Staff Report #4 Re: 2020 – 2029 Capital Budget Program

Staff Report #4

August 28, 2019

To All Commissioners

Re: 2020 – 2029 Capital Budget Program


The Commission:

  1. APPROVE the 2020 capital budget program of $16,360,300 comprised of the following programs:
Program Units Amount
Bus replacement 16  $ 9,488,000
Bus expansion 4 3,251,600
Facility upgrades 500,000
Information system software and hardware 200,000
Shop and garage equipment 200,000
Service fleet replacement 130,000
Stop upgrades 440,700
Bus stop amenities 550,000
Operator barriers 1,100,000
Fare processing equipment 500,000
Total 20  $16,360,300
Funding  Amount
Province of Ontario (Provincial gas tax)  $ 3,120,300
LTC capital program reserve fund 970,700
Development charges – City of London 411,000
City of London 6,471,600
Federal gas tax program – C/L 1,500,000
Provincial – ICIP Project Funding 1,266,100
Federal ICIP Project Funding 1,520,600
Unfunded 1,100,000
Total  $16,360,300

noting identified funding from the City of London of $6,471,600 and Federal Gas Tax program of $1,500,000 is subject to the approval of Municipal Council as part of the City of London’s 2020 budget approval process;

2. DIRECT the administration submit the recommended 2020 capital budget program, and provisional estimates for 2021 to 2029 to civic administration consistent with the City of London’s reporting format.


The recommended 2020-2029 capital budget program as summarized in Enclosure I is predicated on a strategy that focuses investment on maintaining infrastructure in a state of good repair and providing growth capital investment necessary to support the provisional operating estimates for 2020-2023 as set out in Staff Report #3, dated August 28, 2019, and are in keeping with the Commission’s Asset Management Plan.

The following sets out discussion specific to each of the more significant areas of the capital budget program.

New Bus Program

The capital budget for the ten year period of 2020-2029 calls for the purchase of a total of 203 new replacement and expansion buses at an estimated cost (based upon 2019 dollars) of approximately $132.9 million. As noted in the following table, replacement buses account for 169 of the total 203 buses to be acquired.


2020-2029 New Bus Purchases

Description Total Units Amount
Bus Replacement 169  $ 105,279,600
Bus Expansion 34 27,638,600
Total 203  $ 132,918,200

Bus Replacement Program

A key component of the fleet management strategy was the establishment of a progressive fleet replacement program targeted to reach and maintain an average fleet age of six years.

Based on this strategy, over the period of 2020-2029, a total of 169 replacement buses are to be purchased requiring a total investment of approximately $105.3 million. The program funding is allocated between the City of London (57%), federal gas tax program (14%), and provincial gas tax program (29%), the details of which are set out in the table below.

Summary 2019-2028 Bus Replacement Program

2020 2021-2029 Total
Description Units Amount Units Amount Units Amount
Bus Replacement 16  $ 9,488,000 153  $ 95,791,600 169  $ 105,279,600
Funding % Amount % Amount % Amount
Province of Ontario (PGT) 28%  $ 2,620,300 29%  $ 28,098,800 29%  $ 30,719,100
City of London 57% 5,367,700 57% 54,192,800 57% 59,560,500
Federal Gas Tax – C/L 16% 1,500,000 14% 13,500,000 14% 15,000,000
Total  $ 9,488,000  $ 95,791,600  $ 105,279,600

By the end of 2029, the fleet will have an average age of 6.0 years.

Bus Expansion (Existing and New Growth Areas)

The 2020-2029 capital budgets for bus expansion support the direction of the Five Year Service Plan Framework as approved by the Commission at its February 27, 2019 meeting. The bus expansion program requires the addition of 34 buses bringing the total fleet to 252 buses by December 2029. The details with respect to the expansion bus program including related funding is set out in the following table.

