TTC Board Meeting: May 31, 2016

The TTC Board will hold its regular meeting at 1:00 pm on May 31, 2016 in Committee Room 1 at City Hall.

Items of note on the agenda include:

  • The monthly CEO’s Report
  • Purchase of 97 diesel buses
  • Metrolinx response to a request for additional parking in the Kipling Terminal project

The agenda also includes the draft financial statements which I covered in a separate article.

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A Messy “Reset” For Waterfront Transit Planning (Updated)

The first of two public meetings on the City of Toronto’s so-called “reset” of transit plans for the waterfront was held on May 25, and a second is to follow tonight (May 26).

The presentation deck from these meetings is now available online.

Updated May 27, 2016 at 5:30 pm: The preliminary evaluation grids for various routing options have been added to this article following the original discussion of each section of the study. This raises an obvious question of how options can be scored before important factors such as demand projections, design and costing are known, and whether the preliminary scores will bias the discussion and evaluations to occur in Phase 2 of the study. Scroll down to the end of each section for the additional material. (Apologies for the resolution. The grids are not available online, and I am limited by the quality of the paper copies distributed at the meeting.)

There is a lot of material to digest here, and the process is not helped by several factors:

  • Council has imposed a very short timeframe, considerably less than would normally be taken for the scope of work.
  • All proposals that have ever been on the table for the past few decades and a few new schemes are up for discussion, including some that should have been discarded quite early in the process. In part this is due to the many incomplete studies of various sections of the route that never got to the point of killing off the unworkable options.
  • The City and consultant staff presenting this material are not intimately familiar with the details of many proposals, nor with the history of how they came to be part of past studies.
  • Conflicting goals of previous studies, not to mention of today’s Councillors and community groups, make a “one size fits all” solution impossible.
  • Beyond identifying a few locations where GO/Metrolinx might add stations in the Lake Shore corridor, there is little discussion of the role GO/RER can and, equally importantly, cannot play in handling travel.
  • There is very limited origin-destination or demand information with which to validate or compare proposals, or to put them in the wider context of competing demands for transit funding.
  • A vital consideration for any network is the effect on travel times. After spending millions (or even billions), how would the speed and capacity of travel have improved?
  • The real meat of any discussion remains for an as-yet unapproved “Phase 2” study that would include [text taken from the presentation]:
    • Feasibility studies (including but not limited to demand forecasting, operational assessments, further developed cost estimates);
    • Potential Environmental Assessment(s) or amendments to existing Environmental Assessment(s);
    • Pursuing the implementation of short term strategic improvements that minimize long term throwaway costs; and
    • Advancing a Business Case and pursue funding opportunities.

As someone who has worked for years in hopes of better transit service to the waterfront, all of this is quite disheartening. So many competing ideas are on the table, so many competing priorities, and so little desire to spend pervades the discussion. We may end up with nothing at all.

Growth in the Waterfront

The need for better transit to many parts of the waterfront is quite obvious to anyone who looks at the forests of new condo towers along the water and neighbourhood close by to the north. Much of the projected population growth in Toronto is located in the southern part of the city (an area considerably bigger than the traditional “downtown”), but transit improvements there always come second (at best) to proposed expansion elsewhere. Where suburban subway boosters take a “build it and they will come” approach to subway advocacy and treat rapid transit as a trigger that will, they hope, bring new population and jobs, the waterfront already has both, and is growing apace without adequate transit support. Improved transit to the eastern and western waterfront rank in the top five performers of the City’s “Feeling Congested” study.



This growth will not all arrive “tomorrow”, but it certainly will build in over coming decades. Already, access by transit across the waterfront is inadequate, and this will only get worse as time goes on.

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Who Pays For The TTC 2000:2015 (Revised)

May 24, 2016: This article has been revised to reflect an inconsistency in my handling of Wheel Trans operating subsidies over the period. Specifically, up to 2009 I had included them in the total subsidy, but from then on, I had excluded them. This has been corrected and the WT subsidy is now shown as a separate component. Also, a one-time provincial WT subsidy in 2008 has been included.

