TTC Service Cuts: Great Fiasco, Or The Greatest Fiasco?
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TTC Service Cuts: Great Fiasco, Or The Greatest Fiasco?

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Reader Cy Goldsbie (yes, relation) sent us the above photos of a box that popped up in St. Clair station over the weekend. Marked “DEPOSIT PUBLIC CONSULTATION SURVEY HERE,” the box is at the “end of the southbound platform tucked into the alcove of the non-working elevator.” (In other words, they’re about as conspicuous as what Joe Clark calls the TTC’s “intentionally hidden online complaints form.”)
So what’s the deal?
At the TTC’s emergency meeting on July 20, commissioners were surprised to learn that sometime after the last round of route cuts (in 1996, due to Mike Harris terminating the province’s contribution to operating costs), the Commission put in place a policy that prohibits further elimination of routes without prior public consultation. So Chair Adam Giambrone made a motion that staff, the Chair, and the Vice Chair of the TTC conduct public consultations and prepare an interim report on “the reduction or elimination of the poorest-performing bus routes” and the Sheppard line, as well as on the potential (and very likely) fare increase. Giambrone’s motion also instructed that local councillors be notified of consultations taking place in their wards—presumably so that they can, in theory, be held accountable by constituents for deferring the land transfer and vehicle ownership taxes.
Well, according to a TTC press release, that consultation begins today:

Beginning Monday, August 27, for two weeks, the TTC will ask Torontonians what kind of TTC they want—for today and for the future. There will be a survey online and in brochures on buses, streetcars, and subways. The survey brochure will also be handed out at stations, malls and at Humber College and University of Toronto, Scarborough Campus. […] The printed survey in the brochure can be mailed back to the TTC, faxed back or dropped into boxes at any TTC station. The survey can be printed from the website in five languages: Chinese, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and Tamil and returned to the TTC in the same ways as the printed brochure survey.

You can click here to read the official spiel about the TTC’s woes and other background information, or you can just skip straight to the survey.
Here’s our favourite question:

6. The TTC is facing significant financial pressures. What do you feel is the best way for the TTC to deal with the funding gap? (Select all that apply)

  • Have the City of Toronto raise taxes to provide additional funding
  • Raise fares
  • Reduce service

While the first option is certainly the most palatable (unless you’re one of these hypocrites), it’s curious that the TTC isn’t using this opportunity to gather statistics to show that the vast majority of Torontonians would like the provincial and federal governments to chip in on operating costs, rather than just digging us fancy new tunnels to nowhere when we can’t even afford to crawl through the ones we have now.
Photos by Cy Goldsbie.

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