Toronto City Council approves 2023 city budget with C$2.38 billion operating budget and C$1.34 billion capital budget for TTC

Feb. 20, 2023
The budget adds outreach workers, TTC special constables, expands fare discount programs while freezing fares for certain riders.

The Toronto City Council has finalized the 2023 budget for the Ontario municipality, which includes a C$2.38 billion (US$1.76 billion) combined operating budgets for both conventional transit and Wheel-Trans services under the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) – a 9.4 percent increase over 2022. This is the final action required for the 2023 budget, which the TTC Board of Directors approved mid January.

“The 2023 Toronto budget protects frontline services that Toronto residents and businesses rely upon while making investments in housing, transit, parks, emergency services and community safety. Working together with the members of the Budget Committee and Council, we have also found additional savings and adjustments to further invest in community initiatives that were approved today,” said Toronto Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie (Scarborough-Rouge Park).

The projected impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is estimated to be C$366.4 million (US$271.87 million) in 2023, which is a number arrived at through estimated lost passenger revenues of continued decreased ridership, lost ancillary revenues and incremental expense increases. The city of Toronto is requesting the government of Ontario and government of Canada provide relief to offset the financial impacts of COVID-19, which are expected to be felt into 2024 and 2025, and work with the city and TTC to develop a sustainable funding model for public transit.

TTC approved a 10-cent fare increase, effective April 3, on adult and youth single fares, but this increase does not impact seniors, pass users and fair pass riders, who will continue to pay 2020 fare rates. Toronto’s Social Development Finance and Administration Division’s Fair Pass Program, which provides discounted passes to qualified low-income residents, will receive a C$2 million (US$1.48 million) contribution to expand the program to individuals with a family income below 75 percent of the Low Income Measure.

The Fair Pass Program expansion is one program that will benefit from the 2023 budget’s C$7.1 million (US$5.27 million) in new and enhanced service priority actions to advance system safety, cleanliness and accessibility initiatives. The budget will allow for the hiring of 20 additional streets to homes outreach workers to help vulnerable people on the transit system, the hiring of 50 additional TTC Special Constables to increase safety and security and increases in cleaning off TTC streetcars on the busiest routes.

The approved budget also includes C$1.34 billion (US$990 million) for TTC’s 2023 Capital Budget to support the 2023-2037 Capital Investment Plan. This number includes C$180.8 million (US$134.2 million) for health and safety/legislated programs, C$240.5 million (US$178.45 million) for service improvement and growth and C$920.2 million (682.8 million) for State of Good Repair projects.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.