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"Keep TTC Public" warns against mistakes of privatizing

The Public Transit Coalition (PTC), of which we are a member, launched a major multimedia campaign on September 20, 2010 with a very simple message: privatizing public transit will be a disaster for Toronto.

The campaign website is www.KeepTTCPublic.ca

The campaign is in response to mayoral candidates who have mused about public-private partnerships and outsourcing for the TTC.

"Some mayoral candidates want the private sector to play a substantial role in the TTC. So we spent the last few months researching other cities comparable to Toronto that have privatized their transit systems to see what happened,” said Dr. Franz Hartmann, Executive Director of the Toronto Environmental Alliance and PTC member. “The consequences have ranged from disappointing to disastrous for commuters and taxpayers. We felt it was really important for Torontonians to know the facts about privatization before they vote.”

The campaign, titled "Keep TTC Public," includes:

  • A 30-second television ad that will air several hundred times before election day on October 25, 2010;
  • A website - www.KeepTTCPublic.ca - that provides information on the failure of transit privatization and a "Report Card" (to be posted soon) on where the mayoralty and Council candidates stand on the future of the TTC;
  • A compelling video, narrated by Canadian actor Eric Peterson, that explores Toronto's transit history and details the problems with transit privatization in Melbourne, Aukland, London (England), and Vancouver. The video is hosted on the campaign website and available on YouTube;
  • Ads in daily newspapers and on TTC vehicles.

“The TTC has problems, we all know that. Privatization is clearly not the solution. We urge Torontonians to visit www.KeepTTCPublic.ca and see what’s happened in other cities that privatized their public transit systems,” said Hartmann. “Then we hope they will tell candidates to avoid the mistakes other cities have made and keep the TTC public.”