In previous articles, I reviewed the details of TTC funding in the annual financial statements up to 2013. With the publication of the draft 2015 statement, it’s time for an update. This and other reports will be considered by the TTC’s Audit and Risk Management Committee on May 25, 2016.

The full set of charts used in this article is available in the following PDF:

2000 2015 Subsidy Summary_Revised


  • This analysis consolidates information from several parts of the notes to the financial statements and is presented in a different manner from those statements to simplify tracking by year and source of subsidies. Although the numbers all come from “official” sources, the arrangement and presentation is my own.
  • In 2015, the City’s operating subsidy included a “capital from current” payment of $19.2 million that purchased 50 new buses. Although this was booked as an operating subsidy (for reasons shrouded in the mysteries of that year’s budget fiddling by the Mayor and Council), it is really a capital subsidy and I have counted it in that category for consistency. This one-time subsidy disappears in 2016, but this is not a “cut” in operating funding.

Operating Subsidies

The TTC’s operations are funded primarily through the farebox. In 2015, fare revenue contributed $1.109 billion while other sources (advertising, outside city services, rentals and miscellaneous) brought the grand total to $1.179 billion. The remaining $518.6 million was funded by the City of Toronto and Province of Ontario.

Over the years, Ontario subsidy has been paid primarily through a share of its Gas Tax revenue. Ontario transfers a lump sum to Toronto, and the City splits it between Operating and Capital budgets. The amount going to Operations has not changed for many years.

Ontario under the Harris government killed off all operating subsidies, and they did not return until 2004. The explicit link as a share of gas tax began in 2006, and a special subsidy was paid in 2008 because of the unusual financial circumstances of that year.

The total subsidy grew consistently to 2009 (the last year of the Miller administration at City Hall), but it was cut back under Rob Ford and more or less flat-lined through to the first year of the Tory regime. For 2014, funding rose again to the 2009 Miller level, but of course this makes no allowance for inflation over the intervening years. For 2015, the second year of the Tory mayoralty, there was an increase in operating funding. (Note that the Capital from Current payment has been excluded here and combined with the Capital Budget funding shown later in this article.)

The subsidies are presented in two formats below: total subsidy received, and individual sources. Either way, it is clear that the City of Toronto has carried the lion’s share of the operating subsidies. This is a far cry from the era when the City and Province split this cost 50-50. Over the 16-year period, the total paid by Toronto was $4.85 billion while Ontario paid only $1.20 billion.


The chart below shows the components of the operating subsidy separately. Except for 2008, the City’s funding of Wheel-Trans has grown, albeit slowly even when conventional service funding was cut back. The result is that the “conventional” cuts as a percentage are deeper than when the numbers are presented in aggregate.


Capital Subsidies

Capital subsidies pay for new projects such as the subway to Vaughan (aka “Toronto York Spadina Subway Extension” or “TYSSE”) and for replacement of worn out infrastructure and rolling stock. The money arrives in various ways depending on the political and financial situation when various programs and projects were launched.

  • Some money, primarily gas tax, arrives on an annual basis.
  • Some money comes from reserves that were funded through budget surpluses when times were good (generally before the 2008 financial meltdown).
  • Some money comes from “commitments” by governments that are paid out as the projects they fund proceed.
  • A large portion of the ongoing capital program is funded by the City of Toronto through a combination of current revenues and debt.

In the first chart below, the total capital spending shows large growth over the past decade primarily due to the TYSSE project and major fleet updates. The gas tax contributions are broken out here to show how relatively small they are compared to other sources of funding.

“Other” includes money from York Region for its share of the TYSSE and from Waterfront Toronto which is itself funded 1/3 by each level of government.

The amounts here are only for spending through the TTC itself and do not include Metrolinx LRT projects within Toronto.


The second chart presents the same data but with the sources broken into separate columns. This shows quite clearly the increased level of capital spending by the City of Toronto compared to other sources. Over the 16-year period, about 47% of all capital funding has come from the City with most of the remainder split between Canada (23%) and Ontario (26%).


The third chart consolidates gas tax and other subsidies by government, and breaks out the York Region contribution for the TYSSE.


