May 17th, 2018

Horwath to bring immediate relief to Toronto transit users

Horwath will prioritize the downtown relief line

TORONTO – Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath is sharing her vision to end the gridlock facing Torontonians on their commutes, and immediately improve transit. On Thursday at Bathurst subway station in the heart of downtown Toronto, Horwath talked to TTC riders about her plan to improve transit.
“In Toronto and across the province, people are being squeezed for time. Folks spend too long waiting for buses, streetcars and subways. And too often, the doors open and it’s too crowded to get in – and you just keep waiting,” said Horwath. “Wynne’s Liberals have been promising action for 15 years, but people being packed in like sardines on the TTC has only gotten worse.
“On the other hand, Doug Ford’s deep cuts to transit would take transit downhill, fast, with more crowding, more congestion, higher fares and less reliability.

On Wednesday, Doug Ford announced cuts that threaten $200 million in funding for Toronto transit, $11.7 million for Brampton, $11.2 million from Hamilton, and millions more from communities all over the province.

That’s on top of the $6 billion in cuts Ford vowed to make across the board, and his promise to privatize as much as he possibly can – putting transit at risk. The vows are echoes of the last Conservative government, which cancelled the Eglinton Subway and literally filled the foundation that had already been dug and paid for.

On the other hand, Horwath has a plan to ease the gridlock and make commutes smoother for everyone.
Horwath’s plan includes immediate funding for 50 per cent of transit operating costs all over the province, which will mean over $330 million in direct, operational funding for the TTC and Wheel-Trans. Among her building priorities is getting shovels in the ground on the long-awaited and much needed downtown relief line.

“Transit riders are cynical about the system, because it just keeps getting more crowded and more expensive,” said Horwath. “So let’s do something about it. Let’s replace that cynicism with hope. We can do better right now, with a transit plan that will improve service quality and access, address overcrowding and lead to a better commute for people across the city.”

Changes to improve transit in Toronto in Horwath’s platform include:

  • Fund 50 per cent of net transit and paratransit operating costs – $330 million in direct, operational funding for the TTC and Wheel-Trans
  • Prioritize building the Toronto Relief Line (downtown relief line) to address overcrowding
  • Move to electrify the UP Express as soon as possible, to replace the dirty diesel trains running through residential neighbourhoods
  • Ensure Metrolinx coordinates services and schedules with local transit authorities and VIA Rail
  • Seamless travel and discounted fares between local transit systems. And $3 fares for all GO trips within Toronto or less than 10 kilometers