In seven days the provincial government will release the 2017 budget. This is the Premier’s opportunity to take bold action to improve public transit for Toronto’s 1.8 million riders immediately.
Earlier this year, Premier Wynne listened to our call for a fair deal. The liberal government promised to increase the gas tax and give Toronto up to $170 million a year for public transit, up from $92 million a year.
This is a step in the right direction but we need our elected officials to do more. Here’s what they need to do.
TAKE ACTION: Send a message to Premier Wynne, Mayor Tory, and Finance Minister Sousa calling for the gas tax money to go to the TTC immediately. Please personalize your message. This is super important.
First, riders can’t afford to wait until 2021 for this gas tax money to improve our commutes. We need the government to increase funding to the TTC now, not in four years.
Second, $173 million a year is not enough money. We need $660 million a year, not $170 million. A $660 million a year investment is only fair because it would simply bring Toronto up to the average amount of government support per ride (about $2.60) transit systems across Canada and North America receive.
Three, Premier Wynne needs to require Toronto use the gas tax money for immediate service improvements to the TTC and fare relief. We do not want this money frittered away on expensive transit expansion projects that might be in operation in a decade, at best.
Public transit service in Toronto is not improving. Fares are skyrocketing. Metropass users are paying $300 a year more than they did in 2010. Uncomfortable sardine overcrowding is a major problem, with a quarter of all TTC routes regularly violating crowding standards. Commute times are growing longer, and they are exacerbated by the chronic delays and breakdowns. The TTC is losing riders every month.
It doesn’t have to be this way. If all levels of government fairly funded the TTC at $2.60 a ride we’d be able to make all the following major improvements.
– Increase service on all TTC routes by 10%.
– Guarantee 10 minutes or better service on all key routes.
– Guarantee service will run at a minimum of every 20 minutes on all routes all day from 6am until 1am.
– More express bus service on busy routes.
– More 24/7 service on more routes.
– Two hour fare transfers.
– A low income pass for people on social assistance and those of us earning less than $23,000 a year.
We’re sick of waiting.
Send a personal message Premier Wynne, Finance Minister Charles Sousa and Mayor Tory to give more gas tax money to public transit now. please alter the sample text to make it personal.