Sunday, Jan 19

Transit Issues

Sunday, Jan 19.

Every day, there are more than a million reasons that Toronto needs the TTC. We can only list some of them here, of course. But we hope you will find some thought-provoking information here about how public transit helps us all, whether you use it or not.

Thursday, Feb 16

Good for the Economy: How Much is Public Transit Worth to Toronto?

Thursday, Feb 16.

Whether it’s helping to reduce gridlock or making Toronto an attractive place for tourists, the TTC plays an important role in Toronto’s economy. Just take a look at some of these facts.

The use of transit increases the efficiency of Toronto’s economy by reducing gridlock, pollution-related illnesses, transportation costs and the mobility of workers and consumers.

A more efficient transportation sector means lower prices for goods because of costs saved in transport.

The average cost of traveling one person-kilometre by car in Canada is 46¢. For public transit, it is 12 cents. According to the Canadian Urban Transit Association, this means an annual savings of $2,495 for every Torontonian who uses transit

 

Thursday, Feb 16

Congestion Hurts: Public Transit is the Best Way to Clear the Air

Thursday, Feb 16.

Congestion in the GTA and Hamilton-Wentworth is estimated to cost the economy $2 billion per year. This is mostly the result of delays in deliveries by truck.

With urban sprawl, travel times for GTA commuters are expected to rise by an average of 12 minutes. Without additional investment in transit, this will mean an extra $28 million lost each day to congestion costs — a whopping $7 billion each year.

Add 1,000 travellers to a congested highway like the 401 and it would create a 6-km line-up. If these same travelers took the TTC and GO, the line-up would only increase by .25 km.

Public transit uses a twentieth of the space taken by the private automobile. Each full TTC bus removes 40 single-occupant cars from the road.

According to the Ontario Medical Association, the cost of air pollution-related health effects is $1 billion annually. That’s counting only hospital admissions, emergency room visits and absenteeism.

Thursday, Feb 16

Transit Means Jobs and Not Only for Transit Workers

Thursday, Feb 16.

The TTC creates jobs in a number of ways, not least by providing salaries to its employees who then spend that money on goods and services in the local economy. The TTC also buys local goods and services – for petroleum products, electricity, rolling stock, spare parts, electrical supplies, computer-related products and financial services.

For every dollar spent on the new Sheppard line – the first new subway line in 20 years – two dollars have been invested by the private sector in related development.

A study by the BC Treasury Board found that transit investment creates three times more jobs than the same expenditure on general automotive expenses.

According to a Quebec study of the economic benefits of transit to Montreal “for every $10 million in expenditures, public transit generates 1.7 times more employment and 2.5 times more added value than private transport by car.”

U.S. study found that every $10 million invested in transit capital created 314 jobs, provided sales gains to businesses of $30 million and a saving to the transportation system of $15 million. The overall benefit-to-cost ratio can be as high as 9-to-1.

Thursday, Feb 16

Transit Means Tourism and Not Just For the Tourists

Thursday, Feb 16.

 Public transit uses a twentieth of the space taken by the private automobile. Each full TTC bus removes 40 single-occupant cars from the road.

 According to the Ontario Medical Association, the cost of air pollution-related health effects is $1 billion annually. That’s counting only hospital admissions, emergency room visits and absenteeism.

 

Thursday, Feb 16

Good for the Environment: Public Transit Can Help Reduce the Environmental Damage in Our City

Thursday, Feb 16.

Kyoto Protocol was established as a first step in trying to reduce the dangerous environmental destruction that could face our planet. In Canada transport is responsible for up to a quarter of all greenhouse gases. If we are going to reverse global warming as well as smog and other pollutants, public transit is a key part of the answer.

  • Passenger transportation makes up 54% of the total greenhouse gas emissions created by all modes of transportation.
  • Public transit is responsible for less than one percent of greenhouse gas emissions. It consumes only a quarter of the energy per person-kilometre that automobiles take in Canada.
  • Transportation is responsible for 59% of nitrogen oxide emissions – the source of smog.
  • The Ontario Medical Association has calculated that 1,900 people die each year in the province because of smog exposure.
  • Each full TTC bus saves 70,000 litres of fuel and effectively removes nine tonnes of pollutants from the air each year.
  • Over the next 25 years, Canada predicts a 40% increase in transport-related fossil fuel consumption. By 2010 alone, these emissions are predicted to increase by 15%.

 

Thursday, Feb 16

Public Transit Fights for Funding: Why Do Senior Governments Sit on Their Hands?

Thursday, Feb 16.

With public transit so important to the health, economy and quality of life in Toronto you would think that it would rank high as a government funding priority. Yet a quick look at the facts shows that the opposite is true. The TTC has been allowed to wither.

- Between 1991 and 2001 the City of Toronto grew by 9% but transit funding was cut by half in the same time period. Funding cuts led the TTC to cut the bus fleet by 22% and to close two operating garages.

- The TTC is more reliant on revenues from fares than any other transit system in the developed world.

- The TTC is the only major transit system in the developed world to fund regular operations entirely from the property tax base and from fares.

- In Toronto, 80% of the TTC’s operating budget is paid by riders. This compares with 58% in Montreal, 46% in Vancouver, 59% in New York and 52% in Chicago. The Canada-wide average is 62%. In the US, the overall average is 41%.

- Fares have more than doubled since 1990 and ridership has fallen by 10%.

- The Province of Ontario used to provide 50% of the operating costs for the TTC but under the Harris Tories, this was eliminated entirely.

- Capital investment per capita in public transit in Canada, at US$60, is less than half the recent level of investment in Seattle, New York, Denver and San Francisco.

- With ridership expected to rise in 2005 to 422 million, the TTC has still not recovered the riders it lost in the early 1990s. Funding has never been restored.

- But even if the TTC doesn’t recover the riders it once had, population growth is expected to fuel an increase in demand of 28%. Yet commitments to capacity increases only amount to 8%.

In the 1970s and 1980s, Toronto ’s population grew by 9%. But ridership on the TTC grew by 70% from 275 million to 465 million.

During this time period, there was continuous investment in expanding TTC service and keeping fares low. The Yonge subway line was extended north, the Spadina subway and Scarborough LRT lines were built and the Bloor-Danforth line was extended in both directions. The bus fleet grew by 70%.

The lesson – when the TTC is funded and expanded to meet the growing needs of Toronto people will switch to public transit in large numbers – creating more jobs, a vibrant downtown core and a healthier environment. A strong TTC means a strong Toronto.