rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Toronto still waiting for a transit champion

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca today for as little as $1 per month!

Transit advocacy group, TTCriders’s newly released Vote Transit report card shows that Toronto’s 1.6 million daily riders are still waiting for a mayoral candidate to become a transit champion. 


Released this morning, the purpose of TTCriders' Vote Transit report card is help Toronto’s transit users easily understand how the mayoral candidates plan to fix their commute. 

The report card evaluates the mayoral candidates on their plan to improve service now, lower fares, keep the TTC public, and invest in transit expansion.  

"Our Vote Transit report card shows that despite transit being this election's top of the mind issue, none of the top three candidates have come forward as a transit champion,"  says Brenda Thompson, TTCriders co-chair.  "Where is our transit champion?"

Olivia Chow is the only candidate who has a reasonable plan to improve transit now becuse she wants to increase bus service and invest in a bus garage and new buses.

"Every day riders across the city are squashed like sardines into overcrowded buses, street cars, and subways," says Jessica Bell, TTCriders' executive director.  "Riders want better service now; we don't want to wait a decade or more to get relief," she says.

John Tory received a "needs work" grade for his transit expansion plans, because his SmartTrack proposal needs -- but lacks federal funding -- and his idea to fund the project through future property tax revenue has not worked well elsewhere. 

Doug Ford received a "derailed grade" in all categories.  As a councillor, Doug Ford voted to cut service and subsidy-per-ride levels to the TTC, and wants to cancel already approved transit expansion projects like the Finch and Sheppard East LRTs. 

Information in the report card was collected via a survey distributed to the mayoral candidates: Olivia Chow and John Tory completed the survey, Doug Ford did not. TTCriders also reviewed the candidates'election platforms, statements to the media, and voting record.

TTCriders is calling on governments to increase funding to the TTC so service can be increased and fares reduced, especially for those in need.

TTCriders is also calling on candidates to support the TTC's "Opportunities to Improve Transit Service in Toronto" report.  The TTC staff report recommends the TTC increase bus and street car service so all routes have 10-minutes-or-better service, expand the express bus network, increase night time service, and introduce two hour transfer fares, so one fare will allow a rider to use the TTC for two hours.

The report was passed by the TTC Commission in August 2014. TTCriders is campaigning to make sure the recommendations are included and funded in next year’s city budget process. 


Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.