Gas Taxes

Although we hear a lot about contributions from both levels of government through the gas tax, it is important to remember that the actual amounts have been almost flat for several years. In real dollar terms, the amount is declining thanks to inflation. Ontario’s gas tax is split between the Operating and Capital budgets at the City’s discretion.


2005 was a special year for federal contributions because it actually covered more than one year’s revenue. The federal contribution is pegged to Toronto’s share of the national population which has actually been declining. In both cases, the total amount available is based on cents-per-litre. This does not vary with the price of fuel, but it also is linked to actual fuel consumption. As a revenue source, this is not growing and could even be eroded by fuel efficiency, a shift to lower car ownership, and a move to untaxed fuels.

Reserves and Receivables

When times are good, governments have surpluses burning a hole in their pocket that they cannot spend within the current fiscal year. To fix this “problem”, the money is transferred to a reserve usually with a name indicating how the money is to be used (and a political slogan showing how much they care about transit).

During the mid-2000s, several funds were promised, but the cheques did not actually arrive until 2007-2008. Meanwhile, the TTC (actually Toronto on its behalf) spent money in anticipation of reimbursement from other governments. The 2008 financial crisis brought an end to this sort of funding, but many reserves had been created. These have mostly been depleted as of 2015.

The charts below show the situation in aggregate, and broken down into separate reserves.



  • CSIF: Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund. Most of the money in this reserve has been spent, and the fund is supposed to wind down in March 2016, although an extension has been requested.
  • PTCT: Public Transit Capital Trust. This federal program was short-lived and the reserve was depleted in 2008.
  • ORSIF: This was an Ontario program to give the TTC money for rapid transit infrastructure outside of the standard subsidy channels as Toronto was the only city with this type of transit. The reserve was depleted in 2011.
  • OBRP: This was an Ontario program to fund bus replacements, but it no longer exists. Most of the funding came into and out of City accounts in the same year, and so little appears in the reserves.
  • TTIP/GTIP: More discontinued Ontario programs for transit improvement. Like OBRP, little of the money stayed in City accounts long enough to show up in the reserves.
  • Quick Wins: This is the 2010 Metrolinx program to fund various system improvements. The reserve will likely be depleted in 2016.

Unless there is a major change in funding principles by Ontario and Canada, the use of reserves will likely disappear from transit budgets to be replaced by in-year funding either for specific projects (reimbursing spending as it occurs) or as block transfers (like the gas tax) for use by the City at its discretion.

Project-Based Funding


The Spadina extension to Vaughan is funded by Toronto, York Region, Ontario and Canada. To the end of 2015, the proportions contributed by each level of government have remained the same with only the total dollar amount moving up and down. From 2016 this will change as the cost overruns on this project will not be equally shared with the local municipalities on the hook for the extra spending.


Transit City

Metrolinx took over the Transit City projects from the TTC and reimbursed the City for its costs. Funding continues to show up in the financial statements because of work done on Metrolinx’ behalf by the TTC. Note that any clawback of sunk costs for the Scarborough LRT will require that some of this funding to be reimbursed to Ontario.


Low Floor LRV Project

The TTC is buying 204 new low floor streetcars from Bombardier with the cost subsidized 1/3 by Ontario. As is common in vehicle supply contracts, front-end loading funds the vendor’s startup costs and the remainder is paid out as vehicles are received and accepted. The lack of progress on this project is clear in the low levels of subsidy paid out in recent years.


Scarborough Subway Extension

As of 2015, this is not an approved project because Council has not finalized the route design and there is no approved Environmental Assessment. Toronto has been accumulating revenue from a dedicated SSE tax in its accounts, but this does not show up in the TTC financial statements.

Spring and a PCC Arrive at Harbourfront

With Victoria Day weekend and the arrival of unquestionably late spring weather in Toronto, people are turning out in droves on Queens Quay: pedestrians, strollers, bladers, cyclists, streetcars and more than a few bewildered motorists.

The TTC will operate one PCC on Sunday afternoons from now through Labour Day weekend on the route. No fare is charged, and a free transfer is possible to the subway at Union Station.

