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An interesting solution for TTC funding problem....

exheres

TRIBE Member
Free TTC service the better way
With higher property taxes and the municipal and provincial governments covering transit expenses, all fares could be eliminated


MICHAEL HLINKA

Over the past few weeks, Toronto Mayor David Miller has been negotiating with Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty to receive extra provincial support for the TTC. The mayor wants a portion of gasoline taxes to be directed toward his city's transit system.

Miller hopes the formula will be based on ridership rather than population, as this would be more favourable for Toronto. If he gets his way, he will be able to hold the line on fares — an important campaign promise.

That's what Miller wants. But there's a historic opportunity here, one that would forever change the way our public transportation system operates.

Would you pay higher property taxes for free transit? Speak out.

Here's what I think the mayor should be proposing:


From this point forward, the province will assume responsibility for all capital expenditures. In return, the city of Toronto will pick up the rest of the TTC tab and provide free service to everyone — and generously share the political credit. (This would deliver the GTA to the Ontario Liberal party for a generation — for those who care, as I suspect the Premier might.)

A few quick points about the TTC budget and the distinction between capital expenditures and operating expenses. Over the past three years (2000 to 2002), capital expenditures, that is, spending on things like buses, trains and the line itself, has averaged $311 million. This tab would thereafter be picked up by the province and, yes, it would control the purse strings, allowing the ruling party to reward its friends and supporters with lucrative contracts.

The city of Toronto would take care of the operating expenses, the day-to-day costs like wages, fuel, etc. Over the most recently reported past three years (the 2003 annual report is not yet available), cash operating expenses have climbed from $775 million to $885 million. These are offset, albeit slightly, by other revenue sources such as property rental and advertising, which have increased from $35 million to $47 million. That leaves an additional $740 million in 2000 climbing to $838 million in 2002. This is how much the city would have to come up with.

Now this is how I'd like to see it come up with that money:

Toronto should levy an additional property tax on the 900 million square feet of residential space in the GTA. Based on the TTC's 2002 operating expenses, that would work out to about 93 cents per foot per year. For someone like me who lives in a 690 square foot condominium, I'd be dinged for an extra $642 per annum. Not that paying higher taxes particularly pleases me, but at least I'd be contributing to a program that is good for almost everyone.

The benefit to a middle-class, property-owning, frequent TTC riding Torontonian is obvious: You pay a few hundred dollars more in taxes and save $1,000 in fares. Think of the working couple with children where both parents use transit to get to work. There are a lot of these folks — they'd be looking at a pretty good windfall. Consider the TTC ridership. It is wildly overrepresented by those at the lower end of the socio-economic scale. Many of those people are not property owners. Now they would travel to work for free. A de facto pay increase would be given overnight to Toronto's working poor, money that would allow saving in order for them to become property owners. The Canadian dream in action.

But this plan also benefits property-owning non-riders, especially those who travel the city in their Mercedes and Caddies. I'm talking, of course, about some of Toronto's more financially fortunate.

Moving people by public transit is more energy efficient than the one person per vehicle model. Toronto is a huge importer of oil products, which means that there is a matching outflow of wealth. This hits all of us and the more money you make, the more you consume, the harder the hit.

Gridlock, which inevitably means highly trained professionals sitting idly and unproductively in traffic, costs the "system" (read: the elites) thousands of dollars a year.

Finally, more TTC utilization and less traffic means lower fuel consumption and less wear and tear on infrastructure, which means a cleaner, greener city. Who can argue with any of that?

Overlaying all of this is a larger social issue. The foremost economic challenge our city faces isn't a lack of wealth. Rather, it's the uneven distribution of it. Raising property taxes and using the proceeds to eliminate TTC fares would be an explicit recognition that government has a legitimate role in effecting at least a limited redistribution of wealth. Enlightened and just public policy truly begins at home ... in the place that I call home.

Toronto is a city that works. Providing free TTC for everyone at all times at the expense of relatively wealthy property owners would make it work just that much better.
 
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swilly

TRIBE Member
i think this idea is a good start. Here are some revisions though that i think should be made.

public transit being free great idea will definalty impact ridership

I dont know if it mentioned this in the artcile but there needs to be a regional taxation board for GTA transit. People in the suburbs should have to pay taxes for the TTC use if not a larger share as they use alot it.

- Taxation on roads going into the city centre. London has implemented it with great success. Although there has been only a mariginal decrease in auto traffic the revenue generated from this has gone back into the transit system. I personally think that those who continue to pollute our air and cause traffic problems should pay for those of us who are willing to make the concious decision to use public transit. why should we both have to make the scarifice of not using our car and associated problems and also have to pay for it. I say those who are causing the problem should pay

vive la transit

swilly
 

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
Toronto should levy an additional property tax on the 900 million square feet of residential space in the GTA. Based on the TTC's 2002 operating expenses, that would work out to about 93 cents per foot per year. For someone like me who lives in a 690 square foot condominium, I'd be dinged for an extra $642 per annum. Not that paying higher taxes particularly pleases me, but at least I'd be contributing to a program that is good for almost everyone.


