For the fourth year in a row, the TTC will be free to ride after midnight on New Year’s Eve—only this time, they’re paying the bill themselves.
In 2007 Capital One sponsored the night of service, and in 2008 and 2009 a “coalition of leaders in the entertainment industry,” the Toronto Entertainment Alliance, did the same. Today, though, the TTC sent out a press release quoting new Chair Karen Stintz, who said that “while the TTC has traditionally sought sponsorship to cover the costs of this free service, I believe our public transit system can, and should, do its part to help curb impaired driving, while also demonstrating to our riders the TTC’s very real commitment to improved customer service—this is one such measure.”
The truth: no sponsor came through this year, and the TTC is covering the ninety-four-thousand-dollar cost themselves to keep the tradition alive. “We believe this is the right thing to do,” TTC Director of Communications Brad Ross told Torontoist today.
“We would have welcomed [a sponsor],” Ross continued. The TTC has no plans to make other nights—say, Nuit Blanche—free, absent sponsorship, but New Year’s is a special case, Ross explained, with “many revelers whom we want to help get home safely.”
Full service details for the night are on the TTC’s website. The key bits: “subway and most surface route service [will be] extended until approximately 4 a.m.,” with subway service starting to end after 3:30 a.m.
Earlier this afternoon, we left a message with Liberty Entertainment Group, who spearheaded the Toronto Entertainment Alliance two years ago, and whose president and CEO said in 2009 that “our hope is that this initiative will continue for many future New Year’s Eve celebrations.” We’ve yet to hear back.