While the Executive Committee meets Thursday to talk about possible new revenue streams for cash-strapped Toronto, a coalition of TTC riders, social service agencies and anti-poverty advocates will rally at City Hall.
They want to see Mayor John Tory and the committee approve measures to make the TTC more affordable for low-income riders.
On Thursday, a vote is expected to be held regarding a fare affordability program, which would give those living on a low-incomes a 33% discount on cash fares, as well as a 25% discount on the Metropass.
The Fair Fare Coalition calls the program a step in the right direction, but it says council should offer more substantial discounts, and fully fund the program through general revenue, not though the elimination of the senior and student discounts.
“We should be rewarding Torontonians who use public transit, not punishing them with even more fare hikes. Drastically hiking fares on students and seniors to help low income riders will only make the TTC’s stagnating ridership problem even worse. There are fairer ways to pay for affordable fares.” – TTCriders spokesperson, Jessica Bell.
“Torontonians on social assistance are being forced to go to food banks so that they have money for the TTC, and that’s not a fair choice. A small discount, while a good step in the right direction, will still mean thousands of people daily will be still forced to make tough choices they shouldn’t have to make.” – Karin Meinzer, with the Fair Fare Coalition.
“This report does not do anything for low income seniors who should be able to afford to travel around the city and live their lives as fully as we can. We need deeper discounts for low income seniors because the current discount we receive is not enough.” – Mou Ho, with the Ontario Chinese Seniors Association.
A press conference will be held at 12:30 p.m. Thursday.