I must have had another heart attack yesterday when I learned that the TTC may consider fare increases to $3 and bus passes to $126. There must be something extremely inefficient in a partly subsidized transit system that’s services costs are becoming closer and closer to cab fare. And I’m further perturbed upon learning that New York’s metro pass is $70, and Montreal is $64! That’s half price!
The argument I hear back is that Toronto is a bigger city. Yes, true, but there are more people in that city, and more people mean more taxes and more ridership. It makes me really interested to hear a forensic accountants take on the TTC after reading their balance sheets. Something is definitely wrong here.
What’s also wrong is the attitude of a bus driver on the 68 warden today who was yelling at these women to pay the full bus fare. They paid the student fare but didn’t have a student card. “STUDENT CARD OR ADULT FARE!” She shouted. I didn’t think there was a need to embarrass these women with their wal-mart shopping bags. They paid the full fare at once, but the driver still was shouting at them with an almost psychotic tone. Maintaining their dignity, they yelled back at her, bitch this and shut up that. “Pff, the bus fare is already too much,” one of the women retorted.
“If you don’t like it, get a car!” She yelled so condescendingly as if that was an option people aspire to, as if being in poverty was a filthy and lowly crime.
Is this the option we are forced to consider from what was supposed to be the public’s transit, the proletariats chariot?
Hasn’t anyone understood by now that it makes no logistical sense for everyone to be driving a car? Do we need our streets to be clogged with anymore grid lock, or more lanes paved to add to our unaesthetic landscape? Do we need more smog clouding our air and into our lungs?
I’ve been to other cities, and I feel like Toronto is the only place where people take the bus only if they couldn’t afford a car. Countless times I’ve seen guys browsing through the listings of auto magazines in the bus. I hear of people foolishly slaving off for minimum wage to get their wagon. Many times I’ve received pity from people when I told them I don’t have a car. This childish materialistic attitude has got to change. I keep on trying to show people they have been misled in the empty promises and dreams of car culture!
The goal is to get from place to place fast. The only efficient way for people to be transported in a city is undoubtedly properly managed public transit.
Why can’t decision makers put the politics aside and realize this?
We need to increase service! We need to decrease the fare!
I always believed a two way fare of public transit should be less than half of an hourly minimum wage… that’s around $9, and the proposed 2 way bus fare is at $6, that’s 2/3rds of the way. It’s not fair. The system is bound to collapse!
If the driver had to ask me, I’d say, No, I don’t like it- but I won’t get a car- but I will ride my bike. The fight for cheaper bus far and the push for increased services seems like a losing battle. I think my energy is best put towards the push for indoor bike lanes for winter. Once that’s built, we’ll have full mobility around the city and there won’t be a need to pay someone 80K+ a year for each lane.