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Civic Impact

TTCriders union launches campaign for provincial funding

TTCriders, the membership-based advocacy group of TTC users, officially launched its newest campaign this past Monday.

The campaign, titled a Fair Deal for Riders, calls on the province to provide increased and sustained funding for the TTC.

The much-needed funds, says Jessica Bell, TTCriders co-chair, would increase the TTC operating budget and help to lower Toronto's already high fares.

"We came up with this [campaign] idea by talking to our members who are all TTC riders and also by talking to our allies, many of whom work on transit issues," says Bell. "And we decided to focus on the TTC's operating budget because when you're a TTC user you want immediate improvements."

While Bell is enthusiastic about long-term transit plans, including the possibility of new subways and LRTs, these changes, she says, won't help the immediate problems faced by transit users.

"Riders don't want to have to keep missing their bus because it's too packed. These bigger improvements like the LRTs could take up to 25 years, but when there's money put into the TTC operating budget you get immediate improvements."

TTCriders took their Fair Deal campaign to 14 subway stops this past Monday encouraging users to sign their new petition. For every users that signs the petition online, a message will be sent directly to the province, and signatories also have the opportunity to add their own personal message.

"If Toronto received the same subsidy per rider as Vancouver, the TTC's budget would jump from $1.5 billion to nearly $2.5 billion," says Bell. "That's huge. The City is already contributing a lot. It's time for the province to step in."

Toronto currently has the lowest government subsidy per ride then any other major transit system in North America.

Writer: Katia Snukal
Source: Jessica Bell, co-chair, TTCriders
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