The Mysteries of TTC Subsidies (Update 2)

Updated at 3:20 pm, September 7: Metrolinx wrote pointing out that there is a ten-year cash flow for the “5-in-10” Transit City projects.  It is at pages 25-26 of their presentation[Note that Metrolinx has fouled up its website, and their presentation is no longer visible.  The link here is to the two-page cashflow taken from their report and posted on my site.]

Updated at 10:00 am, September 7: The section on funding of Transit City lines has been clarified to distinguish between announced and suspected funding strategies.

Updated at 10:40 pm, September 4: A small section has been added near the end about the problem of creative project descriptions and their effect on capital planning.

Politicians love to claim that other people don’t know what they’re talking about.  Even transit commentators and activists like me say this sort of thing, but the pols tend to be more aggressive in their tone as they play for media and public attention.  Reading the source material helps, but it can be a long slog.

As a service to my readers and would-be transit financial analysts, here is a review of how TTC subsidies work.  The primary source material for this article is the draft audited financial statements of the TTC for 2009 which were published in May.  They are “draft” only in that, when published, they had not received formal Commission approval which has subsequently been given.

A journalist whose bluster is greater than his accuracy recently implied that the TTC was hiding its financial results when in fact they have been available for months.  This sort of thing passes for penetrating analysis in some quarters.

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