Monday, November 23, 2009

News Roundup-ish

Boycott and Fare Hike:

TTC to raise fares

Let's trade riders' strikes for riders' solutions

TTC boycott aims to protest rising fares

Boycott? The TTC? Today?

Few riders observe TTC boycott

Toronto transit riders 'strike'

Disgruntled Riders Take Part In TTC Boycott

Few signs of rider revolt

Fare hike only starts the conversation

TTC Smart Cards Still Years Away

Token hoarding will result in $1 million loss: TTC
(not affiliated)

Riled Red Rocket riders ready to unite

TTC Riders' Union Gains Momentum

Meeting - December 13th - 2 PM

Ahead of an admittedly spotty news roundup - not enough attention paid, despite Google Alerts - here's the really important news:

TTC (un)fare hike 09 Meeting
Sunday, Dec. 13th
2 - 4 PM
Location: TBA

The passing of the fare hike doesn't mean there's any reason to quit. Let's discuss what we could accomplish by organizing.

Should we demand a fare freeze? Lobby higher levels of government? Demand a TTC audit or perform our own? Do we need a complaint oversight committee to ensure customer service issues are heard? What sort of TTC does the ridership want?

In this meeting, we can figure out where we stand and start setting an agenda.

If you're on Facebook, here's the event page.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Updates to come

Updates coming this weekend, including a news roundup - my apologies, I've been ill on and off all week, which makes my communication skills limited even at work. :P

Saturday, November 14, 2009

MONDAY: Fare Hike Protest, City Hall - 6 PM - 9 PM

I've been informed of another protest taking place at City Hall on Monday Nov. 16th from 6 - 9 PM. If you can, attend!

Facebook event:

It seems like there's various events starting to pop up, which is awesome - to keep coordinated and therefore strong, join TTC (un)fare hike '09!

TUESDAY: Commission Meeting, CIty Hall 12:45 PM

Next stop: City Hall. If you can make it out Tuesday to the meeting, there will be a protest and a deputation, please attend! If you can't, give suggestions about what to say at the meeting!

ETA: Steve Munro has a summary of the TTC Budget Report up here.

Also, congrats to the Fair Student Fares campaign in having TTC Chair Adam Giambrone raise the issue of student fares extending to post-secondary students at the meeting Tuesday. And though I am aware that the idea of lowering the proposed Metropass fare was around before the boycott, it's still appreciated.

I will be attempting the daunting task of counting the Facebook wall posts this weekend to get a vague idea of numbers, but as I've told everyone - there's no real way to tell. I hope everyone who said they would bike or walk did, and more - but it was always going to be difficult to tell. Lesson learned there, at least!

Friday, November 13, 2009

What'd you do?

Post what you did today! Bike? Walk? Pay in a shower of copper and nickel? Let's hear it!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Action Day

If you can boycott the TTC:

You know the drill. The weather will be pretty good, though cool - so dress for it and walk if you're close!

If you can bike (that's me) - looks like great biking weather! If you need tips or routes, the Toronto Cyclists Union and Biking Toronto have you covered.

If you're driving, try to carpool - people are looking for and offering rides on PickupPal, and on the Facebook event wall. If anyone is part of a carpool in response to this strike and would be cool with a news crew shooting their departure, call: 416.446.5460.

And if you're lucky, you're working at home.

If you can't boycott the TTC - or don't agree:

Write your MPs and MPPs about the state of the TTC. Tell them that to keep Toronto working, they need to keep Toronto moving.

Call the TTC complaint line (416-393-3030) and the City Ombudsman (416-392-7062) to complain about the token limits and the fare hikes - or complain to the TTC online.

Go to the Commission meeting on Tuesday, November 17th to help give the deputation!

Pay in nickles and pennies - and do it for every Friday after!

Fight for Fair Student Fares!

This has been an awesome week - because this week, despite any differences in opinion, TTC riders seem to have agreed on one thing: we deserve a better transit system. And we'll fight to get it.

News Roundup

Another roundup of news coverage, from the past couple days:

Thanks to AM 640 and the John Downs show for having me on last night, and thanks to all the reporters who have chatted with me over the last few days!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Call The TTC Friday

Many people are unable to skip the TTC Friday because the distances they travel are too far for other means, or they can't find or afford them. And that's part of the reason that those of us who can should try to - because there's a lot of people who will be seriously affected by the increase in fares.

However, a great idea came from the Facebook wall - that people should call the TTC Friday with complaints about fare increases and token restrictions. Whether you're boycotting the system or not, you can definitely take a moment to call!

