Scarborough Transit Activists get together to discuss mobilizing against possible TTC budget cuts

News Sep 14, 2016 by Rahul Gupta Scarborough Mirror

Scarbororough transit activist Brenda Thompson senses something is different.

“There’s something happening here,” said Thompson, a member of Scarborough Transit Action (STA), which hosted an information session for members and non-members alike this week. “People are getting mobilized and they want things to change.”

The session, Transit Fairness Night hosted at the East Scarborough Storefront, was billed as an opportunity to get familiar with local concerns pushed by STA and umbrella group TTCriders, with attendees breaking into groups to discuss issues like building the Eglinton Crosstown LRT extension east of Kennedy Station, pushing for a low income transit pass and railing against likely budget cuts to the TTC. 

Budget cuts could mean reductions to service levels in transit-starved Scarborough, said Thompson, or another hike in fares.

“It doesn’t look very good,” she said.

In protest, TTCriders is planning a noon rally at city hall Wednesday, Sept. 28, prior to the TTC’s monthly board of commissioners meeting. Like it’s done in the past, the group hinted it will disrupt the meeting proceedings to voice its opposition to any reductions in service. Toronto Mayor John Tory has called on the TTC to trim 2.6 per cent from next year’s operating budget, which is already facing a shortfall due to lower revenues than projected so far in 2016.

For the rally, the group plans to hold a “race to bottom” to illustrate its concerns about TTC cuts, said group member Nirmalan Vijeyakumar.

“This will be an actual race,” said Vijeyakumar.  “We’re going run from the top to the bottom to show the ridiculousness of the cuts.”

The group also plans to make individual deputations to the TTC board, which is expected to debate how to locate the nearly $200 million it needs in spending cuts, which senior TTC leadership has suggested can’t be achieved without cutting service. 

Leading up to the rally TTCriders is launching a new social media campaign, lampooning Mayor Tory’s bid to “make North America’s most efficient transit system even more efficient”. So Efficient it Hurts seeks humorous and outrageous solutions for cutting TTC spending even further.

“We’re hoping Tory will see our dumb and funny suggestions and realize it doesn’t make sense to cut more from a transit system which has the lowest fare subsidy in North America,” said Vijeyakumar.

He invited TTC users to submit their own ideas until Sept. 28.

Scarborough Transit Activists get together to discuss mobilizing against possible TTC budget cuts

Transit Action Scarborough and TTCriders co-host event

News Sep 14, 2016 by Rahul Gupta Scarborough Mirror

Scarbororough transit activist Brenda Thompson senses something is different.

“There’s something happening here,” said Thompson, a member of Scarborough Transit Action (STA), which hosted an information session for members and non-members alike this week. “People are getting mobilized and they want things to change.”

The session, Transit Fairness Night hosted at the East Scarborough Storefront, was billed as an opportunity to get familiar with local concerns pushed by STA and umbrella group TTCriders, with attendees breaking into groups to discuss issues like building the Eglinton Crosstown LRT extension east of Kennedy Station, pushing for a low income transit pass and railing against likely budget cuts to the TTC. 

Budget cuts could mean reductions to service levels in transit-starved Scarborough, said Thompson, or another hike in fares.

“It doesn’t look very good,” she said.

In protest, TTCriders is planning a noon rally at city hall Wednesday, Sept. 28, prior to the TTC’s monthly board of commissioners meeting. Like it’s done in the past, the group hinted it will disrupt the meeting proceedings to voice its opposition to any reductions in service. Toronto Mayor John Tory has called on the TTC to trim 2.6 per cent from next year’s operating budget, which is already facing a shortfall due to lower revenues than projected so far in 2016.

For the rally, the group plans to hold a “race to bottom” to illustrate its concerns about TTC cuts, said group member Nirmalan Vijeyakumar.

“This will be an actual race,” said Vijeyakumar.  “We’re going run from the top to the bottom to show the ridiculousness of the cuts.”

The group also plans to make individual deputations to the TTC board, which is expected to debate how to locate the nearly $200 million it needs in spending cuts, which senior TTC leadership has suggested can’t be achieved without cutting service. 

Leading up to the rally TTCriders is launching a new social media campaign, lampooning Mayor Tory’s bid to “make North America’s most efficient transit system even more efficient”. So Efficient it Hurts seeks humorous and outrageous solutions for cutting TTC spending even further.

“We’re hoping Tory will see our dumb and funny suggestions and realize it doesn’t make sense to cut more from a transit system which has the lowest fare subsidy in North America,” said Vijeyakumar.

He invited TTC users to submit their own ideas until Sept. 28.

Scarborough Transit Activists get together to discuss mobilizing against possible TTC budget cuts

Transit Action Scarborough and TTCriders co-host event

News Sep 14, 2016 by Rahul Gupta Scarborough Mirror

Scarbororough transit activist Brenda Thompson senses something is different.

“There’s something happening here,” said Thompson, a member of Scarborough Transit Action (STA), which hosted an information session for members and non-members alike this week. “People are getting mobilized and they want things to change.”

The session, Transit Fairness Night hosted at the East Scarborough Storefront, was billed as an opportunity to get familiar with local concerns pushed by STA and umbrella group TTCriders, with attendees breaking into groups to discuss issues like building the Eglinton Crosstown LRT extension east of Kennedy Station, pushing for a low income transit pass and railing against likely budget cuts to the TTC. 

Budget cuts could mean reductions to service levels in transit-starved Scarborough, said Thompson, or another hike in fares.

“It doesn’t look very good,” she said.

In protest, TTCriders is planning a noon rally at city hall Wednesday, Sept. 28, prior to the TTC’s monthly board of commissioners meeting. Like it’s done in the past, the group hinted it will disrupt the meeting proceedings to voice its opposition to any reductions in service. Toronto Mayor John Tory has called on the TTC to trim 2.6 per cent from next year’s operating budget, which is already facing a shortfall due to lower revenues than projected so far in 2016.

For the rally, the group plans to hold a “race to bottom” to illustrate its concerns about TTC cuts, said group member Nirmalan Vijeyakumar.

“This will be an actual race,” said Vijeyakumar.  “We’re going run from the top to the bottom to show the ridiculousness of the cuts.”

The group also plans to make individual deputations to the TTC board, which is expected to debate how to locate the nearly $200 million it needs in spending cuts, which senior TTC leadership has suggested can’t be achieved without cutting service. 

Leading up to the rally TTCriders is launching a new social media campaign, lampooning Mayor Tory’s bid to “make North America’s most efficient transit system even more efficient”. So Efficient it Hurts seeks humorous and outrageous solutions for cutting TTC spending even further.

“We’re hoping Tory will see our dumb and funny suggestions and realize it doesn’t make sense to cut more from a transit system which has the lowest fare subsidy in North America,” said Vijeyakumar.

He invited TTC users to submit their own ideas until Sept. 28.