TTC Service Changes Effective June 19, 2016

Many changes will affect TTC operations with the onset of summer schedules for 2016. These include both the usual seasonal changes to service levels, several construction projects affecting routes, and the restructuring of routes serving the waterfront.

Updated May 24, 2016 at 7:30 pm: Preliminary information on construction diversions at Broadview Station has been added to this article.

2016.06.19 Service Changes

The information in the spreadsheet linked here is organized into three sections:

  • Routine, mainly seasonal, changes
  • Groups of changes related to specific projects and route reorganization
  • Construction project calendar


The 514 Cherry streetcar route begins operation running via a short spur south from King to Distillery Loop. Initially this will run with a mix of Flexities and CLRVs pending an increase in the fleet of new cars. Eventually track on Cherry will extend under the rail corridor and south into the Port Lands, but that is a project still years away and subject to the usual wrangling at Council about capital spending priorities.

In the 2016 Budget, the TTC Board and Council chose not to fund the new service with additional money, and so this operation will be implemented by cutting service on the outer ends of the 504 King route. Peak service will operate every 8-9 minutes, and off-peak periods, the line will operate on a 15 minute headway with five cars. A blended service on King is impractical given the large difference in frequencies between the 514 and 504 routes. Whether the Cherry cars actually pull out onto King into gaps and carry passengers, or merely slip in behind King cars and let them do the work remains to be seen.

The 172 Cherry Street bus has been replaced by an extended 72 Pape over a new route serving Queen Quay East, and by a new 121 Fort York – Esplanade bus that will operate on, at most, 15 minute headways, a considerable improvement over the former 172 Cherry.

Sunday Stops

The TTC continues its program to remove Sunday Stops from the system with removal of stops at the following locations.


Streetcars Return due to Bus Shortage

With the onset of construction season, and despite the summer service cuts, several streetcar routes will be partly or completely replaced by buses: 512 St. Clair, 511 Bathurst, 506 Carlton. This will be offset by the return of streetcar service to the 502 Downtowner and 503 Kingston Road Tripper lines, as well as full streetcar service on 504 King with no bus trippers. Service will likely revert to combined streetcar/bus operation in September thanks to the late deliveries of new Flexity streetcars by Bombardier.

Construction Work on College Street

Several projects on College Street West have been timed to occur over the summer of 2016.

  • Special track work replacement at Bathurst and at Lansdowne
  • Removal of safety islands at Bathurst eastbound and at Bay Street both ways
  • Expansion of the safety island westbound at Bathurst
  • Water main upgrades on College and on Lansdowne
  • Streetscape improvements on College

The effects of these will be:

  • 506 Carlton will operate with buses in the west and streetcars in the east on weekdays, and with buses over the entire route on weekends. The weekday services will overlap between Church and Bay. This will continue throughout the summer.
  • 47 Lansdowne will divert around the construction area via Dufferin Street.
  • 511 Bathurst will be operated by buses until the next schedule change at the end of July diverting around construction via Spadina between Harbord and Dundas.
  • The 509/511 bus shuttle on Fleet Street will be replaced by the 511 bus service.

Details of the service diversions are in a separate article.

When streetcar service returns to Bathurst Street, the cars will operate into Exhibition Loop so that through service is provided until the Labour Day weekend. In September/October, service will be cut back again to Fleet Loop for a track replacement project in Exhibition Loop.

St. Clair Construction

Major construction work at St. Clair and St. Clair West Stations will require removal of streetcar service over the summer and early fall. The approach ramps at St. Clair West were not rebuilt during the line’s reconstruction, and the track must be replaced. The entire 512 route will be operated with buses through the summer, and streetcars will return from St. Clair West to Keele in September. Full streetcar service will resume on the Thanksgiving weekend in October.

Buses will not be able to enter either station during this project. At St. Clair Station, all bus service will loop on street via Avoca, Pleasant Boulevard, Yonge and St. Clair with transfer connections at the Pleasant Boulevard entrance. At St. Clair West Station, the 90 Vaughan bus will be extended south to Bathurst Station, and routes 33 Forest Hill and 126 Christie will be interlined. All buses will make an on street transfer connection at St. Clair West.

