Olivia Chow's "better bus service plan" could require a "significant investment," according to TTC staff.
The mayoral candidate announced last week that she would want to increase bus capacity during rush hour by 10 per cent by keeping some old buses in service that were to be retired this year.
"These buses have basically reached the end of their lifespan," says TTC spokesman Danny Nicholson.
The buses, 185 of them, are turning 18 years old this year, which is the age the city usually retires them.
"That's well beyond the industry standard, which is basically between 12 to 15 years," he says.
Chow's campaign team points out that Toronto has, in the past, kept buses on the road for over 18 years thanks to its successful rebuild program.
Nicholson confirms that, but he says a "significant investment" would be required to extend the life of the vehicles, especially if the plan is to keep them for daily service.
"It would be a major expense to keep these buses in service. That's why the decision was made by the board that it's best to retire the buses," Nicholson says.
Chow's team, meanwhile, says they have been told by transit experts that about 100 vehicles can continue running without the big cost of being rebuilt.
The team insists the buses can be maintained, and the extra drivers paid for, within the $15-million-a-year that Chow quoted last week. That is a number that does not come from the TTC.