Wednesday, July 9, 2014

In the Fight Against High TTC Fares We Need a Universal Fare Reduction Strategy!

Yesterday, Toronto City Council voted to "study" the idea of a separate "low-income" "fare equity" plan for the TTC.

But I believe that this is the wrong way to go and wrote an article saying why and outlining why means test based programs like Toronto's "Welcome Policy" are not an alternative to actually working to lower fees and fares for all, even for those they are supposed to help. From "Toronto's transit woes: Are 'fare equity' policies a real alternative to universal fare reduction strategies?"

"Given the depressing context of our empty political discourse and the self-imposed "limitations" placed on our options by our "mainstream" politicians, one can understand why many on the left and many liberals in Toronto are embracing this idea as a real step forward....

The problem with rising TTC fares is not simply or only that some are being left behind by their increase, it is that they keep rising! The political will to fight fare increases simply does not yet exist and politicians act as if the increases are inevitable and need to be mitigated when they are not inevitable and only need to be mitigated because they have risen for a generation and have assumed an absurdly large role in financing the system.  
The fares are not affordable because they are too high. Exempting some portions of the Precariat, those living in poverty and those who fall under some arbitrary line drawn up by city officials will not change the fact that the fares are too high! 
While one has to be sympathetic to those fighting for this idea, one also has to ask, would not the money, time and political effort simply be better spent on an across the board fare reduction strategy that does not require any administration, means tests or fare policing and that would then fit into a broader strategy of working towards the goal, already achieved in cities like Tallinn, Estonia, of free and affordable transit for everyone?"
You can read the full article here: 

You can read an article about why Free transit is an idea whose time has come here:

You can check out Michael's transit page here:

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