We had a campaign victory last night. City Council responded to our campaign and approved a discount pass for low income riders.
Thank you to all of you that worked so hard for this important step forward, including all members of the Fair Fare Coalition, the Toronto Chinese Seniors Association, CARP-TO, the Bob Rumball Centre, TDIN, Commitment 2 Community, Toronto Workers Airport Council, Access Alliance and many many more. Thank you also to the staff at the City of Toronto who worked on the report, including Ricardo Tranjan and Denise Andrea Campbell, and councillors Joe Mihevc and Pam McConnell for championing fair equity at City Council. It wouldn’t have happened without all of our hard work.
What did we get?
The new $50M fair pass program will give riders on social assistance and riders earning less than $22,000 a year (and you can earn more if you have dependents) will receive a fare discount of 33% on cash fares, and a 20% discount on the monthly metropass. At 2017 fare prices, eligible riders would pay $2.10 a ride, down from $3.25, and $117 a month, instead of $146.50.
The program will be rolled out over five years with riders on social assistance getting the discount in 2018, and low income riders getting the discount in stages in 2019 and 2020. Up to 200,000 riders are expected to use the program. Joe Mihevc’s motion was also approved to ask Metrolinx to speed up its work to make Presto accessible for the low income pass program so it could be rolled out more quickly.
Is it enough?
No. These discounts do not do enough to allow everyone to truly afford to travel around the city and fully lead their lives? The discounts will mean many Torontonians will still be forced to make the tough choice of buying food for dinner or buying a token. And no one should be waiting up to five years to get transit relief.
But despite its shortcomings we support this fair pass because:
- This vote will mean up to 200,000 low income riders will have more money in their pockets and will be more able to travel on the TTC.
- This vote means that we have opened a door into a new political reality where the low-income pass is no longer an abstract concept but a practical policy that we can build upon and fight to improve. It’s become real.
- This vote also tell us that our coalition building, grassroots organizing, presentations, conversations and media work is working. It’s important we celebrate our victories. It doesn’t stop us from advocating for better.
If you also believe we need deeper discounts and a quicker rollout then we encourage you to join us at our next meeting where we will celebrate, debrief our work so far, and begin to plan our next steps for a truly affordable fair pass. Wed. Jan. 18, 4.30pm – 6pm, 720 Bathurst St.
Post your personal thoughts on our facebook page.
Send a personal thank you to your councillor for voting for the fair fare pass (provided they did) and starting the long path towards an affordable TTC. It’s the first step, not the last one. Your councillors’ contact details are below. Extra thanks goes to Joe Mihevc and Pam McConnell for their hard work passing the pass.
Daniella, Jess, Karin, Susan, Merrill, Margot, Herman, Cindy, Joel, Tina, and many, many more.
YOUR COUNCILLOR’S CONTACTS
|York South-Weston||Councillor||Frank||Di Giorgioemail@example.com||416-392-1675|
|Don Valley West||Councillor||Jaye||Robinsonfirstname.lastname@example.org||416-395-6439|
|Don Valley West||Councillor||Jon||Burnside||Councillor_Burnside@toronto.ca||416-392-7427|
|Don Valley East||Councillor||Shelley||Carrollemail@example.com||416-392-4101|
|Don Valley East||Councillor||Denzil||Minnan-Wongfirstname.lastname@example.org||416-397-4100|
|Scarborough Centre||Councillor||Glenn||De Baeremaekeremail@example.com||416-392-7428|