Join the fight to protect Toronto’s public transit system.

Doug Ford is steamrolling ahead with his plans to break up and sell off the TTC, starting with Toronto’s subway.

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READ: President Carlos Santos Publishes Op-Ed in the Toronto Sun

Today in the Toronto Sun, ATU Local 113 President Carlos Santos outlines empty transit promises made by Premier Doug Ford, which has already set the City of Toronto back. Read to get his latest thoughts on the province’s TTC Subway takeover.

SANTOS: Ford’s subway takeover leaves riders and workers at the curb


Never missing an opportunity, Premier Doug Ford loves to remind us his government is “for the people.”

But as the City of Toronto begins consulting the public on the province’s takeover of TTC subways and the complete redrawing of Toronto’s public transit map, we are left to wonder which people is Doug Ford actually for?

The premier is certainly not for the people who have the most at stake: The nearly 2 million daily TTC riders and the nearly 12,000 workers who operate and maintain Toronto’s buses, Wheel-Trans vehicles, streetcars and subways.

Yet, Ford is asking TTC riders and workers to trust him when he says his government knows best and will deliver “subways, subways, subways” faster, cheaper and better.

Sounds good, but when you look behind the slogans, there is nothing but empty promises that will set transit back years — hurting riders, workers and all of Toronto.

The Ford government claims the province can build new subway lines faster. However, when Ford made his surprise announcement in April of a $28.5-billion transit expansion, he blew up existing plans.

His go-it-alone approach brought an abrupt halt to existing planning for the Relief Line, causing further delays with diverting traffic from the overcrowded Line 1.

His transit plan also leaves in doubt the proposed Eglinton East LRT that would serve tens of thousands of riders in Scarborough and the Waterfront LRT in the booming, transit-starved downtown area.

If more transit delays sound familiar, it is because we have all seen this bad movie before.

The last time a Ford administration (with late mayor Rob Ford in charge) steamrolled into transit planning nearly a decade ago, we saw the fully-funded Transit City expansion plan cancelled in favour of building new subways.

We all know how that movie ended: Promises made, promises broken. Fast forward to 2019 and Torontonians are still paying the price with none of those promised subways.

The Doug Ford government claims the province can deliver expanded transit cheaper and on budget, largely through private-public-partnerships. A recent Ontario auditor general’s report raises serious questions about the true cost of alternative financing and procurement (AFP), a form of P3.

Metrolinx, a provincial agency, contracted out the building of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT to a consortium of private corporations.

In her report released in December 2018, Ontario Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk criticized Metrolinx for not transferring project risks to the private consortium in a proper way, costing taxpayers an additional $237 million to keep the transit project on track when construction began to fall behind schedule.

Ford promises to build his Ontario Line using unspecified “alternative delivery methods,” whatever that means. One thing is for sure: if the Ford government contracts out the building and maintenance of new lines to private corporations, taxpayers can expect to pay more.

The third sales pitch we hear from the Ford government is that the province can create a better transit experience.

This is hard to believe when the provincial takeover of TTC subways will break apart our integrated system. The concern is Doug Ford could handover Toronto’s subway system to his developer friends, setting the stage for privatization and increases to subway fares, separate from TTC buses and streetcars.

With the federal government rejecting Ontario’s funding demands because of the significant lack of details about Ford’s half-baked transit proposals, there is still time to stop the madness.

The city must withhold funding until the province is willing to work with all partners to build transit that works for the people who matter most: Riders and workers.

ATU Local 113 Calls on Toronto to Fight Back Against Premier Doug Ford’s Backroom Transit Scheme

Premier Ford’s Real Agenda is to Seize Full Control of Toronto Transit

Toronto’s public transit union, ATU Local 113, is calling on all Torontonians to fight back against Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s backroom scheme to break apart the TTC through his so-called subway upload legislation.

Torontonians still have time to tell Premier Doug Ford and his fellow Toronto Progressive Conservative MPPs that we will not stand by while the province halts the City of Toronto’s transit expansion plans and threatens to steal our city’s subway assets without compensation or consent.

The provincial government’s legislation undermines ongoing talks between the City of Toronto and the province on the subway upload, a scheme more focused on consolidating power in the Premier’s Office than providing relief for riders.

