On November 17th, 2009 the Toronto Transit Commission voted for an 11% increase in fares, tokens, and the Metropass. That means fares and tokens will go up by 25 cents, and the Metropass by $12 starting in January. Would anyone at City Hall recommend an 11% increase on property tax in one year? Never!
No other major transit system in North America expects its riders to pay for over 70% of the system’s cost.
We are calling on the TTC, the City and the Provincial Government to commit to fair funding for the transit system Torontians need. If you are tired of being taken for granted, send a message to the TTC, the Premier, and the Mayor’s office right now.Click here to see a sample message, or write your own.
Let’s make sure they know we don’t like unfair fare hikes!
TTC Riders is a new organization created to give a voice to the
interests and concerns of hundreds of thousands of Torontonians who use public transit. We seek to ensure that our pubic transit provides good, dependable service and is accessible and affordable for everyone in our communities.
Drivers have the Canadian Automobile Association, homeowners have organizations in many parts of the city, and even cyclists have formed an effective lobby group.Transit riders also deserve to be well represented when decisions are being made about fares, service delivery, or transit priorities.
Almost every year, there is a TTC funding crisis. It usually results in a fare increase and last minute bailouts by the City and the Province. We are told there is little that can be done to fix the situation, that’s not true at all.
For years, the TTC won awards as the best transit system in North America, and it can again. It did that because there was guaranteed revenue from the Ontario government and the City that reflected a serious commitment to public transit. The support was slashed during the Mike Harris years, and is still not back to the levels needed.
The TTC has the least amount of support from senior governments than any transit operation in North America. And relies more on what is collected at the farebox than almost anywhere else in the world. More than 70% of the TTC’s costs are covered by the farebox. Other major North American cities only depend on riders to supply 50-60% of the revenue needed to run the system.
The TTC, the City and the Province are working together to build “Transit City” – a plan that will provide 120 kilometers of new rapid transit in Toronto. It will be the biggest TTC expansion in over fifty years, providing much needed service to Toronto’s suburbs.
But how will we pay to run these new lines when we can barely pay for the ones we have today? We need the TTC, the City and the Province to commit to long term plan to fund the transit service we have now and operation of the new lines that will be built over the next 10 years.
Here is what needs to be part of that funding commitment:
- The Province and the City should equally share the cost of the TTC’s operation. This level of cost share is what made the TTC an award winning system in the 1980s.
- A target should be set to cover no more than 60% of the TTC’s operating costs through fares. This would be accompanied by a forecast that lays out when fare increases are expected over the next 5 years.
- This funding plan must ensure that it will provide the subsidies necessary to maintain and improve service by addressing overcrowding, adding more frequent service at more times of the day, and building new service where it is needed.
Canada is the only federal government among OECD nations not to have a national transit strategy. We need Ottawa to step up to the plate with a National Transit Strategy that provides real, long-term commitments to affordable public transit.