642 / 12 = $53.5 per month

Thus we all have to buy a TTC pass even those of us who don't use the service. For $53 per month you can actually travel to work and back for 12 days.

Its like buying a half pass regardless of if you use the service.

The TTC pays to much for each and everyone of its services. It employees far more people than it has to, it utterly waists its advertising potential on sugar deals. I think its time to bankrupt the service and start over without the plum union contracts.

The TTC labour unions are corrupt and top heavy, do away with them and you have all the money you need to run the service.

I want to see a pie graph on where my 2.25 is actual;ly spent. I wonder how much of it is contract greace!!!!
 

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by exheres

Finally, more TTC utilization and less traffic means lower fuel consumption and less wear and tear on infrastructure, which means a cleaner, greener city. Who can argue with any of that?

Anyone who takes the subway during rush hour!!!


See during rush hour its at full capacity and in many areas its already unable to handel it. Bllor statiuon simply can't handel more passangers without it becoming a saftey risk. Eglington can't handel any more busses during rush hour.

Many people who envision increasing ridership forget that everyone travels at the same times for the most part. To make matters worse the only areas that are not overcrowded are the surrounding suburbs well outside of Toronto's property taxes.

You can't double the number of people on the TTC, it simply can't handel the volume, it wasn't designed to. The tracks in the streets are degarded, top speed is almosy unubtainable at this point.

The TTC is forced to service sububanites who don't use it. This is the section that is buring the rest of it. Why not require a minimum density for TTC services.

I have a 1/10 chance of actually getting a seat on any work day. Where do they plan to put more riders???
 
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swilly

TRIBE Member
Re: Re: An interesting solution for TTC funding problem....

Originally posted by Ditto Much
Anyone who takes the subway during rush hour!!!


See during rush hour its at full capacity and in many areas its already unable to handel it. Bllor statiuon simply can't handel more passangers without it becoming a saftey risk. Eglington can't handel any more busses during rush hour.

Many people who envision increasing ridership forget that everyone travels at the same times for the most part. To make matters worse the only areas that are not overcrowded are the surrounding suburbs well outside of Toronto's property taxes.

You can't double the number of people on the TTC, it simply can't handel the volume, it wasn't designed to. The tracks in the streets are degarded, top speed is almosy unubtainable at this point.

The TTC is forced to service sububanites who don't use it. This is the section that is buring the rest of it. Why not require a minimum density for TTC services.

I have a 1/10 chance of actually getting a seat on any work day. Where do they plan to put more riders???

read "Sustainability and the city" by newman and kenworthy. It has several chapters on how one can change some of the minor problems of transit.

Also i think we should reduce alot of the subsidies to road transport. Everyone complains about transit subsidies but when you actually do a full cost accounting of road tranport the subsidies are about 4 times that of public transit on per capita basis

swilly
 

Vote Quimby

TRIBE Member
A big flaw in this proposal is that a large number of people who take the TTC, don't live in Toronto. The residents of Toronto would essentially be subsidising the travel of non residents. Toronto residents shouldn't have to pay for people in Miserysauga or Vaughan to take the TTC.

Also, following Ditto's and the authors example, someone who lives in a 1200 sq ft residence, would be paying $100/ mos to take the TTC, regardless if they take the TTC or not. Which is about the same as a current metropass. And those in bigger places, would be paying more.

Suffice it to say, that a majority of people would not go for for this plan.

It's an interesting plan. I agree that something needs to be done about the TTC funding formula, but not this.

I also think that a reduction in the fare should help attract new ridership, provided the quality of service improves.
 

Deep_Groove

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by exheres
I'd go for it but em....i'm sure Deep Groove wouldn't.

Hee hee...

Sorry to disappoint you, but as it happens, I think public transit is one of the few things government actually does have an obligation to provide.

Here's why:

The invention of the automobile made for a certain kind of structure for cities, namely: massive distance between destinations. This was unavoidable. However, not everyone can afford a car or chooses to use one. And I don't think a geographical fact that these people cannot avoid should be an obstacle to them living their lives comparably to those who do drive. It's about a level playing field.

Conclusion: Yes for public transit.

BUT: No for public transit unions which only increase costs!

And have you guys read what this guy is proposing?

$642 yearly increase in taxes???!!! HOLY MOTHERF#@!

Fuhgeddaboudit!

I think the best solution is for the province to pay most of the bill - because, as you guys have pointed out, just as many suburbanites use the TTC as Torontonians.

- Deep_Groove
 

judge wopner

TRIBE Member
im surprised no one has proposed the brits way:

set up pay zones,

its costs the same if youre going from one stop to 12 stops.
so if youre coming from kipling, you pay big bucks, vs. the inner city folk.
this would have the effect of making the suburban torontonians and 905's paying a bit more appropriately as opposed to just increasing taxes.
 

416

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Deep_Groove

No for public transit unions which only increase costs!


Originally posted by Ditto Much

I think its time to bankrupt the service and start over without the plum union contracts.