“The province’s TTC Subway upload legislation is all about ensuring that Doug Ford gets to control transit growth and planning in Toronto,” said Carlos Santos, ATU Local 113 President. “Doug Ford wants to stop the City of Toronto from expanding transit in any way we want to. These are the actions of a control freak – not a Premier working with Toronto and the people who live and work here.”

This new legislation comes as critics question how Premier Ford plans to maintain his proposed transit expansion while existing lines are in dire need of repair.

“Doug Ford promised the City of Toronto more money from the gas tax – and then poof, 1.1 billion dollars of money is gone when he cancelled the scheduled increase,” said Carlos Santos. “That’s money Mayor John Tory already allocated to the State of Good Repair of the system. Premier Ford is kicking us when we are down. We need stable funding now – not more provincial meddling that will set transit back years.”

Fighting for Toronto’s Public Transit System

A powerful coalition of transit advocates have formed to stop Premier Doug Ford’s subway upload scheme, including riders, politicians, civic and environmental groups.

ATU Local 113 encourages all Torontonians who want to protect our public transit system to join the fight to stop the subway upload and keep transit public.

Join Transit Town Hall: Stop TTC Delays

Premier Ford is set to delay badly needed public transit infrastructure, that’s why Torontonians are urged to join the Transit Town Hall, tomorrow, May 1, to stop TTC delays.

It’s more important than ever before that public transit workers and riders oppose Ford’s disastrous subway upload scheme, and to press the PC government for more information on their newly proposed transit plans. Toronto is ready to build, and with new direction from Queen’s Park, and less funding through the cancellation of the gas tax increase, the TTC needs our support.

When: Wednesday, May 1 at 6 PM

Where: Metro Hall, Rotunda (Main Floor Library)

55 John Street

Toronto, Ontario

Details: Councillors Joe Cressy, Kristyn Wong-Tam and Mike Layton will lead the discussion. RSVP on Facebook.

Concerned Torontonians are encouraged to join the fight to stop the upload and protect our public transit system – before it’s too late.

ATU Local 113 Statement on Ontario Government Transit Expansion Projects

A message from President Carlos Santos on the Ontario Government’s transit expansion projects:

Toronto and our region are in desperate need of more public transit, and while ATU Local 113 has long argued for greater provincial investment in transit, today’s announcement leaves the city with more questions than answers. Toronto has seen the consequences of the Conservative legacy of transit chaos: changing course mid-way just to bring us back to square one.

Transit workers also remain concerned about Premier Doug Ford’s plan to introduce legislation this spring to begin his so-called TTC Subway upload, starting with all new subway infrastructure. And with Premier Ford signaling his intentions to take over the rest of the TTC Subway system sometime in 2020, important questions remain unanswered about how this scheme will affect Toronto riders and TTC workers.

As we see it now, the TTC Subway upload will break apart our integrated subway system and pave the way towards more privatization, leading to higher fares and reduced service. We call on the provincial government to confirm that TTC workers will continue to both operate – and maintain – Toronto’s subway system.

Toronto’s public transit workers will continue to seek clarity from the provincial government while making the case that we must say no to privatization and keep transit publicly owned and accountable to the City of Toronto.

International Women’s Day Toronto: Rally and March

On Saturday, March 9th, members of ATU Local 113 took part in the
International Women’s Day Toronto Rally and March.

Thousands of women and allies marched from the University of Toronto to Ryerson University for the annual event.

On behalf of our Women’s Committee, Sister Tracey Brown shared the message below:

“I would like to acknowledge and thank all of the Sisters and Brothers who took time over the weekend to come out and support the event. Having both current and retired members (John Brown and Eleanor McKnight) coming together with other unions to march in union solidarity was wonderful to see. A special thanks to Vice President Rick Fox, Assistant Business Agent Frank Malta, Executive Board Members Marvin Alfred, Claudio Cappadocia, Aleem Tharani, Pino D’Armiento, Jason DaSilva, and Tony Meglio for getting involved!