Summary 2019-2028 Bus Expansion Program

2020 2021-2029 Total
Description Units Amount Units Amount Units Amount
Bus Expansion 4  $ 3,251,600 30  $ 24,387,000 34  $ 27,638,600
Funding % Amount % Amount % Amount
Province of Ontario (ICIP) 33%  $ 1,082,800 33%  $ 8,121,000 33%  $ 9,203,800
City of London 16% 520,300 16% 3,902,000 16% 4,422,300
City of London DC’s 11% 347,900 11% 2,609,200 11% 2,957,100
Government of Canada (ICIP) 40% 1,300,600 40% 9,754,800 40%  $ 11,055,400
Total  $ 3,251,600  $ 24,387,000  $ 27,638,600

Of note, the Expansion Bus Program was approved for funding through the Federal/Provincial Investing in Canada Program (ICIP), with both levels of government approving their share of the funding for the program. The ICIP program covers the period from date of approval by both senior levels of government to March 31, 2028, and as such, the expansion buses included in the capital budget for 2029 are not subject to this funding.

The expansion bus program does not include the additional bus requirements related to the implementation of bus rapid transit.

Facility Upgrades

In February 2019, the Commission approved in principle, the Strategic Assessment of LTC Facility Needs and Path Forward, which ultimately called for the phased replacement of the Highbury Avenue facility. A number of key findings included in the assessment with respect to the Highbury facility are set out below.

  • the main building is now 70 years of age and well past its economic and design life
  • the building materials and, particularly, the concrete floors in the maintenance and storage areas, are in poor condition and deteriorating
  • the workplace areas and environment are sub-standard to current, modern facilities
  • the existing buildings are energy inefficient and the interior layout, particularly in the maintenance and storage areas, presents on-going operational challenges

As indicated earlier, given the significant incremental costs associated with moving the facility, a detailed assessment of the feasibility of constructing a new facility at the existing Highbury location was undertaken. The complicating factor with respect to this option is the need to continue to be able to service and maintain a significant portion of the fleet while construction is ongoing. A number of options were considered during this assessment phase, with the final recommended strategy being to rebuild on the Highbury site in a phased manner, providing the ability to continue to service and maintain buses while construction is ongoing. While this path forward is extended and more complicated as compared to a new build, it is the most cost effective when considering the all in costs associated with both the build and the annual ongoing operating costs.

The estimated operating and capital costs associated with the recommended path forward are $6 million and $167 million respectively. The previously approved Capital Budget included a placeholder amount of $45.6 million related to facility replacement. This amount has not been amended in the 2020-2029 Capital Budget based on the assumption that the work would take place subsequent to 2029 unless a source of funding is identified that could move the project up.

In addition to the costs associated with the replacement of the Highbury facility, this program budget includes annual allocations for the ongoing maintenance of both the Highbury and Wonderland facilities which covers building structure, building systems (heat, light, water, air, etc.) as well as grounds and has a budget of $500,000 in 2020.

Summary particulars for the 2020-2029 facility upgrade program is set out below.

Summary 2020-2029 Facility Upgrade Program

Description 2020 2021-2029 Total
Annual Facility Upgrades  $ 500,000  $ 4,500,000  $ 5,000,000
Demolish/Rebuild Highbury Facility 45,600,000 45,600,000
 $ 500,000  $ 50,100,000  $ 50,600,000
City of London  $ 500,000  $ 50,100,000  $ 50,600,000

Information System Software and Hardware

For 2020-2029, $2.7 million has been identified for both new and upgraded system software as well as for new and replacement network/server/workstation infrastructure requirements. All program initiatives are prioritized.

For 2020, $200,000 has been allocated to the program which is supported by the capital program reserve fund. The moneys have been provisionally allocated for:

  • $120,000 for the ongoing replacement/upgrading of system hardware infrastructure i.e. work stations, servers, etc.
  • $80,000 for program updating of various management information data base system upgrades

The recommended capital budget includes a placeholder amount of $200,000 per year for each year thereafter (2021-2029 inclusive). Also included is $350,000 each for the replacement of the Finance and Human Resources systems (in 2021 and 2023 respectively) that are both beyond their expected useful lives. $2.5 million over the period is funded from the capital program reserve fund. The Information System software and hardware program is directly linked to London Transit’s Technology Plan.

