Officials deny plans to unload TTC on province
Officials were quick to throw water on suggestions that the city was considering unloading ownership of Toronto's transit system to the province on Tuesday, saying that a plan to build subways was their primary concern.
Karen Stintz, the chair of the Toronto Transit Commission, said she was not aware of any conversations between the mayor's office and the province about changing the TTC's ownership structure.
"The mayor ran on a pledge to build subways and the current transit plan includes light rail," Stintz told CP24. "All of the discussions that have been taking place, as I understand, have been ‘how can subways be constructed in light of the current plan that has been approved?'"
Rumours emerged on Tuesday that the city was discussing transferring either the subway lines or entire transit system into the hands of Metrolinx, the province's transit agency.
The move would make it easier for Queen's Park to fund the extensions to existing lines that Ford is proposing replace planned expansions to the city's light rail system.
At the same time it would clear a financial headache, and political hot potato, from the plate of city politicians. It would also put an end to the system's reliance on municipal property taxes for funding, a rarity in large cities.
Stintz said that it does make sense to have a regional transportation system, and makes sense that the province would be involved in that.
"Whether the solution is uploading the whole system or just figuring out a better relationship with the province, I couldn't say at this point."
Stintz said uploading an entire transit system to another level of government is a very complicated process. She said it is unlikely that would happen in the short term.
"Who is to say what is going to happen in the longer term," she said.
A spokesperson for the province said the plan is not even being considered.