TORONTO, ONTARIO – Carlos Santos, President of Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 113, released the following statement regarding today’s announcement that the Ontario government will provide the City of Toronto with $404 million to cover the TTC’s operational costs and budget shortfalls as part of the first phase of the federal and provincial governments’ emergency funding commitment:
“ATU Local 113 welcomes today’s funding announcement from the province that will help cover the TTC’s operational costs and budget shortfalls. As Toronto Mayor John Tory said today, discussions between the City of Toronto and other levels of government is ongoing. Our union will closely follow these negotiations including the second phase of funding that will be needed this fall to keep public transit moving in Toronto. With funding from other levels of government in place, it’s crucial that the TTC reinstates full service as more Torontonians use the system, especially in September when students are back in the classroom.
The COVID-19 pandemic has put a spotlight on the TTC’s broken funding model. It’s another reminder that public transit needs more than fare box revenue – Toronto needs a sustainable longer-term funding model for TTC operating costs.
ATU Local 113 would like to thank all levels of government for their cooperation on emergency public transit funding. We’ve been having constructive conversations with Associate Minister of Transportation Kinga Surma, who acknowledged the great work of our ATU Local 113 members during the pandemic. ATU Local 113 will continue to speak with Minister Surma and other government officials to advocate on behalf of public transit workers, including the importance of having a safe work environment and funding to allow for the TTC to operate at 100 per cent of pre-pandemic levels. We will make it clear that bringing back the 450 laid off TTC workers is the first step in making the TTC a safe transit system for riders and workers alike.”