TTC Riders Are Fighting To End Overcrowding On Buses Before Schools Reopen
They're storming an MPPs office to demand a solution.
Commuters from all corners of the city will band together next weekend in a. TTCriders, an advocacy group of Toronto transit riders, is organizing the rally. It will take place at MPP Vijay Thanigasalam’s office in Scarborough.
TTCriders members will be bringing a giant Toronto Transit Commission bus prop for MPP Thanigasalam, who currently acts as the Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Transportation, to ride.
They will also be bringing along a list of demands.
First and foremost, they want a chance to address overcrowding on buses during the pandemic before.
"Some bus routes have been overcrowded throughout the pandemic, especially in neighbourhoods where more racialized and working class residents live. We need full TTC service before students return to classes to reduce bus crowding,” Shelagh Pizey-Allen of TTCriders told Narcity in a statement.
They also want to address Doug Ford’s plan to “to attach strings to the 2nd phase of emergency transit.”
This is referencing the potential cuts to low-performing bus routes and the replacement of those routes with private companies outlined within Ontario's Safe Restart Agreement.
“We need permanent provincial TTC funding instead,” Pizey-Allen urged.
The group is also pushing for lower transit fares.
There have been reports of overcrowding on subways and buses, despite social distancing orders being in place.
Just a few weeks ago,from a bus in which crowds were dense and there wasn't ample room to distance.
The TTC's Stuart Green told Narcitythat full service won't resume until the TTC is "at 50 percent ridership," but the organization's May 2020 report said that even a 30% demand requires 100% service.
The provincial Safe Restart Agreement outlines the potential for low-traffic routes to be cut and replaced with private forms of micro transit.
According to Pizey-Allen, privatization of low-traffic routes could lead to marginalized communities not having the same access to transit as, for example, downtown areas.
This is what TCCriders is looking to avoid.
The rally will take place between 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 12 at 105-8130 Sheppard Ave. East, where Thanigasalam’s office is located.
Anyone attending the rally is asked to maintain social distancing and wear a mask.