Pictured together during the March are Mike D’Agostino, Angela Olmstead, and Tracey Brown

I would also like to thank Shop Steward Rico Signore, my fellow By-Law Committee Member Mike D’Agostino, Health and Safety Liaison Andrew Falotico and ATU Canada President John DiNino. Your support does not go unnoticed.

ATU Local 113 Sisters and allies pictured together in front of Ryerson University

The turnout grows every year and I’m hoping that next year’s IWD event will have an even greater attendance and impact.

In Solidarity,

Tracey Brown, Women’s Committee”

ATU Local 113 Encourages the Public to Join the Fight and Tell Doug Ford that it’s #OURSubway

We made history on Day of Action (February 22, 2019) with our decision to stand united by wearing our “Don’t Steal Our Subway!” t-shirts while on the job.

As the people who have owned, maintained and operated the TTC for over 100 years, we believe that Toronto riders deserve a public transit system that is safe, efficient and reliable.

With this in mind, we must ensure every Torontonian knows about the Ford government’s plan to steal our subway will reduce service within a broken system while the province sets the stage for privatization, much like we have seen with Metrolinx’s GO transit system and the Eglinton Crosstown.

Watch, share and comment on the video launched today that shows what we accomplished together on Day of Action. Then, if you have not already, sign the pledge yourself and urge those around you to do the same.

Day of Action 2019

We made history on Day of Action (February 22, 2019) with our decision to stand united by wearing our “Don’t Steal Our Subway!” t-shirts while on the job.As the people who have owned, maintained and operated the TTC for over 100 years, we believe that Toronto riders deserve a public transit system that is safe, efficient and reliable. With this in mind, we must ensure every Torontonian knows about the Ford government’s plan to steal our subway will reduce service within a broken system while the province sets the stage for privatization.

Posted by ATU Local 113 on Thursday, March 7, 2019

Together, we must slam the brakes on Ford’s disastrous scheme to steal our subway. 

Fare evasion: we can no longer afford to starve our public transit system of cash

Sisters and Brothers,

When NEWSTALK 1010 approached me to participate on its Toronto Talks Transit program, I decided to join the panel because I knew it was important for our members to have a voice at the table.

For far too long, our members have been blamed for the TTC’s problems, when in reality these growing issues are a result of underfunding, overcrowding and bad management policies.

On the NEWSTALK 1010 program, I was happy to raise the point that TTC workers should be responsible for fixing broken Presto machines – not Metrolinx’s contract workers. Even Deputy Mayor Denzil Minnan-Wong said the TTC Board should look into this. I was also happy to defend our membership against the TTC’s discriminatory random drug and alcohol testing, which fails to protect the public and does not actually indicate impairment on the job.

What I was unhappy about were questions that seemed to blame our members, including fare collectors, for the TTC’s major fare evasion problem. The truth is I have not received any complaints about our members being responsible, as I stated on the program. That is because our members are not responsible – TTC policy states that fare collectors are to report, not enforce fares.

Our members are also not responsible for the growing problems that lead to fare evasion:

  • Malfunctioning Presto machines
  • Misuse of children’s Presto cards
  • Not having enough frontline workers at stations
  • Overcrowding that makes it easier to evade fares

My views on fare evasion are clear. Here is my deputation to the TTC Board on February 27, 2019. Watch it here:

Deputation to the TTC Board on February 27, 2019

President Carlos Santos delivers a deputation to the TTC Board on February 27, 2019.

Posted by ATU Local 113 on Wednesday, March 6, 2019

As I have said before – and I’ll say again: The TTC needs to act now to fix fare evasion. We can no longer afford to starve our public transit system of much-needed cash.

In solidarity,

Carlos Santos

President, ATU Local 113

CUPE Local 416 Sings: “It isn’t Us!”

The practical impacts of privatization may not always be obvious.

After Toronto started contracting out snow removal and salting services to private companies in the late 1990s, snow clearing contracts with the City of Toronto were taken away from members of CUPE Local 416. As complaints from citizens about snow removal top new highs, CUPE Local 416 makes it clear through a parody of Shaggy’s “It Wasn’t Me” that clearing snow is a private matter.  

This demonstrates how privatization is bad for Torontonians and why we must Keep Transit Public!

