The Ttc: Private, Public, or Private-Public Partnership?

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In July 2012, the TTC was evaluated and given a disappointing grade by TTCriders Group based on its performance at five aspects. These five aspects are about fares, transit expansion, accessibility, service frequency, and environmental impact (“TTC gets”, 2012). Unlike any other major city in North America, the TTC fares covered 70% of its operating cost, which was the highest fare box ratio within the 11 major North American cities (See Appendix 1). After derailed for 16 months, transit expansion plan finally came back on track, still with concerns about certainty of funds. Due to budget constraints, the target timeline of making all new and existing subway accessible has been pushed back several times from 2020 to 2024, then to 2025. The TTC ridership increased by 12.5% in 2011 while service levels only rose by 8.4%, resulting in insufficient service to connect our neighborhoods. As for the environmental impact, the TTC collected no data for this purpose (“The state,” 2012). All these issues are mainly accounted for prolonged budget deficits, which the TTC has been struggling for many years.

HISTORY OF THE TTC

The Toronto Transportation Committee (TTC) is a public transport service agency established in 1954, the third largest transit system in North America that operates streetcar, transit bus, and rapid transit service (subway and RT) in Toronto. The TTC consists of four repaid transit service lines with 69 stations, 149 bus routes and 11 streetcar lines, making 243 connections among them. In 2011, the ridership went up to 500.2 million, which exceeded all historical records. The TTC service covers the Greater Toronto Area benefited 4.5 million people. Particularly, the TTC provides Wheel-Trans service that is responsible for door-door accessible transit service for physically disabled people, 2.7 million trips made through this service in 2011 (“2011 TTC,” 2011).

Toronto Private Transportation Companies 1849-1921

The Williams Omnibus Bus Line was the first private-owned transportation company in Toronto, which carried passengers in stagecoaches drawn by horses serving a limited area along Young street in 1849. With the population growth, Williams Omni Bus Line was heavily loaded. The city then gave the first transit franchise for a street railway to Alexander Easton’s Toronto Street Railway (TSR) in 1861. After the franchise expired in 1891, the city passed on the right to a new company, the Toronto Railway Company (TRC), under James Ross and William Mackenzie. The TRC made the first electric car ran on August 15, 1892 to meet the franchise requirement. The city limits had extended greatly by 1912. The city attempted many times to force TRC enlarge its serve area, and failed. In order to build several routes and better serve the greater area, the city created its own street railway operation, the Toronto Civic Railways (TCR). By 1921 when TRC’s franchise expired, the city created the Toronto Transportation Commission combined with the TCR (Filey, 1996). Toronto Transportation Commission 1921- 1954

Toronto Transportation Commission went through boom times and down times from 1921 to 1954. Streetcars and railways served progressively in the extended Toronto area. There were many remarkable milestones during this period such as: 575 new “Peter Witt” street cars entered service in 1921; first gasoline-electric hybrid bus entered service in 1926; in 1927, TTC expanded its lines of service with Island ferry, hydro-electric railway, and other intercity bus service; TTC overcome the stock crash in 1929 and made improvements; 745 PPC streetcars, which are also called “red rocket”, entered service in 1938; The great moment came on Sep.18, 1949, that the city of Toronto was symbolized with its opening ceremony of “ Canada’s First Subway”; in 1954 Toronto Transportation Commission was renamed as Toronto Transit Committee (“A cavalcade,” 1954).

TORONTO TRANSIT COMMITTEE AND ITS BUDGET ISSUES

Financial...
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