TTC staff release $4.6B shopping list, including new vehicles, station upgrades

A report released Wednesday by TTC staff calls for the expenditure of an additional $4.6 billion on new capital investments, including streetcars, subway cars and expanding Bloor-Yonge subway station.

The TTC’s 2020-2029 Key Capital Investment Priorities report also recommends the TTC use most of that money for significant investments in repairing and upgrading transit infrastructure to ensure the system is in a “state of good repair.”

It’s all part of “the most significant investment in upgrading our transit system in the city’s history,” Mayor John Tory said in a statement released Wednesday.

The $4.6 billion comes from the increase in the City Building Fund levy announced in December of last year.

Here’s how TTC staff want money to be spent:

  • $500 million for the city’s one-third share of the Bloor-Yonge station expansion.
  • $3.1 billion for repair, maintenance and upgrading capacity of subway infrastructure, including Line 1 and Line 2.
  • $1.14 billion for new vehicles, including 60 new streetcars and 62 new trains for Line 2.

Coun. Jaye Robinson, the chair of the TTC board, released a statement Wednesday afternoon explaining the thinking behind the recommendations.

She said the challenges faced by commuters in the city’s west end Wednesday morning due to a subway shutdown underscored the need to spend the bulk of the new cash on repairing and upgrading the system.

“As we saw this morning on Line 2, issues with our subway infrastructure can lead to significant delays for riders who rely on our system to get where they need to go,” Robinson wrote.

“This funding from the City will be used to finance a once-in-a-generation, transformative subway infrastructure program. Investing in critical state of good repair and capacity improvement projects on our core subway lines is the responsible thing to do,” the statement continues.

The report will be on the agenda at the TTC board meeting on Monday. City council would have to approve the recommendations as part of its 2020 budget deliberations. The proposed budget will be voted on Feb. 19.

A Bombardier Flexity streetcar. The TTC report includes a recommendation to buy 60 new streetcars. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

The report also calls on other levels of government to assist with the plan, something Tory echoed in his written statement.

“We must buy new subway trains, new buses, and new streetcars but we cannot make these purchases alone,” the mayor wrote.

“The City has made it clear it has the funding to move forward on these purchases and I will be working non-stop to negotiate funding from the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario.”


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