Transit Watchdog Group’s Report Card Gives Toronto Indifferent Grades - Torontoist

July 18, 2012
Steve Kupferman

TTCriders says Toronto is behind on some key transit priorities.

Earlier today, TTCriders, a group that advocates for improved public transit, released a report card evaluating Toronto’s progress in that realm. Unsurprisingly, the City doesn’t quite make the grade.

The report card credits Toronto with moving ahead on expanding its public transit network, thanks to this winter’s dramatic reversal of Mayor Rob Ford’s edict against surface light rail.

But TTCriders also has plenty of complaints. The TTC, the group says, is still structurally unable to provide lower fares to riders because it depends too much on farebox revenue. Transit agencies in other North American cities get larger portions of their operating money from government coffers than the TTC does. TTCriders wants the municipal and provincial governments to pay more of the TTC’s operating costs, so that the agency can avoid future fare hikes.

Also singled out in the report is the TTC’s level of service, per capita. TTCriders contends that the TTC has failed to increase the number of kilometres its vehicles travel per year in proportion to the increasing number of trips taken on the system. (About 55 million more trips were taken in 2011 than in 2006.) According to TTCriders, the amount of transit service per rider, measured in kilometres, was worse in 2011 than in any year since 2007.

The report also criticizes the City for lagging on making transit more accessible to people with disabilities, and for failing to publicize the environmental benefits of using public transit.

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