reported last week that the Toronto Transit Commission is proposing a 10-cent token fare hike, service cutbacks to its routes and cuts to its workforce – layoff notices have already been sent
to more than 250 TTC employees.
On Monday morning, Andrea Horwath, leader of the Ontario New Democratic Party, spoke at the Ossington TTC subway station during a campaign stop where she urged Toronto city hall to take a step back on cuts to the TTC until after the provincial election, according to a campaign news release
Horwath said if the NDP is elected then they can establish a partnership with the municipal governments and match city transit funding on a dollar-for-dollar basis, but municipalities would be required to freeze transit fares for four years.
“The working mom who needs to take the bus home and feed the kids needs better transit, not more cuts and higher fares,” said Horwath. “Let’s put the planned cuts and fare hikes on hold so we can look at options and alternatives and consider how important this transit system is to people.”
The funding would be implemented following negotiation and consultation with municipalities.
“Cutting transit service will hurt those least able to afford alternative forms of transportation,” added Horwath. “Public transit is too important to too many people to be silent and simply let these cuts go through.”
The Toronto Star
notes that Horwath led a group of reporters and her staff to Ossington from the Queen’s Park subway station. Officials asked the group to leave the train at Spadina because they did not receive permission to film. They immediately got onto the next train.
The TTC is facing an $85 million 2012 budget shortfall and their proposed measures have decreased the deficit to $21 million.