Advocates petitioning to stop province's upload of Toronto's subway

Jan 11 2019, 4:18 am

While Ontario’s transportation minister Jeff Yurek continues to promote the province’s upload of Toronto’s subway line, advocates are petitioning to keep the TTC in the hands of the City.

Premier Doug Ford first announced the idea of an upload as one of his major campaign promises, saying the upload of the subway would help the province to implement a more efficient regional transit system, reduce costs and build transit faster.

He also alleged it could allow the province to fund and deliver additional transit projects sooner, a point echoed by Yurek again on Thursday.

In August, the province appointed a special adviser to a one-year term to lead the cabinet review of the plan.

However, local politicians and advocates don’t agree, and the TTCriders advocacy group says the upload would “create a two-tier system with higher subway fares, less say for riders, and worse service.” The group also says the upload would open the door to privatization.

City Councillor Gord Perks also opposes the upload, saying moving Toronto’s subway from the city to the province would result in the public no longer being able to see the information the government has when it makes decisions regarding the city’s subway.

“You won’t know if it followed technical advice. You won’t see the debate. This violates the transparency and accountability on which democratic decision-making depends,” tweeted Perks.

Based on this alone, Perks says Toronto should refuse to engage with the province on the upload.

Perks is encouraging the public to tell Mayor John Tory they don’t agree with the province’s actions.

The TTCriders’ petition opposing the upload can be found on their website.

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