The Lord Mayor Giveth, and the Lord Mayor Taketh Away (Updated)

Updated June 2, 2015: Mayor Tory has sent a letter to his Budget Chief, Councillor Gary Crawford, outlining his goals for the 2016 budget. This includes a better explanation of the two percent goal for budgetary efficiencies, and a

Find at least 2 per cent in savings across all City agencies and divisions. We need to take a determined, practical, business-like approach to eliminate the inefficiency marbled throughout government. This isn’t just about saving money. It is about using our resources responsibly so we can provide better services to the people of Toronto.

Continue investing in transit to cut congestion and gridlock. Transit connects people to jobs. It provides a means of getting around for people who can’t afford a car. As we continue to work towards building longer-term projects like SmartTrack and Scarborough Subway, we must continue to improve and expand services to reduce transit congestion now.

Finding efficiencies and improving transit are not mutually exclusive, but the ever-present problem with transit budgets is that just to “stand still”, to provide the same quality of service to a growing ridership base, costs about 5% in added costs each year. The number could even be higher but for the TTC’s inability to improve peak service.

Meanwhile, the TTC’s CEO Andy Byford said at the recent Board meeting that he would not cut front line services. How both the TTC and the Mayor plan to reconcile competing goals remains to be seen.

The original May 26 article follows below.

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