In the wake of revelations that the government is looking at increased TTC fares for non-downtown residents, Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath called on the Liberal government to protect fair and equal access to transit. Today, the Liberal government refused to rule out TTC fare increases for Scarborough, North York, Etobicoke and other non-downtown residents, or other unfair transit fares.
“If the Liberals go ahead with this plan, people in Scarborough might get a subway only to find out they can only afford the bus,” said Horwath. “Throughout its history, TTC fares in Toronto have been based on the simple principle that every Torontonian deserves equal access to their transit system, regardless of their income and regardless of where they live. I’m calling on the Liberal government to promise that people won’t be punished with higher fares, just because they can’t afford to live downtown.”
Ontarians learned last week that Metrolinx is toying with the idea of charging premium fares to ride the subway instead of the bus system, or charging more to Torontonians commuting from outside the downtown core.
“More and more people in Toronto can’t afford to live downtown. It means they’re spending more and more time getting to and from work. Charging a premium for the subway, or charging higher fares to TTC riders commuting from North York, Etobicoke and Scarborough isn’t fair. For people already feeling stretched it will mean longer commutes and higher fares,” continued Horwath. “TTC fares should be fair.”
Horwath and New Democrats support transit and infrastructure investment, but believe that fares should be fair, and that selling infrastructure like Hydro One will not pay for transit, but will lead to higher energy costs, and lead to significant losses of revenues which could be invested in transit and infrastructure.