Broadview Station Construction

The bus loop at Broadview Station will be rebuilt over the summer and all bus services will loop on street via Erindale, Ellerbeck, Danforth and Broadview using an on street transfer. Given the frequent congestion of streetcars on Broadview awaiting entry to the station, the bus service will add to the congestion at Danforth northbound. The arrangement of on street stops for the four bus routes affected here has not yet been announced. Running time has been added to allow for the around-the-block loop except in cases where there was already enough recovery time in the existing schedule.

Updated May 24, 2016: Brad Ross at the TTC has provided the preliminary construction notice for the service and street changes. In addition, the Brick Works shuttle bus which normally loads on Erindale outside of Broadview Station will be relocated to Chester Station.

Bayview Services Reorganized

Peak period frequent service on 11 Bayview now ends at Davisville & Bayview, but this will be extended to Sunnybrook Hospital with every second bus running through to Steeles.

The 28 Bayview South route serving the Brick Works now operates only on weekend daytime hours, but will provide service during all periods.

Victoria Park North

Service in York Region on Victoria Park will now be provided by York Region Transit. The 24D Victoria Park branch to Major Mackenzie will be dropped and all service will turn back at Steeles Avenue. The 224 Victoria Park North route will cease operation.

Richmond Street Construction

All Downtown Express services will divert westbound from Church to Peter while Richmond Street is rebuilt from Victoria to York. Whether there will be any provision to assist the left turns west-to-south at Peter that will block 501 Queen Service (itself forced to divert and turn south at Spadina for water main construction) remains to be seen.

Waterfront Transit “Reset” Phase 1

In November 2015, Toronto Council directed that a consolidated review be conducted of the many overlapping proposals for transit improvements in the waterfront .

City Council direct City staff, working with the Toronto Transit Commission and Waterfront Toronto, to undertake a Phase 1 review of waterfront transit initiatives and options, and provide a status update to Executive Committee in the first quarter of 2016, such review of waterfront transit initiatives and options to include the proposed ShoreLine (closing the gap on the dedicated streetcar right-of-way between St. Joseph’s Hospital and Exhibition Place), the relocation of the Humber Loop, the Park Lawn – Lake Shore Transportation Master Plan currently underway, the possibility of a new GO Transit stop at Park Lawn, the proposed Legion Road extension, the proposed AM peak turning restrictions on Park Lawn Road from the Gardiner Expressway, the Mimico By the Lake Secondary Plan (Mimico 20/20), the Long Branch Avenue Study, and 2150 Lake Shore Boulevard West (former Mr. Christie bakery site).

Although this motion dwells extensively on the western waterfront, all of the proposals for improvements between western Etobicoke and Woodbine Avenue in The Beach are under review.

Two public meetings will be held to present the initial status of the review and solicit comments.

Central Location
Date: Wednesday May 25, 2016
Time: 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Open house begins at 6:00 p.m., followed by a presentation at 6:30 p.m.
Location: 235 Queens Quay West, Toronto, ON M5J 2G8 at Brigantine Room at Harbourfront Centre (major intersection is Queens Quay West and Lower Simcoe Street)

West Location
Date: Thursday May 26, 2016
Time: 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Open house begins at 6:00 p.m., followed by a presentation at 6:30 p.m.
Location: 95 Mimico Avenue, Toronto, ON M8V 1R4 at John English Junior Middle School in the auditorium (closest major intersection is Royal York Road and Mimico Avenue)

At this point, the specifics of options for various segments of the waterfront are only at the conceptual stage. The intent is not to choose specific alignments because factors such as future demand, construction and operational issues, interaction between proposals and cost will be dealt with in detail in a Phase 2 study, if approved, later in 2016.

Presentation materials for these meetings are not yet available online. When they are published, I will update this article.

This phase has a very tight turnaround because a report will go to Executive Committee as part of the overall review of transit proposals on June 28, 2016, and thence to Council in July.

Streetcar Track Construction Update: Spring 2016 (Update 2))

Several projects sprang up with the warm weather in Toronto, and more are to come.

Updated May 13, 2016: Details of diversions and replacement services for College Street projects have been added to the end of this article.

