Toronto Taxpayers Coalition is cautioning that a TTC report pushing for better service will end up costing taxpayers significantly more.
In order to pay for these changes, which would boost bus service across the city, the TTC would need and extra $19-million in its 2015 operating budget, then a further increase each year up to $69-million annually by 2018. To implement the recommendations, the plan would also requires a $288-million boost to the capital budget spread across five years.
The report mirrors Olivia Chow’s uncosted campaign pledge to increase bus service by 10%. “Just last month the public transit operator decried Chow’s spend heavy plan”, says Coalition president Matthew McGuire, noting the TTC has made an about face on the issue.
Toronto Taxpayers Coalition calculates Chow’s plan would cost a minimum of $550 million, including:
- Purchasing 376 new buses;
- Completing construction of the McNicoll bus garage;
- Completing construction of another bus garage – with 50% greater capacity than McNicoll;
- Hiring 750 new full-time operators
The Coalition says voters expect mayoral candidates to be honest about the cost of their initiatives, and points out that Chow’s deceiving $15 million price tag is “more than a simple rounding error.”
Chow maintains she can increase capacity “immediately” but ignores the fact that all purchases and expenditures will have to go through both the City and the TTC board capital budget approval process. This would be followed then by a public bidding process.
The Coalition believes the TTC’s and Chow’s plan will leave taxpayers and commuters paying far more, and urges councillors to consider this fact when voting on the proposed service plan.