LTC asks city hall for extra $1.3 million

The London TransitCommission needs another$1.3 million from city hall to make next year’s budget work, two thirds of which will go to expanding bus service in the city.

The ask, for a total of $32.8 million, is a 4.3 per cent hike over last year’s city hall investment, and represents about 40 per cent of the total $84 million budget for the London’s transit agency in 2019.

“If you want to make improvements such as frequent service to industrial areas, service into subdivisions where you’re not getting significant amounts of ridership, then the city has to pay more,” said LTC general manager Kelly Paleczny.

“If you’ve got a municipality that wants to increase . . . the social aspect of the transit service, that means they have to invest at a higher level.”

The rest of the operating budget is funded by operating revenue, such as fares, and provincial gas tax.

The London Transit Commission (LTC), which will table its 2019 operating budget at a meeting this week, is part way through a five-year plan to expand bus service in London. Next week, 24,000 more hours of bus service will be added to the schedule, including shifting start times on a dozen routes to 7 a.m. from 9 a.m. on Sundays.

“That’s something customers have been asking for, for a long time,” Paleczny said.

A similar expansion – 17,700 more hours – is planned for next fall, which falls under the 2019 budget. That will include transition of the remaining Sunday routes to a 7 a.m. start time.

Close to two-thirds of the requested increase in city hall contribution – for conventional and paratransit services in 2019 – would go toward increasing service.

City hall traditionally funds that kind of expansion using assessment growth revenue, Paleczny said.

But Coun. Phil Squire, also a transit commissioner, isn’t convinced the investment is paying off. He wants to see those dollars get more Londoners on the bus. Ridership increases are projected at 1.5 per cent in 2019.

“To provide more service, they’re asking for more money,” he said. “I’m concerned as we move forward that we’re not going to get the revenue numbers we’re going for.”

A higher base budget for LTC – approved by council in the 2016-2019 multi-year budget – was a good move, Squire said, adding “there’s no question we were underfunding” transit.

But he’s concerned that investment, as well as the cash council is forking over for subsidized monthly passes and the proposed bus rapid transit (BRT) network, won’t drive up ridership as expected.

“I’m not convinced that any of them are going to increase ridership, and if they don’t, we’re going to have ever-increasing contributions by the city to transit,” he said.

Squire has advocated for a discounted transit pass for teens, which is starting as a pilot project this fall. Riders between 13 and 17 years old will be able to buy a monthly pass for $52, the same as the discounted rate for low-income adults.

It has to start as a pilot project, he said, to analyze the impact on riders.

Paleczny argued city hall contributions to transit are still among the lowest in Ontario. The city’s share is less than 40 per cent in the 2019 transit budget.

“(That’s) significantly lower than the averages across the province, which are up to high 40, 50 per cent,” she said.
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
3 views in june
I recommend
No recommendations yet


Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

An EE customer has said she was stalked by an ex-partner who worked at the firm, after he accessed her personal data without permission. Francesca Bonafede's number was switched to a new handset and her address and bank details were accessed. She said the company failed to take the data breach seriously and she had to involve police. EE "sincerely apologised" to Ms Bonafede, and said the employee no longer worked for the company. 'They didn't seem concerne...
West Ham say they have handed over all of their evidence to the police after completing a "thorough and immediate" investigation into racist abuse shouted at Liverpool's Mohamed Salah. The incident happened during Monday's 1-1 draw at London Stadium. Egypt striker Salah, 26, was filmed on a mobile phone from a section of home supporters as he was taking a corner. "The club is unequivocal in its stance - such abuse will not be tolerated," West Ham said in a...
A body seen in the wreckage of the plane carrying Cardiff City footballer Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson has been recovered, investigators said. Remotely operated Vehicles (ROVs) were used in ‘challenging conditions’ to pull the body out of the water ‘in as dignified a way as possible’ the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said on Wednesday night. The body is being taken to Portland to be passed over to the Dorset coroner for examination, t...
The US president, who has repeatedly criticised the military alliance, would meet with heads of state in London, Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg announced on Wednesday. It would be Mr Trump's second visit to Britain since his election, having jetted in amid swathes of protest last July. I am pleased to announce that allies have agreed that the next meeting of Nato heads of state and government will take place in London in December 2019. The meeting...
Rolf Harris was jailed for five years and nine months in 2014 but released on licence in May 2017 Credit: PA Officials are investigating a report that disgraced entertainer Rolf Harris walked onto the grounds of a primary school and waved at pupils. The convicted sex offender went onto the premises of Oldfield Primary School near his home in Bray, Maidenhead, to talk to a sculptor working in the grounds, the Daily Mirror reported. Harris, who was jailed fo...
Two men have been arrested on suspicion of murder after a teenager was stabbed to death. Police and London Ambulance Service were called to Wolsey Court, off Westbridge Road in Battersea, at 7.52pm on Tuesday following reports of a stabbing. A 19-year-old man was found with stab injuries and died at the scene at 8.36pm despite paramedics battling to save his life. The stabbing took place less than half a mile from Prince George's primary school, Thomas's B...
The girl, who has been named Roman by nurses, was found at around 10pm on Thursday in the park in Roman Road in East Ham.  Police said Roman was wrapped in a white towel and placed in the shopping bag on the ground next to a bench in the small children's play park.  The baby was rushed to hospital where she was in a stable condition on Friday morning, the Metropolitan Police said.  Roman was discovered by grandmother-of-one Rima Zvaliauskiene, 50, just 100...
The operation to recover the doomed plane carrying Emiliano Sala off Guernsey could be hampered by days of poor weather as the man brought in by the footballer's family to find him said he could be in the wreckage. The English Channel is being battered by torrential ran, 40mph winds and 10ft waves with the poor conditions set to continue - and worsen - until the end of the week, MailOnline can reveal today. The families of the £15million striker and his pi...
Train passengers are being warned of major disruption after overhead electric wires were damaged near one of London’s busiest stations. Network Rail said services travelling to and from Liverpool Street could be cancelled or revised until 8am on Thursday. Wires between Liverpool Street and Bethnal Green, east London, were damaged, with the outage impacting Greater Anglia, London Overground, Stansted Express and Transport for London Rail services. Passenger...