Free TTC Off-Peak
Offering free rides for a limited time at off-peak hours and maintaining low fares while increasing investment in transportation infrastructure should allow our beloved "rocket" to return to pre-pandemic utilization rates, easing traffic congestion on our roads and making everyone's life easier.
Since the TTC is extremely busy at peak hours, making it entirely free now (assuming that were possible and every stakeholder on board, which is not the case) would cause chaos, as most buses, streetcars and subways are packed and have been so for years. While reducing ticket prices with a view to making TTC use free is necessary if we are to meet our climate commitments, it is not feasible or wise to do so before infrastructure investment brings TTC use to a more comfortable level.
Toronto has a long way to go to catch up to other world class cities. Even in North America, where car culture is strongest in the "first" world and public transportation is often an afterthought, Toronto was ranked 9th back in 2017 - it is even further behind today.
The following undertakings are congruent with most of the others (from TTCRiders.ca/spafy).
I will oppose cuts to transit service, the deferral of capital projects, and increases to fares even if the TTC faces continued budget shortfalls due to slow ridership recovery.
I will be a strong champion for Toronto to the provincial and federal governments for their continued investment in TTC operating funding to protect transit service levels.
City of Toronto reports reveal that millions of TTC trips annually have shifted onto Uber and Lyft over the past several years, so I will support policies that help move people back onto public transit from private vehicles (personal or ride-hailing).
I will move quickly to implement 10 bus and streetcar priority corridors in the next term of Council as per the RapidTO plan.
I will support other priority measures that will improve TTC service and make RapidTO routes more effective, like queue jump lanes for buses and all-door boarding.
I will support traffic signal priority for buses, streetcars, and rapid transit projects like the Finch West LRT and Eglinton Crosstown LRT.
I will expand off-peak and nighttime service to better serve shift workers, women, and low-income riders who depend on transit most.
I will expand the 10-minutes-or-better network to more routes to be within walking distance of every person who lives in Toronto.
I will champion more funding from the provincial government to expand Wheel-Trans service and protect door-to-door Wheel-Trans service for those who need it.
I will support funding for platform edge doors in subway stations in the next Council term.
I will immediately fund the 3rd phase of the Fair Pass low income transit discount program in the 2023 municipal budget.
I will begin implementing fare free public transit, starting with people who receive social assistance, high school students, and on extreme weather alert days.
I will champion provincial funding for fair fare integration so that all riders travelling within Toronto pay a single flat fare between TTC, GO, and Union Pearson Express and enjoy a free transfer across municipal boundaries.
I will oppose fare-by-distance within Toronto or other integration models that would deepen inequality.
I will support bus-only lanes northbound on Kennedy and southbound on Midland to accommodate the 70 additional buses per hour that will travel on these routes during peak periods to replace the RT service when it closes.
I will support transforming the decommissioned RT rail corridor into a bus-only corridor when the Scarborough RT closes in 2023.
I will work with us to improve winter and pedestrian safety at bus, streetcar, and Wheel-Trans stops.
I will work with us to advance our vision for transit safety that does not expand policing.
I will work with other non-profits and stakeholders to improve riders’ everyday experience navigating the TTC.
I will champion funding for the Waterfront LRT and its westward expansion into South Etobicoke.
I will support strong Community Benefits Agreements for new rapid transit projects in Toronto.
I will support rapid public transit expansion that is publicly owned, operated and maintained.
I will be a strong voice to Metrolinx and the provincial government to stand up for the interests of TTC users and Toronto residents.
I gave a different answer than most at:
Will you oppose contracting out TTC jobs and services? Based on my current understanding, TTC needs to have some flexibility in situations of emergency.
If the TTC faces continued budget shortfalls due to slow ridership recovery, will you advocate to make up the revenue loss with City of Toronto revenue tools? I would prefer that we find funding from the province or the feds, but should that fail, we will have to cover the loss from City of Toronto resources.