Education through Celebration: ATU Local 113 Celebrates Black History Month

The beat of the African drums and smell of traditional Afro cuisine at Mount Dennis brought together ATU Local 113 members and management on February 26, for the first of two ATU Local 113 celebrations to mark Black History Month in February.

ATU Local 113 members enjoy African cuisine—rice, jerk chicken, curry chicken and fresh greens.
The main entertainment included traditional African drumming, vocal and dance.

In celebration of Black History Month, ATU Local 113 invited everyone at the division to join in on music, dance and food that recognizes and celebrates Black history—breaking down walls between cultures and ethnic backgrounds by making it clear that the invitation was open to all.

“I’ve never seen so many people engaged here at the division,” said David Spence, bus operator and owner of Fly Crown Official, an exclusive clothing line that had a pop-up shop at the celebration. “There’s typically negative chatter about what we go through day-to-day on the job, but today it’s all about positivity… it feels like home.”

The Mount Dennis Division is where the first Black History Month celebration started a year ago with a single individual: Brother Paul Wong.

Since high school, Wong’s deep interest in the history of Black people and their fight for rights and freedom became close to his heart.

Leading the celebration for yet another year, Paul shared that with growing diversity in the workplace, Black history is an integral part of Canada that everyone should celebrate. “Growing up, I did not see many black drivers,” said Paul. “But now, things have changed. There is more diversity, and we should be recognizing and celebrate it.”

The growing diversity also extends to riders. “Celebrating Black History Month is also a recognition of the people and the city we work with and provide our service to,” said Marvin Alfred, Executive Board Member of Transportation. “I’m proud of all members who move Toronto, and our small celebration here is a showcase of our collective achievements.”

Pictured is Carlos Santos, President; Paul Wong, Bus Operator and Event Organizer; Steve Hajoglou, Shop Steward; Marvin Alfred, Executive Board Member – Transportation; Anthony Wallace, Board Member At Large – Transportation; Frank Malta, Assistant Business Agent – Transportation.

Another key element of the event was all about educating participants. After all, Black History Month began as a way for remembering and learning about people and events in the history of the African Diaspora.

Part of the celebrations included a display of important Black figures, and a layout of books all about Black history.

A spread of books written by African-American or African-Canadian authors or about key figures who identify as Black.

Next year in February, make sure to look out for Black History Month events at your division!

In an Unprecedented Show of Solidarity, Transit Advocates Unite with Riders Against Ford: “Don’t Steal #OURSubway!”

Transit advocates united on Friday, February 22 with riders in an unprecedented show of solidarity against Doug Ford and his subway upload scheme, canvassing over 35 TTC subway stations during rush hour in the largest Day of Action to date. This came as ATU Local 113 Sisters and Brothers wore “Don’t Steal Our Subway” and “Keep Transit Public” t-shirts on the job, alerting riders of the threat to Toronto’s public transit system.

“We’re taking action in solidarity with the citizens of Toronto,” said ATU Local 113 President Carlos Santos on CP24 early this morning. “Ripping the TTC Subway from the rest of our public transit system will create havoc for riders, adding unnecessary bureaucracy to our system and take local control away from city transit planning,” he added in an interview with

ATU Local 113 President Carlos Santos explaining the risks for Toronto’s public transit system beside Jessica Bell, MPP for University – Rosedale and NDP Transit Critic.

ATU Local 113 Sisters and Brother wearing “Don’t Steal Our Subway” and “Keep Transit Public” t-shirts on the job at Eglinton Station in an unprecedented show of solidarity.

President Carlos Santos’ bold t-shirt initiative comes as Toronto City Hall and the Government of Ontario announced the terms of references for negotiations for the so-called subway upload – a deal inked in backroom secrecy. “We need to act before it’s too late,” he shared with riders at Queen’s Park station. “Torontonians have owned, operated and maintained the TTC for over 100 years – and on my watch, it’ll be another century. We paid for it!”

ATU Canada President John Di Nino, Toronto City Councillors Gord Perks and Joe Cressy, and NDP MPP Jessica Bell joined the Transit Day of Action alongside hundreds from community groups, unions and local and provincial governments.

Torontonians concerned about their public transit system are urged to join the fight and tell Doug Ford “Don’t steal #OURsubway!”