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TTC slashes capital budget

After more than two years of mostly good news, TTC officials announcedyesterday that they are deferring 42 capital projects worth $538million over the next 10 years.

After more than two years of mostly good news, TTC officials announced yesterday that they are deferring 42 capital projects worth $538 million over the next 10 years.

The projects, ranging from bathroom and parking lot renovations to transit signal priority systems at intersections, won’t affect service in the next two years and won’t stop the construction of Transit City streetcar lines or the Spadina subway expansion.

“We’ve got this dichotomy here,” said TTC chair Adam Giambrone. “You’ve got some very (big) projects that are funded and going forward and yet you have some really big challenges on the horizon.”

Like the city, the TTC has two budgets. The capital budget, about $1 billion in 2010, covers the vehicles, the tracks and the buildings. The operating budget, which the TTC will begin discussing next week, covers staffing and other costs of doing business.

The TTC had no sooner approved its 10-year capital plan last month when the city asked transit officials to chop $848 million from their $1.3 billion projected capital shortfall.

That’s necessary for the city to stay within its debt guidelines, said city manager Joe Pennachetti. Those guidelines help Toronto maintain its exemplary credit rating.

The city has agreed to leave the remaining $300 million for the time being.

 
 
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