This article is a follow-up to the TTC Board’s discussion of their 2022 Capital Budget at the meeting of December 20, 2021.
Links of interest:
The topics here are a bit scattershot as was the Board debate, but they include:
- The Toronto Net Zero 2040 plan and electric buses
- The conflict between budget planning timeframes and available funding
- The growing backlog in State of Good Repair
- Fleet replacement timing issues
- Where the money comes from
- The need to co-ordinate related projects within the budget
- Funding for capital programs
- Future subway demand and capacity enhancements
There is always a problem with the complexity of the budget that drops on Board members at most a week before the meeting where it will be approved.
There is no “Budget Committee” at the TTC, and so there is no group within the Board who are primed for the debate and can vouch for management’s work in the same manner as the TTC’s Audit & Risk Management Committee. The Board used to have a Budget Committee, but it languished under an uninterested chair (ironically, a member of Council’s hawkish right) and the current Board is unwilling to recreate it.
This says a lot about how seriously (or not) they take their oversight role. Let a few pencils go missing and the Audit folks will be all over the problem, but billions in capital spending and the underlying policy decisions go with little review. This should be a job for whatever TTC Board is crafted for 2023 after the next municipal election.
For those interested in the details, read on.Continue reading