This week, CodeRedTO released Mixed Signals – a report analyzing fares, network design, budgets and governance structures of the Toronto Transit Commission in comparison to other major metropolitan cities across North America. ATU Local 113 agrees with the recommendations of this comprehensive report: the TTC needs new, predictable and sustainable revenue – or it will lag and continue to leave riders waiting on the curb.
The report details the TTC’s heavy reliance on fare revenue as it receives a government subsidy of only $0.90 per transit rider, compared to $4.12 in Los Angeles and $2.37 in Boston. CodeRedTO executive director Cameron MacLeod explains the implications of government underfunding, “Fewer riders on a route means that the buses are more empty, which means there’s less revenue to run those buses, so fewer buses run,” continuing, “as that happens, people make the decision more and more to avoid transit.”
The future of Toronto’s public transit hinging on revenue collected from Presto should have us all worried. Presto issues are constant, and with no new funding announcements in Premier Ford’s recent economic update, Toronto’s public transit system is at risk until the government commits to paying its fair share for operating and expanding the TTC.
ATU Canada President John Di Nino adds, “Underfunding public transit is the first step towards privatization. First they underfund public transit… then they blame the service… then they privatize the service.”
CodeRedTO is a non-partisan, volunteer-run, local and regional transit advocacy organization. Read their full report Mixed Signals and spread the message that the TTC needs new, predictable and sustainable revenue with #CodeRedTO on Twitter and Facebook.