Over 100 transit riders attended the TTC Board meeting at City Hall on Monday, November 21st to speak against the fare hikes and service cuts in the controversial 2017 TTC Operating Budget. Thank you all so much for taking the time out of your busy lives to join us as we fight for our vision of a better more affordable transit system.
The deputants who spoke at the commission meeting demanded the councillors and citizen commissioners stop the fare hikes and the service cuts.
Butterfly Goapal talked about how the fare increase, combined with any cuts in service, would affect the working poor in marginalized communities, including her own in the Jane-Finch area.
Senior, Patricia Read, explained she “walked here from Queen and Lansdowne because I didn’t have the tickets,” she said. “I’m thinking actually if you raise the fares, I’ll probably have to hitchhike ’cause I can’t do anything more.”
When we cut the TTC’s budget the people who have to pay more and spend more time travelling are poorer people, women, people of colour; the people who govern our TTC are overwhelmingly car drivers, white, and male. By cutting the TTC’s budget we are making the race divide, the wealth divide, the gender divide in our city worse.
Despite not one deputant speaking in favour of the service cuts and fare hikes, the TTC board did exactly that.
The TTC commission approved:
- A minimum 10-cent-a-ride fare hike on all fares, except cash fares
- A minimum $60 a year increase to the monthly metropass program
- Cuts to bus maintenance
- A decline in service quality on 58+ routes. At least 15 of these routes had service cuts, and 43 of these routes are overcrowded and are in violation of overcrowding standards. The TTC is supposed to increase service on overcrowded routes. Instead the TTC hid that information from the public, and is not increasing service on any of these routes. Did your route get cut? Find out.
In addition, the TTC is still needs to find another $61M to $90M if it wants to not cut service or hike fares even further. The TTC Commission voted to send this unbalanced budget to City Council with a request the City fund the rest from general revenue. If City Council does not do that then the TTC is facing even uglier cuts including:
- Possibly up to a 50-cent-a-ride fare hike, the elimination of some fare discounts for seniors and students, and the elimination of free TTC for kids under 12.
- Reductions to peak and off-peak service, and an end to the 10-minutes or better service on certain bus routes.
Read the very drastic options the TTC might have to choose between to meet the $61M shortfall.
Where do we go from here?
It’s in times of difficulty that we most need to rise the challenge, and the challenge is upon us. We beat back the Rob Ford cuts, we can beat back these.
Send a message to our councillor calling for more funding the TTC. You can also find out who voted to cut the TTC’s budget in July.
Get ready to depute on the TTC budget when it reaches the Budget Committee on January 5, 9 and 10. You can register to depute here.