Chow's extended bus service plan could require "significant investment"

The TTC says keeping buses in service that are set for retirement would be a major expense

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.

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  1. Dean posted on 03/25/2014 05:53 PM
    All of Chow's plans rely on the NDP's favourite magical, bottomless source of funding: Other People's Money.

    Toronto literally cannot afford Mayor Chow. That makes the election as simple as ABC: Anyone But Chow!
    1. matt posted on 03/25/2014 06:29 PM
      @Dean Unlike the other parties who pay for things with... Their own money?
    2. Dean posted on 03/26/2014 01:08 AM
      @matt Come off it. Get your head out of your bum Matt.
    3. Karl Burgin posted on 03/26/2014 12:33 PM
      @Dean Chow needs a couple of sessions playing SimCity.
      Populate your city so that you have snarling traffic everywhere. Then just keep adding additional buses to see if that would ease the gridlock.

      If she manages to pass the game with flying colours- then she can come back and talk.
  2. Dawn posted on 03/25/2014 07:04 PM
    The Ford/Stintz approach was to reduce routes while raising fares 3 times!
    $15 million will go to aleviate crowding by having more bus drivers operate the maintained buses...
    1. Jim posted on 03/26/2014 07:45 AM
      @Dawn Putting more big vehicles on the road at rush hour? Just bloody brilliant. This will slow down traffic even more than it is now. Here's the big problem, transit users want more service but don't feel that they should bare the burden of paying for it. Why should someone who has never used transit be forced to pay for a service that others use on his dime?
    2. Mark7 posted on 03/26/2014 07:56 AM
      @Jim Good point Jim. Why do homeowners without kids pay school taxes, healthy people for hospitals, people who don't fly for airports, and people who don't drive for roads?

      It's another NDP conspiracy to suck money out of hard working peoples' wallets. I agree with you, users should pay for city services, if you're illiterate, why pay for libraries, if you don't vote, don't pay for politicians.

      Makes sense to those of us that hate everything about our crummy city.
    3. Karl Burgin posted on 03/26/2014 12:31 PM
      @Jim CHow doesn't know how traffic works in Toronto.
    4. Parry.Lost posted on 03/27/2014 12:24 PM
      @Jim It is very unlikely that a 10% increase in the number of buses in the city will significantly slow traffic down. On the other hand, if it makes a few people who are on the fence between taking the TTC or using a car switch to transit, by promising them slightly better service, it may help matters. A person in a car takes up an awful lot more space on the road than the same person on a well-used bus.

      Everyone should help pay for transit because it benefits the entire city. If the cost of taking the TTC soared, and a huge number of lower-income people who rely on it suddenly had trouble getting to and from their jobs, how would the city's economy fare? That would probably be a problem that would affect everyone, including those fortunate enough to "never use transit." And what about slightly better-off people who have the option of taking a car, but use the TTC to get around downtown and out of convenience? Make it more expensive, and they may start using cars -- and *then* you'll see "slowed down traffic."

      There's a lot of appeal to saying "hey, I don't use it, why should I pay for it?" but economists have understood for literally hundreds of years that there are some goods that benefit everyone in society, and that everyone should chip in to pay for. Including Adam Smith, who was the first to write down the principles of modern capitalism as we know them.
  3. Frankie posted on 03/26/2014 05:32 AM
    Chow was the NDP transportation critic and she seems completely clueless dealing with Toronto transit issues. What the hell was she doing in Ottawa all this time, collecting $ 1 Million with Layton?

    If she gets in she's said she'd cancel Scarborough subway BUT keep the tax increase for other projects. Tax and spend wastefully, here we go.

    The more she speaks the more she comes off as the idiot many people claim she is.
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