Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Fact #10: The $250M road repair backlog that Rob Ford promised to erase is now up to $342M


It's true. Rob Ford's 2010 Transit Plan promised to tackle the backlog of road work facing the city:
We will clear up the $250 million backlog in road repairs. We will returnToronto’s roads to a state of good repair that can be maintained by normalannual operations. Cost: $250 million. (2010 Transit Plan p.4)
However, Rob's administration has failed to put a dent in the backlog. In the three years that he has been mayor it has actually grown by almost $100M to $342M.

Why should I care?

There is a whole pile of wrong in Rob's road repair campaign promise, including:
  1. The backlog is way more than $250M - that's just for major and local roads. Add in the Gardiner, expressways, bridges and sidewalks and the total jumps to $981M (in 2014)
  2. We're still underspending. The backlog grows by about $200k per day. Even if Ford were able to catch us up via a one-time spending spree we'd be back to a $250M backlog in less than four years
  3. You can't just spend $250M on top of your existing budget overnight. That would more than double the annual capital spend on state of good repair work for all transportation infrastructure
  4. If he'd left the vehicle registration tax in place we'd at least be close to breaking even
It's a good thing that Rob learned all of those valuable lessons about financing and operations when he was CFO at his family business.

And drivers, every time your steering column gets jammed into your sternum by an errant pothole, take comfort that it's just Rob's way of reminding you how he single-handedly ended the war on the car.

How do I know you aren't lying?


  1. Sadly, facts get trumped by emotions and unconscious psychological processes. Hence: http://globalnews.ca/news/1257254/why-your-selfies-with-rob-ford-are-encouraging-him/

  2. His commandeering crews to fix potholes and sidewalks as requested by callers doesn't help either. If customer service excellence is a priority and bureaucracy is a problem, as chief magistrate shouldn't he be fixing the system so everyone can benefit instead of pretending doing it all personally (i.e. campaigning).