Updated May 13, 2016 at 3:00 pm: Details of diversions and replacements updated for 506 Carlton and 512 St. Clair.

First off was the replacement of special work on Charlotte Street at Adelaide and at King including removal of the never-used lead to Adelaide Street eastbound.

Next was the replacement of the southwest ladder track at Roncesvalles Carhouse. Because of the odd shape of the property, this carhouse has many interesting twists and turns in its layout.

A short section of Bay Street south from Elm has been in rough shape with a slow order for a few years. Now the track has been replaced.

Pending work for the construction season includes:

  • Richmond Street tangent track from east of Yonge to York. This is part of an overall reconstruction of the street previously begun by Toronto Water.
  • College at Bathurst (June 20 to July 22) and at Lansdowne (July 11 to 22). This is part of a set of projects affecting College Street described in detail on the City’s website. See below for details of service diversions and bus replacements.
  • A shutdown of 512 St. Clair will be required for the reconstruction at both St. Clair West and St. Clair Stations. This will begin concurrently with the reconstruction of Bathurst & College.

As of May 9, the 501 Queen service is diverting around Toronto Water construction via Spadina, King and Shaw. This will be in place until Thanksgiving weekend unless the work is finished early.

Diversions for College Street Projects (Added May 13, 2016)

Illustrations here are taken from display panels for a public meeting earlier this year.

Through the summer to the Labour Day weekend, the 506 Carlton route will operate with streetcars on the eastern portion of the route looping downtown via Bay, Dundas and McCaul. This route stays the same throughout the period because it is not affected by construction projects further west.

The western end of the route will operate with buses whose location will vary from phase-to-phase of the work. The service will loop east of Yonge Street via Jarvis, Maitland and Church. Note that the section between Dufferin and Lansdowne will be affected by construction work that will take place for some or all of the summer (see later maps below).

Updated May 13 at 3:00 pm: The split service shown below will operate on weekdays. On weekends, buses will provide service over the entire route diverting as necessary between Spadina and Lansdowne.


While College and Bathurst is under construction, services will be modified as shown below.

The 506 west bus will divert via Spadina, Harbord and Ossington. The 511 Bathurst car will be replaced with buses diverting via Dundas, Spadina and Harbord.


During a considerable portion of the project, water main work between Dufferin and Lansdowne will require the 506 west bus to divert via Dufferin and Dundas.


While the intersection of College and Lansdowne is under construction, the 47 Lansdowne bus will divert via Dufferin Street from Bloor to Queen southbound, and will operate northbound via Lansdowne only to Dundas Street, then via Dundas and Dufferin to Bloor.


Updated May 13 at 3:00 pm: 512 St. Clair will be converted to bus operation during construction work at St. Clair West and St. Clair Stations throughout the summer. Buses will serve St. Clair West at on-street stops. During the September-October schedule period, construction work at St. Clair Station will require bus operation from St. Clair West Station to St. Clair Station.

Analysis of 510 Spadina for December-January 2015-6

On January 3, 2016, the schedule for route 510 Spadina changed from one based on the use of standard-sized streetcars (the CLRVs) to the new longer low-floor cars (Flexitys or LFLRVs). This article reviews the operation of the line before and after the new schedule.

The revised service provided an increase in capacity with a replacement ratio of new cars for old on a ratio considerably lower than 2:1, and during periods of infrequent service (early weekend mornings, late evenings), the replacement was 1:1.



In brief, the service actually operated on 510 Spadina bears little resemblance to the advertised schedule. Headways (the time between cars) are erratic and often wider than the scheduled values for both the “old” and “new” service designs. The proportion of service operated to the three destinations (King, Queens Quay and Union Station) do not always match the schedule, and indeed during January (when only two destinations are supposed to be in use at any time), service to all three persists just as in December.

However, padding the schedule, a tactic used on other routes to eliminate the need for short turns, is impractical here because terminal congestion with queued vehicles would severely interfere both with passenger travel times and with terminal operations. Unlike a route such as 501 Queen where most riders depart from vehicles before the terminal, 510 Spadina has very strong demand to its destinations at subway stations.

