As a way of wishing you a Happy New Year and a prosperous 2014, the TTC Commission (and City Council, by default) is increasing the cost of TTC fares – yet again!

On January 1, 2014, transit riders on the TTC can expect to pay $5 more per month for their Metropass and $0.05 more per ticket on bulk token purchases.  What a wonderful way to wish you Happy 2014, don’t you think?  So wonderful you might just want to call up your City Councillor to thank them.

But really, how has it come to be that year after year TTC fares are increased while service frequency and quality are on the chopping block?  This question can only be answered by investigating City Council’s voting record on transit funding.  This post will take you through some key transit votes at City Hall over the last few years – votes that resulted in fare increases, service cuts to your routes, and longer wait times.
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In January 2011, 48 bus routes were deemed “underperforming” and were proposed for service cuts.  Due to large public outcry, 7 routes out of the 48 were saved.  In a late February 2011 meeting on the City Budget, Councillor Gord Perks made a motion to put $2.6 million into the TTC to save the remaining 41 routes.  This motion was lost with 28 councillors who voted against restoring your bus route service.

Vote: To put $2.1 million into TTC to save remaining 41 bus routes Feb-24-2011 4:47 PM
Result: Lost Majority Required – EX3.4 – Perks – Motion 4, lead in phrase only
Yes: 17 Maria Augimeri, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Janet Davis, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Mike Layton, Josh Matlow, Pam McConnell, Joe Mihevc, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, Adam Vaughan, Kristyn Wong-Tam
No: 28 Paul Ainslie, Ana Bailão, Michelle Berardinetti, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Vincent Crisanti, Mike Del Grande, Frank Di Giorgio, Doug Ford, Rob Ford, Mark Grimes, Doug Holyday, Norman Kelly, Chin Lee, Gloria Lindsay Luby, Giorgio Mammoliti, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Peter Milczyn, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Ron Moeser, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, John Parker, James Pasternak, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner, Karen Stintz, Michael Thompson
Absent: 0

How has your route been impacted?  To see a full list of TTC bus service cuts that was implemented on May 8, 2011 (and continues to the present), please click here.
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Jumping to the 2012 operating budget, Councillor Josh Colle made a motion to include $5 million for the TTC to restore service.  This vote narrowly passed 23-21.

Did your Councillor support the motion that “…The TTC budget be increased by $5 million to prevent service reductions”?

Vote: $5 million to TTC to restore previous year’s service cuts Jan-17-2012 7:04 PM
Result: Carried Majority Required – EX14.1 – Colle – motion 1
Yes: 23 Maria Augimeri, Ana Bailão, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Josh Colle, Janet Davis, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Mike Layton, Chin Lee, Gloria Lindsay Luby, Josh Matlow, Pam McConnell, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Joe Mihevc, James Pasternak, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, Adam Vaughan, Kristyn Wong-Tam
No: 21 Paul Ainslie, Michelle Berardinetti, Gary Crawford, Vincent Crisanti, Mike Del Grande, Frank Di Giorgio, Doug Ford, Rob Ford, Mark Grimes, Doug Holyday, Norman Kelly, Giorgio Mammoliti, Peter Milczyn, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, John Parker, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner, Karen Stintz, Michael Thompson
Absent: 1 Ron Moeser

Although the funds were intended to stop proposed cuts to TTC routes, TTC Chair Karen Stintz put the $5 million towards Wheel-Trans for dialysis patients, effectively pitting one group of riders against another.

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More recently in January 2013, there was a motion to invest $5 million from the TTC operating surplus back into the TTC.  The TTC had generated a $22 million surplus from over-crowding and service cuts in the previous year, yet City Council voted NO (14-31) to invest this surplus back into the TTC and instead funnelled this money back into City coffers.

This money could have instead been used for a fare freeze, improve frequency of service, or alleviate over-crowding.  Instead, 31 City Councillors voted to reduce the TTC budget, resulting in longer wait times for you, more over-crowding and a fare increase for 2014.

Vote: Invest $5 million from TTC surplus back to TTC Jan-16-2013 11:22 AM
Result: Lost Majority Required – EX27.1 – Perks – motion 15
Yes: 14 Maria Augimeri, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Janet Davis, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Sarah Doucette, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Mike Layton, Pam McConnell, Joe Mihevc, Gord Perks, Adam Vaughan, Kristyn Wong-Tam
No: 31 Paul Ainslie, Ana Bailão, Michelle Berardinetti, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Vincent Crisanti, Mike Del Grande, Frank Di Giorgio, John Filion, Doug Ford, Rob Ford, Mark Grimes, Doug Holyday, Norman Kelly, Chin Lee, Gloria Lindsay Luby, Giorgio Mammoliti, Josh Matlow, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Peter Milczyn, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Ron Moeser, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, John Parker, James Pasternak, Anthony Perruzza, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner, Karen Stintz, Michael Thompson
Absent: 0

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Next time your Councillor says s/he cares about your transit experience, don’t be fooled by the sincerity of their tone or words.

Many Councillors might ‘talk the talk,’ but don’t ‘walk the walk.’  When it comes to their voting record, many Councillors continuously underfund the TTC so that fare hikes, service cuts, over-crowding and longer wait times are necessary.  Bookmark this post to check the facts against your councillor.

In the 2014 municipal election, don’t vote for a transit troll.

Quick Legend

Transit Champions – Councillors who voted for public transit every time

Councillors who voted for public transit some of the time.

Transit Trolls – Councillors who voted AGAINST public transit every time

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