One topic people in our community often mention to me is increasing frustrations with transit. They tell me of roads completely clogged with cars and streetcars, and buses and subways packed with people.
This problem didn't happen overnight. In the 90's, drastic cuts to municipal funding stripped away critical transit operation funding. Since then, attempts to restore funding have failed.
On February 21, 2017, I spoke in the Legislative Assembly and called on the Premier to restore Ontario's traditional 50-50 funding formula for the TTC's operating costs. I want to restore the province’s traditional 50-50 net operating funding formula, where the TTC and Wheel-Trans would have received about $345 million in direct provincial funding. With this funding, the TTC could improve service, boost ridership and give people another good reason to leave the car at home.
Mayor John Tory, in a letter to the previous Premier, said, “It can no longer be business as usual because the status quo leaves Toronto taxpayers footing the bills that the province should be paying.” I agree.
We also need to have the province make a firm commitment of its share of the funds to build the Relief Line so that construction can get underway. The Bloor-Danforth line is overloaded and increasingly unsafe from overcrowding. The province needs to put money in to match federal and city commitments to solve this problem.
I believe in a fair, affordable Toronto where everyone can participate, and I know I'm not alone in this vision.
If you agree, please sign my petition to restore fair transit funding. Thank you.
Peter Tabuns, MPP
PETITION TO Restore Provincial Portion of Operating Funding to Toronto Transit Commission and provide funding for the Relief Line.
WHEREAS The former Conservative provincial government reneged on an agreement to fund up to 50 percent of the TTC’s net annual operating budget.
WHEREAS In 2016, the Toronto Transit Commission set an all-time record of 538.1 million rides, and TTC ridership has increased each year for the last 13 years without the assistance, from the province, that would now account for $345 million in operating funding.
WHEREAS The TTC receives the smallest government support per ride of all major North American transit systems - just $1 a ride, far less than the North American average of $2.60 a ride
WHEREAS The Province needs to contribute their fair share of the cost of Relief Line so we can get moving on construction.
Therefore, we the undersigned petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to immediately act to restore the TTC’s net operating cost subsidies up to $345 million annually and to make the funds available for construction of the Relief Line.