Tag Archives: cuts

City to decide what services to deliver

Memo for city manager refers to core service review
Some city services could be discontinued altogether
Kris Scheuer

City Manager Joseph Pennachetti.

The city is reviewing all city services with an eye on determining what are core services. what is mandated and what is discretionary, according to an internal memo obtained by 680 news.
Toronto’s city manager Joe Pennachetti’s March 21 memo to city staff outlines how the three-part service review will work and why it is needed.
“In the longer term, we have an operating funding shortfall, with the 2012 beginning operating pressure estimated at $784 million,” states his memo.
“Starting in April, we will conduct a three-part service review program to prepare for the 2012 budget process. The three parts will include: a core service review, service efficiency studies and a user fee review. The Core Service Review will study whatservices the city should be delivering and the Service Efficiency Studies will examine how city services are delivered,” the memo continues.
“These reviews are expected to generate significant efficiencies and cost savings,” states this memo.
These are just excerpts of the 3-page memo, which can be read entirely here.
This review goes beyond just looking at what services  the city currently delivers. It will be looking at what services could be cut or possibly discontinued in terms of the city delivering them. Staff will report back in September with recommendations.
The March 21 memo outlines the goals of the review.
“Core Service Review. This element of the service review program will develop an inventory of all services, service levels and service standards. The review will:
• define which services are legislated, core and discretionary
• benchmark services and service levels against those in other jurisdictions
rank services for potential reductions and discontinuation and identify the service, policy, human resource and financial impacts of recommended service changes.”
Pennachetti continues to write, “While the funding gap in the 2012 operating budget is significant, the goal of the Core Service Review is beyond cutting costs – it is to confirm the services and functions that are core to what the city does and to innovate in other areas. The outcomes will provide solid reasons for continued service delivery in core areas and for making any necessary changes in other areas.”
There will be much more to report on this when we see those reviews and what the recommendations are and whether it includes job cuts, service reductions and possible elimination of services delivered by the city/public sector.

Toronto city services

Here what your taxes pay for in Toronto
Kris Scheuer

What city services are most vital to you? Image courtesy of City of Toronto.

The city passed its 2011 operating and capital billion totaling $13.326 billion.
What is Toronto getting for this money? Well click here for some insight into all the services the city provides for your tax dollars everything from public health, snow removal, parks and roads to police, social housing, libraries, fire services and clean water.
Next year, the city faces a $774 million shortfall that has to be made up by cutting services and raising TTC fares, property taxes and user fees just to balance the 2012 budget. So what services are most crucial to you and what can we cut and do without?

TTC’s bad sell on bus reductions

Commission approves reducing hours on Toronto buses
Also plans to improve service on crowded routes
But TTC failed to communicate good news in detail
Kris Scheuer
(Opinion column written for Town Crier Feb 4.)

The TTC is off track, as only the bad news is catching our attention while the good news goes unnoticed.
First the bad news.
The TTC’s gotten negative press recently because pedestrians have died in accidents involving TTC vehicles, drivers have been caught texting behind the wheel, a fare increase was announced then cancelled, and then came the decision to reduce service on dozens of bus routes.
Let’s rewind here.
On Jan. 1, Mayor Rob Ford fulfilled a key election promise to cancel the hugely unpopular car tax, which added $64 million to the city’s budget woes but placed $60 annually back in drivers’ pockets. Then on Jan. 10, Ford announced a 10-cent TTC fare hike to raise $24 million to balance the commission’s budget. When you did the math, it turned out that Metropass holders, like me, would pay exactly $60 more a year while drivers would pay $60 less.
Not good optics, right?
So a day later, TTC chair Karen Stintz announced the fare hike was nixed, as the city would chip in $16 million more for the budget and $8 million can be cut throughout the year.
Good news, right?
But there’s a separate plan to reduce hours on 48 bus routes during slow ridership times. Continue reading

Bus route cuts finalized

TTC votes on revised plan to reduce service
Hours reduced on 41 routes
$4 mil to be reallocated to increase buses elsewhere
Kris Scheuer
(Written Feb. 3 for Town Crier.)

Christine Miller's commute is getting more difficult as two of her bus routes are among service reductions. Photo by Francis Crescia/Town Crier.

The TTC voted late last night to cut off-peak service on 41 bus routes despite pleas from residents.
In January the commission proposed reducing service on 48 routes, but delayed a vote in order to get feedback from riders. The revised proposal, approved on Feb. 2, includes maintaining current service on seven routes and various reductions to 41 routes.
These routes were chosen as they fell below the TTC’s minimum ridership threshold of 15 riders per hour.
However, some disputed the commission’s numbers on specific routes.
Councillor Josh Matlow told the commission that he counted 95 people riding the 74 Mt. Pleasant bus between 7-9:30 p.m. one evening, 52 more than official TTC numbers indicate for that route at that time.

Councillor Josh Matlow (right) talks with a bus driver on 74 Mt. Pleasant bus about service reductions. Photo by Karolyn Coorsh/Town Crier.

Mitch Stampler, TTC service planning manager, explained the commission employs 28 full time employees to do accurate ridership counts on all routes.
“It’s true there are some variations in ridership from day to day,” Stampler told the commission.
In the end service was cut on the 74 Mt. Pleasant bus after 7 p.m. seven days a week as recommended.
Continue reading

Some TTC bus routes saved

Commission to keep status quo on seven routes
But TTC will proceed with bus service cuts on 41 routes
Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier Feb 1)

Seven buses have now been removed from TTC's service cut list. Town Crier file photo.

After hearing from the public and crunching the numbers the TTC has decided to change its recommendation regarding service cuts to 48 bus routes.
Under the new proposal seven of the 48 routes will be unaltered, while it still plans to proceed with reduced hours on 41 bus routes.
The proposal will go to the TTC for a vote tomorrow. Continue reading

TTC bus routes saved for now

Commission delays vote on bus service reductions
Cuts would impact 1.2 mil transit rides a year
Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier Jan. 12. Feb 1 UPDATE.)

Councillor Josh Matlow updates his website with a list of the 48 bus routes where service could be reduced. Photo by Kris Scheuer/Town Crier.

Yesterday it was fare increases that were cancelled, today the TTC voted to put on hold a decision to cut service on 48 bus routes.
The plan was to shorten hours on nearly 50 underused routes starting March 27 and reallocate money to improve service on busy, but unnamed routes this fall.
Residents, transit advocates and councillors made deputations pleading for the commission to reconsider.
“This isn’t the kind of efficiency people are looking for,” said ex-Ward 17 councillor candidate Jonah Schein, who uses the Davenport bus.
Resident Walied Khogali said he found out yesterday his daily Wellesley 94 route was on the list for reductions.
“I talked to people (on the bus) coming to and from work and they had no clue about the service cuts,” he told the commission. “Ride the buses and find out how people will be affected.”
In the end, TTC commissioner and councillor Cesar Palacio moved the motion that deferred a decision on the reduced bus hours until the Feb. 2 commission meeting. Continue reading