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article imageToronto transit on track for 10-cent token hike, workforce cuts

By Andrew Moran     Sep 13, 2011 in Business
Toronto - A local news outlet has learned that the Toronto Transit Commission is proposing a 10-cent token fare hike, cuts to its workforce, service cutbacks to routes and many other decisions to offset its budget cuts and deficits.
Earlier this year, during the presentation of the city’s operating budget, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford announced that the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) has proposed an across the board fare hike, which was scrapped a day later.
The TTC will release a report on Tuesday recommending cost-saving measures, according to a report from the Toronto Star.
In the report, which will then be debated at a special meeting Friday, the TTC proposed a hike in the cost of tokens by 10 cents, implementing a premium fare for Blue Night bus service, cutting more than 400 jobs, outsourcing 500 others, reducing route times and delaying the arrival of the new low-floor Bombardier streetcars.
Another controversial decision by the TTC is to make dialysis patients without mobility devices ineligible for Wheel-Trans services. This would prompt them to transfer over to regular TTC service routes.
This comes as city hall urged the TTC to cut 10 percent from its budget and a day after Joe Pennachetti, City Manager, released a list of recommendations to address the $774 million budget shortfall.
Bob Kinnear, TTC transit union head, told the Star that these recommendations are “a war on commuters, low-wage workers, the disabled and the environment.”
The Toronto Sun obtained a memo to all TTC workers from general manager Gary Webster, who is reportedly looking to be replaced.
“This has been a very difficult process, and I fully understand the anxiety many of you may be feeling today,” wrote Webster in the memo. “The TTC has greater than ever ridership – projected at 503 million in 2012 – yet it must find savings to balance its budget. While headways – the time between vehicles – will be widened, there are no routes being cut in this proposed budget.”
More about Toronto transit commission, Fare hike, Karen stintz, Rob Ford, Toronto city hall
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