Shop and Garage Equipment

Total investment in shop and garage equipment over the 10 year period of 2020-2029 is set at $2 million. The budget provides for the purchase of new and/or replacement shop and garage equipment. Shop and garage equipment includes such items as steam cleaners, skid steer, forklift, pallet trucks, lifting equipment/systems, floor sweeper/scrubber as well as bus maintenance and servicing tools. The items purchased are based upon need (for new equipment) and useful life assessment when dealing with equipment replacement. The expenditure covers shop and equipment needs at both the 450 Highbury Ave N. facility as well as the 3508 Wonderland Rd facility. The program expenditures are fully funded from the capital program reserve fund.

Service Fleet Replacement

The LTC maintains a service fleet of ten vehicles. The vehicles are used by Operations staff (Inspectors), Planning staff and Maintenance staff e.g. mobile mechanic. The replacement of the vehicles is generally based upon a five to 10 year lifespan dependant upon the nature and use of the vehicle. The vehicles to be replaced are subject to mechanical and structural assessment. For the purpose of the 2020-2029 budget, one vehicle per year is scheduled to be replaced for a total investment over the period of $610,000, with the exception of 2020, when two replacements are planned to be replaced given their current state of repair. The investment is fully funded from the capital program reserve fund.

Stop Upgrades

The 2020-2029 capital budget program calls for $1.259 million investment in stop upgrades. Over the period 2020-2023, the annual budgets associated with this program are significantly higher than the remaining years. This is due to the assessment of the changes that will be associated with the next 5 year service plan, and the number of stops that will be impacted. Subsequent to 2023, it is anticipated that the majority of re-routing with the current system will be complete and annual service plans will be dealing only with new stop locations for new services. The stop upgrades program deals with the ongoing annual expansion of the passenger shelter program and installation of cement pads. The installation of passenger shelters is undertaken on a priority basis with selection being based upon a warrant system that considers boardings, service frequency and site conditions, etc.

Bus Stop Amenities

The Bus Stop Amenities program is new to the Capital Budget, as it was a project put forward for funding consideration under the Investing in Canada Program (ICIP). The program calls for the addition of 60 shelters which will include solar lighting and benches and 150 solar lit bus stops throughout the system. This program has been approved for funding by both senior levels of government. It should be noted that the current shelter contract that is in place will not cover the annual maintenance and repair of the 60 new shelters, and as such, there will be an incremental operating cost which has been included in the 2020-2023 Operating Budget projections.

Operator Barriers

The assessment of Operator Barriers has been ongoing as part of the annual Joint Health and Safety Work Plan. In July 2018, three LTC buses were retrofitted with barriers which have been in service for approximately one year, allowing all Operators the opportunity to drive a bus equipped with a barrier. During this time, employees have been encouraged to complete a survey to provide their feedback with respect to the barrier. The Operator Safety Barrier Working Group has collected the surveys and is now working on a report which may include the recommendation to proceed with equipping the entire fleet with barriers. The estimated cost of the barrier is $5,000 per bus, for a total of $1.1 million. This program has been included on the capital budget in 2020 as a placeholder in the event the recommendation is to proceed, noting there is no source of funding identified for the program.

Fare Processing Equipment

The smart card system launched in 2016 introduced OBV’s (on-board validators) and other communications equipment onto the buses as well as POS (point of sale terminals) that have been used in sales locations to revalue smart cards. Scheidt and Bachmann have introduced new technologies that can improve the revaluing process as well as phasing out older equipment identified as end of life. Additional capital of $500,000 in each of 2020 and 2021 for the addition of AVM’s (add value machines), hand-held fare collection and POS units is included in the program budget. AVM’s are units that can be strategically placed around the city that will enable riders to use credit/debit cards to add product to their cards or even just make inquiries relating to the status of their card avoiding the need to physically visit an LTC or a third party location. Handheld fare collection units can be used both in the specialized service setting as well as portable POS units for retail settings.


I – Summary 2020-2029 Capital Budget Program

Recommended by:

Mike Gregor, Director of Finance

Shawn Wilson, Director of Operations

Joanne Galloway, Director of Human Resources

Craig Morneau, Director of Fleet & Facilities

Katie Burns, Director of Planning

Concurred in by:

Kelly S. Paleczny, General Manager