TTC Fare Increase

Every year we go through a charade about who really is responsible for a fare increase, assuming we have one.  In the bad old days of Mayor Mel Lastman, the TTC and Chair Howard Moscoe made a big point of forcing this debate onto the floor at Council.  If Council was going to limit or cut TTC funding, then Council should make the decision.

Something strange has happened:  now the TTC is raising fares because those baddies on the Budget Advisory Committee won’t relent.  In years past, this would be laid at the feet of the mayor, but, oh dear, we have a different mayor, one we shouldn’t try to embarrass too much.  I’ll take Mayor David Miller over Mel Lastman any day, but he has to stop hiding in his office and say publicly where he stands on transit.

Transit and the Ridership Growth Strategy are key parts of the City’s budget (RGS is listed as one of the “strategic” points this year), and the Official Plan’s scheme for accommodating a growing population hinges on much more and better transit.  If David Miller doesn’t want to pay for it, he should say so.

This may be fobbed off as a one-year setback, a situation forced on us by the half-billion-dollar hole in the City budget.  Funny thing, those one-year setbacks, they keep coming back year after year, and programs that were just within reach fall away to the indefinite future.  Political fortunes change, an anti-transit regime gains control, and the reduced transit system becomes the new base from which even more cuts are demanded.

We have been here before. Continue reading

TTC Ridership Growth Strategy – Where Are We Now?

In March 2003, the TTC published its Ridership Growth Strategy. Although it’s hard to believe, this report is official TTC policy, but like many good ideas has always been subject to the constraints of budget and subsidy pressures.

Now we’re coming up on the third anniversary, and I thought this would be a good time to review what was in the RGS and to see just where we are in implementing parts of it.

Ridership Growth Strategy Review