It’s not news that, especially in recent years, a lot of passionate, involved and interested/interesting riders really do give a damn about what the TTC is up to. It’s also not news, however, that the TTC is famous for leaving a bad taste in its collective riders’ mouths. From its unveiling of crappy transit merchandise (despite ample feedback on merchandise people actually want) to its crappy rider survey (which Torontoist reconfigured to get more complex and useful feedback, with good results), it would seem that more often than not, the TTC has learned to smile and nod while transit riders attempt to engage it in conversation. What does a rider need to do to make their voice heard in this city?
Well, how about unionizing?
Erica Barnett at worldchanging.com describes in detail the triumphs of transit riders’ unions around the world. Noteworthy successes include the Los Angeles Bus Riders Union saving their monthly transit pass from extinction and the Vancouver Bus Riders Union restoring late night service on routes that night shift workers would otherwise have had to live without.
A transit riders union in Toronto would certainly be one way for Torontonians to genuinely share in the decision-making process with the TTC instead of just being fed information and directives from above. They evidently understand and respect the power and rights of their own union…could they really ignore ours?
Photo by Cannon Fodder XT.