The TTC’s capital plans cover a wide array of projects related to maintenance and enhancement of the transit system. For planning purposes, this is presented with a rolling 15-year window updated year-by-year. For budget purposes, a 10-year version is produced to feed into the City’s rolling plans.
Separate, but related, is the Real Estate Investment Plan which identifies property requirements for many projects. Some of these are well known, some are only at the “what if” stage for possible future inclusion in the capital plan. This raises awareness of potential needs so that property can be protected and acquired if necessary to keep future options open.
Major points in this article include:
- The TTC 15-year capital plan now sits at $38 billion, and even that does not include possible projects such as the Waterfront LRT.
- About two thirds of the capital plan is not funded, in the sense that the source of money to actually pay for projects is unknown. This affects some current projects such as replacement of subway cars that are partly funded, but cannot proceed until the TTC is certain it can pay for the entire contract.
- Bus replacement and electrification plans run out of money in 2025.
- A very large portion of the plan involves renewal and upgrading of subway infrastructure. Focus on the subway threatens to distract from need of the surface system which is essential to the network’s operation.
- The scale of planned spending on system growth and improvement dwarfs the shortfall in the Operating Budget that will lead to service cuts in 2023. There is no reconciliation of the parsimony of the operating plans for transit service with the scope of capital plans for expansion and improvement.
- Some future funding included in the budget assumes continuation of existing streams from other governments. This is not guaranteed.
- Absent new funding, the State of Good Repair backlog is projected to rise to over $6 billion in the coming decade.
- There is a growing problem that the TTC owns buses, streetcars and subway trains it cannot afford to operate.