The TTC labour unions are corrupt and top heavy, do away with them and you have all the money you need to run the service.

I want to see a pie graph on where my 2.25 is actual;ly spent. I wonder how much of it is contract greace!!!!





Check out these dillznicks going straight for the unions. Shut the fuck up you silly bitches. If you're not happy with your situation in life, then go change it. Quit being such a cunt about anyone who makes a living wage and mind your own business instead of slandering people you know nothing about.

Not another word. No. Shush.

Why don't you bitch about nurses and firefighters? They're in unions, aren't they? Maybe they're resonsible for our high land and income taxes? Do you know how much a firefighter makes? Ditto Much, would you like to see a pie chart expressing their wage in relation to the size of your tiny prick?
 
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exheres

TRIBE Member
Now ya'll went and did it.

I was just looking for some feed back. :D

How did this got all the way to dick sizes I don't know.

Honestly though, i think if we all sat down and went about the business of finding a solution to our transit woes, we could do it.

Then again, maybe not. Somehow I think these problems are simply manifestations of the conflict between what each of us holds to be true.

No universal truths, no concrete solutions. It's sad though.
 

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by 416
Check out these dillznicks going straight for the unions. Shut the fuck up you silly bitches. If you're not happy with your situation in life, then go change it. Quit being such a cunt about anyone who makes a living wage and mind your own business instead of slandering people you know nothing about.

Not another word. No. Shush.

Why don't you bitch about nurses and firefighters? They're in unions, aren't they? Maybe they're resonsible for our high land and income taxes? Do you know how much a firefighter makes? Ditto Much, would you like to see a pie chart expressing their wage in relation to the size of your tiny prick?


sorry I simply will not srop to this level of discussion. I wouldn't when Boss Hogg sis it, and I won't for you.

Talk to me like a human being and we can have a discussion. Take this approach and I simply disregard you.
 

416

TRIBE Member
Oh shut the fuck up you silly twat. Nobody is interested in your bitching and crying.

ps. cut me some slack, I quit smoking 3 weeks ago and have since turned into a rageaholic.
 

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by exheres
Now ya'll went and did it.

I was just looking for some feed back. :D

How did this got all the way to dick sizes I don't know.

Honestly though, i think if we all sat down and went about the business of finding a solution to our transit woes, we could do it.

Then again, maybe not. Somehow I think these problems are simply manifestations of the conflict between what each of us holds to be true.

No universal truths, no concrete solutions. It's sad though.

Ridership has been declining as arera of service has been increasing. Number of routes serviced and frequency of service has increrased while ridership is showing a lowering trend. Population has increased yet ridership has decreased.

The sollution is not more riders. reality is that with car leases as cheap as they are people will buy cars to avoid having to deal with the public on public transit.

Thuis you now have to look at how to make the TTC sustainable. New York City got rid of the ticket collectors, they realized that people can buy tokens and cards from a machine directly. Innovations like this are no longer possible because you can't shrink the labour pool.

We can't reduce the number of busses, we can't reduce the number of busses or the frequency or the service areas. With union wages only able to move up and the number of workers never decreasing reality is that eventually they will make more than they are worth.

Unlike an auto factory which bankrupts and levaes the country when this happened, the TTC is stuck where it is. Time to get the corruption and sugar plum deals out of government contracts. the 70's are over and its time we finally admit it.
 
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OTIS

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Ditto Much
Ridership has been declining as arera of service has been increasing. Number of routes serviced and frequency of service has increrased while ridership is showing a lowering trend. Population has increased yet ridership has decreased.

Really? I read the complete opposite that over the last 10 years service has been cut by 50%.

You got a source?
 

OTIS

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Ditto Much
why should I just call you ignorant and tell you to do the research like your such a fan of doing with me mandate boy

Fine, pull a suck attack. I'm finding multiple sources on google that say service since 1990 has been cut. Just wondering waht your source is so I can compare.
 
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janiecakes

TRIBE Member
Ditto, I'd be interested in seeing those sources too, cause I've heard the opposite as well.

(and I don't tell you to go do your own research so pony up!)
 

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by OTIS
Fine, pull a suck attack. I'm finding multiple sources on google that say service since 1990 has been cut. Just wondering waht your source is so I can compare.


Nope, not worth my time to convice or have discussion with somebody who has a closed mind and is unwilling to revisit his opinions or revise his views.

It provides as little entertainment or intelectual gain as arguing with a brick wall. I know your views and I know how little fact it takes to make them in certain cases and how many obvious facts your willing to ignore.
 

OTIS

TRIBE Member
P.S. Typing "CBC MANDATE" into a search engine is not considered research in my mind. I only told you to go read it because I had to point out repeatedly that your interpretation of the CBC's role is wrong, and you weren't accepting me telling you what it actually was.
 

OTIS

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Ditto Much
Nope, not worth my time to convice or have discussion with somebody who has a closed mind and is unwilling to revisit his opinions or revise his views.
Fine. I call bullshit then, and claim that you make shit up.

*wipes hands* Good, that's settled then.
 
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