TORONTO, ONTARIO – (October 16, 2019) – Carlos Santos, President of Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 113, released the following statement responding to recent developments to Toronto’s public transit system:
“ATU Local 113, Toronto’s public transit union representing nearly 12,000 TTC workers, has always fought hard against the province’s TTC Subway upload scheme because it is bad for workers, riders and Toronto.
With today’s announcements, we cautiously welcome the news that the province is prepared to back away from its disastrous subway upload scheme for existing TTC Subway lines.
With the province taking responsibility for future subway and LRT expansion, we call on the City of Toronto and the Ford Government to ensure all lines in the city are operated and maintained by a unified TTC workforce that has been trusted and qualified to do the work safely for over 100 years.
All Torontonians should be concerned if the province moves forward with “private-public partnerships” for building, operating and maintaining new transit lines. In the end, private companies will win while the public loses.
The Presto fare system, brought to the TTC through a “private-public-partnership” through Metrolinx, is dogged by technological failures and delayed repairs – starving our transit system of much-needed cash. With the divided city-provincial workforce, highly-trained TTC workers are restricted from fixing malfunctioning Presto systems because Metrolinx, a provincial agency, insists on hiring inexperienced private contractors for the job. The result is longer delays for riders as vehicles are taken out of service waiting for private contractor repairs.
ATU Local 113 has long advocated for increased funding for our public transit system. For far too long, Torontonians have been forced to commute with dangerous overcrowding, or be stuck waiting on the curb. ATU Local 113 welcomes the expansion of Toronto’s public transit system, but it can’t put the public transit system at risk through a split workforce that will cost riders in the end.”