TTC complaints:

City Ombudsman:

This Friday, call. Walk. Bike. Carpool.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Danyl Sobolev created the above poster and offered it up for use. Remember to join Danyl's TTC (un)fare hike '09 group on Facebook - he's heading up the effort to speak up at the Commission meeting on the 17th.

Download the PDF version here.

Fair Student Fares

The Canadian Federation of Students has launched a site to lobby for fair student fares for the TTC. College and university students pay a full fare while high school students have a reduced rate.

Students, go to and unite!

Commission Meeting Documents...

Are not up yet for the meeting on November 17th, but those who are planning to attend can keep checking back here:


Biking Toronto left a comment on Torontoist I'd like to share:

I admire Nicole's idea, but people need options provided when asked to abandon the TTC for a day.

Options like:

1) Take a sick/vacation/personal day off from work. You know you want to. ;)

2) Bike to Work - bikingtoronto's Bike The Strike page (from the last time a TTC strike was threatened) has good info on how to get started.

3) Carpool - arrange carpools at your work

4) Drive (as a last resort) - thousands of people not taking the TTC and driving instead will mean TONS of congestion... and people will pay more for the TTC in order to avoid that.

Toronto vs. The World + More Actions! has a great post about how we stack up in fare versus other world transit systems at:

Also, Danyl has set up a Facebook group to plan to protest and speak at the upcoming Commission meeting on the 17th:

We're in the news!

I'll be on Newstalk Radio 1010 at 2:15 PM on the Jim Richards Show to talk about the strike. Tune in and call in!

I was also interviewed for a story on Torontoist and there's links to other stories below:

BlogTO (Vote in the poll!):



TTC Updates:

Monday, November 9, 2009


There's now a PickUpPal Group set up for ridesharing for Friday the 13th (spooky!):

If you want to see about giving a lift or catching one, check it out!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Why not lobby for funding instead?

We can and should! The TTC is underfunded by a large degree in comparison to other cities of comparable size. In a comment on the National Post:

% of the public transit system operating budget in selected major N. American cities that's funded by state and local authorities:

- San Francisco MUNI = 72%

- New Jersey-New York PATH = 68%

- Boston MTBA = 68%

- Los Angeles LACMTA = 59%

- Chicago = 56%

- Washington DC = 54%

- New York MTA = 45%

- Toronto TTC = 30%

However, many Torontonians that feel the TTC mismanages the money it does get, or that there are other cost-cutting options that should be explored before another fare increase. The government’s lack of help for the TTC doesn’t mean that we should have to make up that shortfall entirely.

I encourage everyone to write his or her representatives:

Find Your MP

Find Your MPP

Friday, November 6, 2009


Our Facebook event has reached 444 people already, which is awesome! Thanks for the help!

If anyone has ideas, offers of help - if anyone owns a bus company or a car rental agency - if anyone can give printing discounts or other discounts - email!

More to come in the next few days! Keep spreading the word!

TTC Limits Number of Tokens Sold, Effective Immediately

The Toronto Transit Commission announced Friday that it will limit the number of token sales to 10 per customer at all collector booths.

The number will drop to one per customer from token vending machines at its automatic entrances, where there is no collector on duty. Where there is a collector on duty, machines will remain the same with a limit of 10.

The measure is to ensure there are enough tokens in the system for all TTC passengers who pay their fare with tokens. The TTC limits token purchases every time fares increase in order to prevent people from hoarding them.

On Wednesday, TTC staff recommended a fare increase for 2010 that will see adult fares rise by 25 cents, going from $2.75 to $3. Fares will also go up for 15 cents for students and seniors and five cents for children.

If the proposed fare increases are approved, the TTC will make an additional $62 million in revenue in 2010. Service levels for 2010 will be the same as 2009.

The fare increase will be considered at a commissioners meeting on November 17. If approved, the fare increase will take effect January 3, 2010.

Source: 680 News

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Why now?

Why now?

We love the TTC in Toronto. We love that it's relatively easy to get around the city, we love the operators that are helpful and friendly and offer a kind word for our thanks. We love the ding-dong of the subway doors closing and we love the automated street announcements. We love knowing when the trains are coming.

What we don't love? Being asked to bear the burden of the TTC's operating shortfalls through fare hikes without an appreciable difference in service. What's more, the highest fare hike is being proposed for Metropass riders - who are arguably amongst the TTC's most loyal riders.

$17 or .25 might not seem like a lot, but it adds up, and to some people, it will make enough of a difference for them to abandon the TTC altogether - or force them to stretch an over-stretched budget.

Riders have accepted fare hikes in the past with grumbling, but little else. Why now? Because if we don't say something sometime, we will be resigned to increases forever, until transit is no longer an affordable option.

To see the full proposed fare hikes, visit: