As TTC riders grow increasingly frustrated with constant overcrowding, high transit prices, and being stuck waiting for service, local advocates decided to take matters into their own hands this morning.
“It’s time for Kathleen Wynne and the provincial government to fairly fund the TTC to fix overcrowding and unaffordable fares,” said TTCriders Executive Director Shelagh Pizey-Allen. “Transit riders are sick of being sardined,” Pizey-Allen added.
Bearing protest signs, costumes, and oversized sardine can props, the protesters ventured to Queen’s Park today to call on Kathleen Wynne to fairly fund the TTC in the 2018 provincial budget, which will be tabled on Wednesday, March 28.
Dubbed as the ‘Sardine Ride’, the rally departed from City Hall, before arriving at Queen’s Park station, where frustrated residents held a rally.
“New transit projects are years away and the TTC is at capacity. We need Kathleen Wynne to fund better service now,” said TTCriders member Yared Mehzenta in a release.
“Transit expansion must go hand-in-hand with operating funding, or service will worsen.”
The Sardine Ride follows the federal and provincial governments recent announcement of committing nearly $9 billion of funding for new transit expansion projects in Toronto over the next ten years.
The City of Toronto will be expected to contribute 27 percent of the total expansion’s costs.
According to a release, TTCriders, an advocacy group for TTC users, is calling on the provincial government to subsidize the TTC’s operating budget, in order to fund better service and reduce fares.
“The City of Toronto currently subsidizes the TTC at a rate of approximately $1.07 per rider, which represents the lowest per-rider subsidy in North America. The City’s 2018 subsidy to the TTC was $730 million,” reads the release. “TTC fares have risen by 33 per cent since 2009, faster than the rate of inflation.”