The Toronto Transit Commission's Rocket subway trains have officially launched – if you ride the TTC you question it, though – but the commission is in hot water over spending $28,000 on ads promoting the new trains.
The Toronto Sun has learned that the Toronto Transit Commission is spending more than $28,000 on advertisements that promote the new Toronto Rocket subway to its own transit riders.
TTC’s ad campaign is spending $25,000 on the posters that are plastered inside of the subway stations and the trains as well as pamphlets. The TTC is also shelling out more than $2,000 on 10,000 buttons that show the front of the new Rocket trains.
Although the Rocket was officially launched during a ceremony last month at Downsview Subway Station, it is more likely that you will see an advertisement of the new train because it is only one of 47 trains running on the Yonge-University-Spadina subway line during the rush hour periods.
The TTC is slowly rolling out the new trains on the Yonge-University-Spadina subway line until 2013.
Officials are defending the TTC’s moves and say it is money well spent. Danny Nicholson, spokesperson for the TTC, told the Sun that they want to “share the excitement with riders.” Nicholson added: “It has been a long time since the City of Toronto received a new subway train.”
City Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong told CBC News that he is upset about the amount of money put towards advertising and called it a “completely waste of money.”
“In the era of core service review when we're looking at have-to-haves versus like-to-haves, this falls into the category of a complete and total waste of taxpayers' money,” said the Ward 34 Don Valley East Councillor.
“This is the type of spending that drives the public crazy. When we're looking at cutting service routes and closing libraries — $27,000 is a lot of money in the grand scheme of things and it all adds up.”
This comes as Toronto Police and TTC launched a joint traffic-safety blitz campaign called “Take Time To Check” where they urge transit riders, cyclists and motorists to be aware of their surroundings when near a TTC vehicle.