update 2, 4:45 pm September 23: The Chief General Manager’s Report for the period to the start of August 2009 is now online. In this, we learn:
- The change in average fare revenue is 2.32, not 3, cents per rider due both to higher pass sales and greater use of concession fares (children, students, seniors) (page 3).
- Revenue loss due to ridership being below budget accounts for $3.4-million, while the lower average fare cointributes $7.6-million. (Both of these are only for the seven months to the end of July.)
- Yearend revenue shortfall from fares will lie between $15- and $19-million depending on ridership results through the fall.
- Yearend revenue from advertising and other income (mainly interest) will be $3.6-million below budget.
- Expenses are expected to be over budget due to the combined effect of:
- Inglis building flood remediation ($1.4-million)
- Higher service requirement from city construction ($2-million)
- Higher overtime due to staff shortage (gapping), maintenance backlog and severe winter weather ($3.5-million)
- Vehicle maintenance needs ($4-million)
- Other changes ($0.3-million)
- Savings on expenses include:
- Lower energy rates and water consumption ($4.9-million)
- Employee cost reductions ($2-million)
- Planned service reductions ($1.9-million). It is unclear whether these are reductions still to come, or if this is the saving versus budget of cuts imposed by availability problems with the bus fleet.
- The following actions will be taken to address the anticipated $17.4-million shortfall:
- Some service improvements planned for fall 2009 will be deferred until mid-2010 (no list is given).
- Overtime will be curtailed. The effect on service availability is not addressed, but we do know that there were problems with fielding all service late in 2008 due to similar actions.
- There will be a comprehensive review of hiring and training for operators. This is intended to address a surge in retirements caused by demographics of the operator workforce.
- All discretionary expenses in departments will be reviewed.
- Page 6 mentions “the SRT Conversion and Expansion project”. Although this is not explicitly mentioned in the Capital Budget report, we are about to see the TTC announce the conversion of the SRT to LRT technology. This has long been rumoured, and finally has shown up in print.