Line management consists of dispatching cars and operators as available, and the service levels on each branch do not match the actual design, notably the proportion of service that should operate on each section of the route. This particularly affects riders south of King and on Queens Quay whose service is erratic and below the advertised level even though the area has a large and growing population.

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Ministerial Hot Air On Fare Integration

Today saw an exchange in the Ontario Legislature showing the true colours of the provincial government when it comes to an informed, intelligent discussion of fare integration in the GTHA. The full exchange is below lest anyone accuse me of quoting them out of context.

Ms. Andrea Horwath: My question is for the Acting Premier.

Throughout its history, TTC fares in Toronto have been based on the simple principle that every Torontonian deserves equal access to their transit system regardless of their income and regardless of where they live.

But now Metrolinx is quietly working on a fare integration plan that could force people living in Scarborough, Etobicoke and North York to pay a higher fare for a subway ride than people living downtown. Will the Liberal government guarantee that Metrolinx will not force people living in Scarborough to pay more to ride the subway?

Hon. Charles Sousa: Minister of Transportation.

Hon. Steven Del Duca: I want to thank the leader of the NDP for the question. Of course, as everyone should know by now, the folks at Metrolinx, who are doing an exceptional job, are working hard to liaise with all of our municipal transit systems around the greater Toronto and Hamilton area to make sure that, collectively, we can deliver on fare integration for this region.

I think anyone who moves around the greater Toronto and Hamilton area would recognize—and certainly I hear it loud and clear from my own constituents in York region—that we need to make sure, in order to support the unprecedented transit investments that this government is making, that we need a fare integration system across this entire region that works seamlessly, that makes transit more accessible, more affordable, more reliable and more dependable for the people of the entire region. That’s the work that Metrolinx is embarking upon in conjunction with all of our municipal transit systems. They will keep working hard, Speaker, to make sure that we can get it right.

The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Supplementary?

Ms. Andrea Horwath: Speaker, in fact, what Metrolinx has been quietly doing is designing a fare integration plan that could force the TTC to become a zone-based system that divides Torontonians based on where they live. So years from now, people in Scarborough might get a new subway but then find out that they can only afford to ride the bus.

Will the Liberal government guarantee that there will be no fare zones within Toronto, and that Metrolinx will not force the TTC to charge higher fares for subway riders?

Hon. Steven Del Duca: I guess only the leader of Ontario’s NDP would think somehow that after months of open conversations, after months in which every single board meeting has a public portion, only the leader of Ontario’s NDP would think that this is somehow hidden. It’s a conversation that’s been ongoing.

It’s part of my mandate letter which, of course, she should know. For the first time in Ontario’s history our mandate letters were posted publicly at the time that we received them, Speaker.

I think what’s also, perhaps, the reason that the leader of the NDP is mistaken about how supposedly hidden this effort is, Speaker, is that because while we are investing in transit through budget after budget after budget, that leader and the NDP caucus continue to vote against them. They are obviously more focused on petty partisan politics in Scarborough instead of being focused on making sure that they support the transit investments needed to deliver the seamless integrated transit network the people of this region and the people of Scarborough deserve.

Let’s get the historical inaccuracy in Horwath’s question out of the way first. The pre-Metro Toronto Transportation Commission used a single fare within the old City of Toronto, and supplementary fares beyond in what were then separate municipalities where the TTC provided some services. Some suburban bus routes were operated by private companies which charged their own fares. After the creation of Metro in 1954, the Toronto Transit Commission had fare zones roughly based on the old city and everything else, but these were abandoned in 1973 as part of the political deal for suburban municipalities helping to finance transit expansion through their Metro taxes.

I am no fan of Andrea Horwath, but she asks a legitimate question.

The Minister’s response is pure political hot air talking about the wonderful work at Metrolinx, and the wonderful spending on transit construction now underway, but utterly avoiding the issue of separate fares either for zones or classes of service within Toronto. Instead, he turns the question into one of “petty partisan politics” and fails to address the matter of whether Scarborough riders will pay more to ride their new subway whenever it opens.

One might ask the same question about the Minister’s constituents in York Region who will be heavily subsidized by Toronto Taxpayers to ride the Spadina extension to Vaughan.