April 1, 2014

Minister of Transport given "Sardine Award" by Toronto transit users

Story by TTC Riders,
Toronto transit advocacy group 

TTCriders and supporters presented the inaugural TTC Sardine Award to Liberal Minister of Transportation, Glen Murray, for failing to fund the TTC.

“Transportation Minister Glen Murray received the TTC Sardines Award today because the Liberal Government has for years refused to regularly contribute fair funding to the TTC, even though it has had the power to do so,” said TTCriders member, Jennifer Huang.

Dressed as sardines, nearly 100 TTC users travelled via street car from Queen’s Park subway to Glen Murray’s constituency office at 514 Parliament St.

As the TTC Sardine Award winner, Glen Murray received a poster with the four winning photographs of a photo competition held by TTCriders between February 14 and March 5.  The photos were selected because they best reflected the overcrowding experienced on the TTC due to record ridership levels and the province’s failure to fund the TTC so service can be increased.  Glen Murray also received a platter of sardines on a fish tray.

Supporters also held a rally outside Glen Murray’s office before delivering the award.  Representatives from TTCriders, the University of Toronto Scarborough Student Union and the Ontario Chinese Seniors Association spoke out about the problem of sardine-like conditions on the TTC and the impact of fare hikes on Torontonians who struggle to make ends meet.

Since Glen Murray was not present to accept the award, TTC users carefully left the presentation and the fish platter (with sardines) at the door step of his constituency office.

Every major transit system in North America gets a much higher government subsidy per ride than Toronto. If Toronto received the same subsidy per rider as Vancouver the TTC’s budget would jump from $1.5 billion to nearly $2.5 billion.

Stable provincial funding of $700 million per year would allow the TTC to increase overall service levels by at least 25% reduce fares by 20 cents a ride, and give deeper fare discounts for those in need.

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