The problem: A staggering 65 per cent of Toronto's streetcar tracks are in fair to poor condition and require more than $300 million in repairs.
What it means: Slower service, since streetcars have to slow to 10 kilometres an hour to navigate problem routes.
Hidden consequences: Plans for repairs must coincide with city road work, so it looks like the vaunted rapid transit expansion, including the line along St. Clair West to Jane, will have to be deferred indefinitely.
What the TTC is doing: Spending $23 million this year and $33 million next year to replace worn out track on Bathurst, Queen West, Dundas East and other lines, after spending millions on signal system to speed up transit traffic.
The problem: Buses in the TTC fleet are on average 14 years old, six years older than those used in other Ontario transit systems and twice as old as transit buses operating in the U.S.
What it means: Buses have to be continuously repaired and overhauled to stay in service.
Hidden consequences: Severe structural damage on 79 Flyer 40-foot buses and 18 Ikarus 60-foot articulated buses, among others. Another 125 compressed-natural-gas buses purchased in 1991 and 96 are proving particularly problematic; savings of fuel and lower emissions are overshadowed by high maintenance costs.
What the TTC is doing: Requesting $136 million to buy 250 clean diesel buses after deferring the purchase of replacement buses for two years running.
The problem: Maintenance has been deferred so often that major structural rehab of tunnels, bridges, rails and various electro-magnetic systems is now needed.
What it means: The TTC hasn't learned its lesson. The 1995 Russell Hill subway accident in which three people were killed and others seriously injured was attributed to faulty equipment.
Hidden consequences: Potentially frightening. The TTC is currently spending millions to plug water leaks in tunnels throughout the system, including the emergency repair of damaged roof beams at Rosedale station that just happened to be spotted by city works crews during a bridge inspection.
What the TTC is doing: Major overhauls of Union and Wilson stations, subway cars, tracks, platforms at Davisville and Dundas West and on the Scarborough LRT line.
The problem: Like buses, they're aging and need replacing: 292 of the 600 subway cars in the system are reaching their 30-year life expectancy.
What it means: A crisis in the making for the TTC given current budget constraints and the $2 million cost of each subway car.
Hidden consequences: No much-needed expansion of the system - including linking the Sheppard line to Scarborough Centre, and Downsview to Steeles - for an even longer time to come.
What the TTC is doing: Praying for the Tories to be ousted and the province to get back into funding capital programs.
The problem: There aren't enough of them - only 248 out of a total fleet of 2,436 TTC vehicles.
What it means: The most attractive mode of public transit is also the least available.
Hidden consequences: Turning more people off the TTC.
What the TTC is doing: Not much, it seems. Not a dime of the $3.8 billion in TTC capital expenditures budgeted for the next 10 years is going toward expanding the streetcar rail system.
The problem: You name it. Even the new escalators installed in stations along the Sheppard line are breaking down.
What it means: More inconvenience for already stressed transit riders.
Hidden consequences: With ridership already dwindling, it's a nuisance we don't need, especially for seniors, the disabled and moms with kids.
What the TTC is doing: An overhaul program was initiated in 97 to replace escalators that had reached their 25-year life expectancy, but each overhaul takes 18 weeks, and only 64 of the 276 in the system have been completed so far.