Thank you all of you who joined us for our Ride for Respect rally from Queen’s Park to City Hall today. We had so much fun!
We are calling for more funding for the TTC from all levels of government so the TTC can provide more service on all routes, two-hour fare transfers, and a truly affordable low-income pass that would let social assistance recipients ride for free, and riders earning less than $23,000 a year pay $50 a month or $1 a ride.
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200 transit riders organized a rally from Queens's Park to City Hall for better service and lower fares.
Approximately 200 of us traveled on the TTC from Queen’s Park to City Hall, where we staged a rally with speeches from riders and community groups at Nathan Phillips Square. Thank you to all of us who joined in including JFAAP, PTP, Ralph Thornton Centre, Toronto Drop In Network, Commitment 2 Community, Toronto Chinese Seniors Association, OPSEU, and more.
Karin Meinzer, co-chair of the Fair Fare Coalition, explains one of the many reasons why we organized today’s rally. “When you are making minimum wage or relying on social assistance, every penny matters, “she said. “Many riders cannot even afford the current fares and struggle to make it to school or training programs, the food bank or health appointments. Our elected officials must make the TTC more affordable for riders who need public transit the most.”
There are three key transit votes coming up this month in October which will shape the state of transit in 2018 and beyond.
The TTC’s capital and operating budgets will be debated at the TTC Commission later this month, and it looks like riders could be in for a rough ride.
City Council voted to freeze the TTC’s operating budget for 2018 at 2017 levels, forcing the TTC into a $126 million shortfall. If more government funding isn’t provided the TTC will almost certainly have to bridge the gap by cutting service or hiking fares.
The TTC’s capital budget, which was released in draft form last week, is also short of funding.. The TTC wants $3.9 billion more over the next 10 years to maintain the aging system, buy replacement streetcars, buses and subway cars, and complete accessibility upgrades.
Also later this month, City Hall will decide whether to allocate $5 million to fund the first stage of the low-income pass, which will provide a 21 to 33% fare discount to people on social assistance. The pass is scheduled to be in use in Spring 2018. The fair pass was approved by City Council in December 2016 but it is not yet funded.
We’ll be sending out information about how to take action with us very soon.
Thank you for a great day.