Saturday, November 26, 2011

TTC riders don't deserve this, Mayor Ford


An Open Letter to Mayor Rob Ford

With all due respect, Mr. Ford, what have Toronto public transit riders done to deserve this?  The city is cutting service on 62 bus routes in this city and TTC patrons (not customers) have also been told to expect fare hikes.  Was this what you meant when you talked about stopping the gravy train?  Since when has efficient public transit been gravy?  Isn't it an important service?  Don't the most vulnerable people in our fair city depend on the TTC.  I'm talking about the elderly on fixed incomes, students who can't afford cars, lower income people, the visually impaired who can't drive . . .

Adult TTC patrons already pay $3 cash fare per ride and $119 per month for a Metropass.  We are already burdened with paying the lion's share of the cost of operating our public transit system.  It's not fair that we are also going to have to endure poorer service.  It's not fair that we are going to have to pay more for that poorer service - not at a time when jobs are being cut and many are living on fixed incomes.

The province of Ontario should also be contributing more to the TTC.  I would be happy to pay more provincial tax if it it would prevent service cuts and fare increases.  An efficient, affordable TTC is in the best interest of all Torontonians and all Ontarians.  It affects everyone in this province, directly or indirectly.

I count myself among the many public transit users in this city.  My regular bus route is one of the ones targeted for service reduction.   All TTC patrons are going to be greatly inconvenienced and the most vulnerable will be hurt.  Some seniors may not be able to afford riding on the TTC as frequently and will be confined to their homes more often.

Mr. Ford, when was the last time you stood at a bus stop and waited for a bus in the pouring rain or during a snowstorm for twenty minutes or more?  It's so easy for politicians to be indifferent to public transit riders when they can just hop into their cars or take a taxi.

As mayor, you were elected to represent all the people of Toronto - not just car owners and drivers.  Nathan Phillips, when he was mayor of this city, was dubbed the Mayor of all the People.  He would never have tried to drive a wedge between car owners and transit riders.

This city depends on clean, efficient public transit.  The TTC is neither clean nor efficient and it is going to get worse once service on 62 bus routes is reduced.  The health of a city can be measured by the health of its public transit system.  Right now Toronto is not too healthy.

Mr. Mayor, I doubt that you will pay any heed to my letter.  You are ideologically driven.  You have a conservative right wing agenda and you will not change.  I am writing this because I am upset and frustrated about what is happening to my city.  I am distraught about what your policies are doing to the Toronto I love.  I need to vent.


Joanne Madden

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