Tomorrow is supposed to be the TTC Riders Strike. A response to the proposed fair hikes. Riders are frustrated with an increase that could see our fairs raise to 3 a ride and increase the cost of a monthly pass to $126. So they plan a boycott to show the TTC how we feel. But I don’t see the point. A one day boycott wont hurt the TTC it will hurt the boycotters who need the TTC to get to work. It wont get the TTC funding to cover the operating expenses. Sure it will show the TTC that people don’t like fair hikes, but they know that. They aren’t doing it because they want to.
The problem is our Transit system is underfunded. The city needs a provincial and federal government that supports transit and not just splashy projects that they can point to at election time to say, see we care about transit. We’ve got a subway extension, and multiple Light Rail extensions planned for our city, all funded by multiple levels of government, but none of these improvements include increased funding for operating the increased capacity. Sure the city needs to expand it’s service and maybe the new subway to Vaughan (link) will actually get enough riders to justify the 2.6 billion dollars. I’m also a fan of Transit City, bringing dedicate light rail lines to more of the city is good, but what good is it if we’ll have to pay $5 to ride because nobody thought about increasing the funding to TTC to run it.
I understand that people want something to change, but you need to pick a better target the the TTC fair box. It’s the political machine that is the problem. They are content to make big gestures with big photo ops but when it come time to make sure that your bus arrives on time and it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to ride forget about it. There aren’t any photo ops for operating expenses.
Some related links:
Blog about the Riders Strike: http://ttcriders.blogspot.com/
Facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=322914960299&ref=mf
Local Transit Activist’s blog: http://stevemunro.ca/