Transit Responsibilities Review Between the City & the Province
Toronto is a global city with a transit system that needs to be maintained and expanded to meet our growth. Public transit services in Toronto are integral to the city and region’s vitality.
The Province introduced Bill 107 – Getting Ontario Moving Act, which enables a series of changes to how transit is planned, designed and delivered in Toronto. More changes are expected later this year and in 2020.
The City and Province are currently conducting a joint review of transit responsibilities.
The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) is a network of bus, streetcar, wheel-trans and subway. Each is interdependent on the other, with seamless transfers made by passengers from mode to mode on one fare. The Transit Control Centre, safety and security, and specialized trades all work together to deliver transit in Toronto, regardless of mode. It’s this interdependency that makes up a network.
Toronto has the third largest transit system in North America and carries the vast majority of all public transit riders in the GTHA. Public transit services in Toronto are integral to the city and region’s vitality.
The TTC system makes up nearly 85 per cent of all public transit trips in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. It recovers approximately 70 per cent of its operating budget from the fares, making it one of North America’s most efficient transit systems. Toronto’s system is also the least subsidized local transit system in North America.
Investment is needed to maintain and grow Toronto’s transit network.
Maintaining the System
We need to care for our existing assets to maintain service levels while also growing our system to meet projected demands. Over the next 15 years, the TTC requires $33.5 billion to maintain service levels and make capital investments in current fleet, facilities and infrastructure.
These investments to maintain our system are currently funded through property taxes, development charges and the municipal allocation of the provincial and federal gas tax.
For more information, see the TTC’s Capital Investment Plan: Making Headway: Capital Investments to Keep Transit Moving to Keep Transit Moving.
In 2016 City Council approved a transit expansion program that supports future growth, achieves city building objectives and provides rapid transit service to underserved areas of Toronto. Each approved project plays a key role in the envisioned transit network.
Over the last several years, $224 million has been invested to advance City Council’s priority projects.
In April 2019, the City Manager provided an update to City Council on Toronto’s Transit Expansion Program. The City Manager report also identified priority expansion projects for federal infrastructure funding.
Learn more about the plan in the staff report to Council EX4.1 Toronto Transit Expansion Program Report.
Planning for Toronto’s current and future transit needs requires your input and feedback.
Have your say – fill out the survey
In June 2019, the City held public meetings to inform residents about the transit review and engage in discussions about the future of the transit system.
Watch the live-stream of the June 27 public meeting at City Hall.
Read the Consultation Summary.
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The Province has indicated an intent to upload components of Toronto’s transit system and has introduced Bill 107 that enables the Province to take responsibility for expansion projects. The Province has also indicated a longer-term plan to take responsibility for the existing subway network, with a plan to introduce legislation in 2020.
City Council has indicated that the City of Toronto should continue to own, operate and maintain the Toronto transit system.
In February 2019, the City and Province signed a Terms of Reference to review the realignment of transit responsibilities. Discussions are underway.
City Council has taken decisions to engage in this review process. Full decision history and reports available at:
- City Council decision in December 2018 to engage with the Province: Engagement with the Province on Toronto’s Transit System
- First Quarter 2019 status update: Engagement with the Province on Toronto’s Transit System – First Quarter 2019 Status Report
- Council position to maintain ownership of Toronto’s Transit System: Keeping Toronto’s Transit in Toronto’s Hands
- 2019 EX4.1 Toronto’s Transit Expansion Program – Update and Next Steps, City Manager’s Presentation to Executive Committee, April 9, 2019
An expert advisory panel has been established by the City of Toronto and TTC to provide objective input and advice to the City Manager and CEO TTC on the transit responsibilities review. The Institute on Municipal Governance and Finance is coordinating the Expert Advisory Panel on behalf of the City.
The panel’s mandate is to provide its best objective, evidence-based advice to the City based on expertise in various areas relating to governance, funding, planning and operations of public transit systems in a local and regional context.
A summary report on the Expert Panel discussions will be published as part of the public consultation record in Fall 2019.
For more on the panel members, read the panel member biographies.
- Enid Slack (Co-Chair and Panel Facilitator)
- Pedro Barata
- Joe Berridge
- Drew Fagan
- Steven Farber
- Debbie Gillespie
- Shirley Hoy
- Andy Manahan
- Joe Pennachetti
- Bill Robson
- Shoshanna Saxe
- Matti Siemiatycki
- Hana Syed
- Patricia Wood