Big fare hikes and service cuts are coming in 2017, unless we take action. The TTC is facing a budget crisis that’s larger than what we’ve seen in years.
The TTC needs $178 million more government funding than it has this year just to maintain current service. But instead of increasing support, John Tory and the City Executive just voted to have the TTC cut its budget even more, by 2.6%.
City Hall will vote on the budget for 2017 on Tuesday, July 11. This is the first step in the long budget setting process so expect to hear about this again.
This cut is super bad for riders because it will kick start a race to the bottom. When you cut service, ridership drops, and then fare revenue drops, and then service is cut. It’s a vicious spiral.
What’s scary also is the TTC just announced that ridership is dropping, reversing years of record ridership growth. When you make the TTC uncomfortable, unreliable, and unaffordable riders are going to leave. There are, in fact, many things that affect ridership, including employment levels, but relentless fare hikes and unreliable service quality have a huge impact and they are factors the TTC and our elected officials can control.
What we are calling for is a race to the top, to an affordable world class public transit system. To get there we need fair government funding from City Hall and the Provincial Government so we can increase service, introduce two hour fare transfers and provide lower fares for all, especially for those in need.
We are calling for about $2.60 in government funding per ride, which is in line with the North American average. Right now, the TTC gets the least amount of government funding per ride of all major transit systems in North America, getting just 89 cents a ride, almost all of which comes from the city. The TTC received about 93 cents a ride in 2010.
What are we going to do about it?
We’re deputing at City Hall on Monday July 11 to criticize the TTC’s planned cut to service improvements in response to dropping ridership. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to depute.
We’re going to the Commitment to Community’s press conference on Monday July 11 at 11.00am at City Hall 100 Queen Street West. Join us.
We’ve set up a budget committee that’s got a great plan to make this a huge issue. Want to join us? Contact email@example.com or come to our next meeting on July 21, Thursday, 6pm – 8pm, 720 Bathurst.
Check out this neat infographic from our friends at Social Planning Toronto and C2C.
Stay tuned for more updates.