TTC overcrowded or delayed? Call the mayor, say transit advocates

Advocates took their campaign for a better funded transit service in Toronto to subway stations, bus stops, streetcar routes and major intersections on Monday.

Advocates have organized a day of action to demand what they call fair funding for TTC

A transit advocate waits to talk to TTC riders on King Street about fair funding for the TTC. (CBC)

Transit advocates who want more stable funding for the TTC took their campaign to subway stations, bus stops, streetcar routes and major intersections on Monday.

Members of three advocacy groups — TTCriders, Scarborough Transit Action Group and Fair Fare Coalition — are handing out postcards and talking to riders at more than 10 locations on Monday. 

The groups are opposed to planned service cuts.
A transit advocate hands out postcards as part of a day of action on TTC service cuts. (CBC)

Riders are being urged to contact Mayor John Tory, plus their local councillors, to complain directly about delays, overcrowding, and breakdowns.

"If we really want to get Toronto moving, we need all levels of government to increase funding to the TTC, John Tory included," TTCriders spokesperson Jessica Bell said in a news release.

The transit advocates are calling it a day of action. It began Monday morning and will end Monday evening.

The day of action was planned to take place before city council votes on its 2017 budget, which is expected to be finalized in February.

Transit advocates say the TTC is underfunded and riders are suffering because of service delays, overcrowding and breakdowns. (CBC)

In November, the TTC implemented a fare increase that took effect at the start of this year. 

The increase affects the single adult ride fare, which will increase from $2.90 per token to $3. All other fare media, including Presto rides and weekly and monthly passes, will also be increased proportionately, with the exception of cash, which was raised from $3 to $3.25 in 2016. 

The fare increase is expected to generate $27 million. But even if it does, the TTC faces a shortfall of about $61 million. The TTC says the shortfall is partly due to a decline in TTC ridership and an increase in the number of people using Wheels-Trans.

It's the sixth fare increase in six years.

Service reduced on 28 routes

According to TTCriders, the TTC reduced service on about 28 routes in November and January, and allowed overcrowding on 43 TTC routes to exceed its standards. 

The transit advocates said they planned to hand out postcards at Pape, Broadview, Sherbourne, Bathurst, Dufferin and King stations.

They also planned to go to:

  • The 102 Markham bus stop at Warden Station.
  • The 501 Queen streetcar and 22 Coxwell bus stop at the corner of Kingston Road and Queen Street East. 
  • Oakwood Avenue and Vaughan Road. 
  • Bathurst Street and Lawrence Avenue West.
  • Morningside Avenue and Ellesmere Road. 
  • Bathurst Street and Sheppard Avenue West. 
  • Winona Drive and Vaughan Road at the 90A Vaughan bus stop heading south.