Statement by Nate Wallace, Clean Transportation Program Manager, Environmental Defence
Toronto | Traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishinaabeg, the Haudenosaunee, and the Huron-Wendat – Toronto’s budget shortfall is tied to the TTC’s over-reliance on fare revenues – a situation created by federal and provincial policy. It is the responsibility of higher orders of government to step in and do their fair share.
Premier Ford’s government has continued to keep the TTC as one of the least publicly supported transit agencies in North America, and the TTC’s over-reliance on fare revenues have left it uniquely vulnerable to ridership-reducing economic shocks like the pandemic.
The federal government’s policy of funding transit capital investments but not operations has only compounded this problem and left the city unable to pay to put that new infrastructure into service. The TTC has 551 buses, 81 streetcars and 40 subway trains that could be in service, but are instead sitting idle.
Canada’s population recently passed 40 million. As our country grows, we cannot continue with the status quo of abandoning people who live in the growing suburbs to expensive and unhealthy car-dependency and grind our urban cores to a halt with gridlock. But unless transit is supported, we risk going down this path.
One in four trips on public transit in Canada occurs on the TTC, making the agency a very important contributor to reducing transportation emissions for the entire country.
We are calling for Queen’s Park and Ottawa to stop passing the buck, recognize their responsibility to fight climate change and work together to save the TTC from a downward spiral of service cuts and fare hikes.
ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is a leading Canadian environmental advocacy organization that works with government, industry and individuals to defend clean water, a safe climate and healthy communities.
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