Feeling like sardines on a bus or train? Frustrated because of signal problems during rush hour? Not feeling safe on transit?
These issues facing commuters on a daily basis were the subject of an event called “#FundTheTTC Day of Action”, hosted by the transit advocacy group, TTCriders.
This event called on commuters to demand more funding from their local city councillors for the TTC in the 2020 city budget. It took place in five subway stations: Dufferin, Kennedy, Lawrence West, St. George and Coxwell, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., except at St. George, where it took place in the morning from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
If the city doesn’t fund the TTC properly, people will continue to have problems getting to their destinations on time,” said Sean Meagher, acting executive director of TTCriders who ran the event at Kennedy station.
“We’re seeing a great example of this today,” Meagher said. “There are people, running around crazy and super frustrated because the RT is broken again.”
He said he hoped the voice of commuters will be heard.
“People are here, sending a message to their councillors, signing petitions and making sure that the folks who make the decisions about what to fund are hearing from people who ride from transit every single day,” he said.
Volunteers with TTCriders talked to commuters passing by the station, either getting their next bus or train, about how the TTC needs to be properly funded. Riders were asked to sign a petition to show they want more funding for transit. They could also have a picture taken with the selfie board, holding up a sign, saying “My bus is always full” or “The fare is too darn high.”
Safety was also an issue with riders.
“I almost got robbed and stabbed,” said Winston Bleary said, who is a daily commuter in Scarborough. “It’s going to get to the point where people will have to arm themselves just to protect themselves on the subway and we shouldn’t have to do that. It should be a safe ride.”
Bleary said he got into an altercation with two men at Spadina station during a delay and, with no security or police to help calm commuters down, he did not feel safe.
“We need a lot of new things, like a new RT.” he said. “We have buses, that’s great. All the fancy bells and whistles, that’s great too, but that little train (RT) is only going to go so far until it is finished. In other places, they got new trains running as we speak. Why is Scarborough always the last place to have something new?”