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Mitzie Hunter issues multi-point plan to boost TTC ridership, get Toronto moving again

Seniors ride free, fares reduced, service restored, mayoral candidate says

Toronto – Mitzie Hunter, mayoral candidate, has issued a multi-point plan to boost TTC ridership and get Toronto moving again which will mean seniors ride for free, fares reduced and service restored.
The elements of Hunter’s plan are:
•        Seniors ride for free on the TTC as well as Wheel-Trans users
•        Lower TTC fares by reversing recent fare hike
•        Restoring service and reversing the cuts
“We need to get Toronto moving again,” says Hunter. “Safe, reliable, frequent and affordable transit is the best tool we have to get Toronto moving again as well as help us achieve our climate goals.”
These key elements are part of a multi-point plan to restore ridership and confidence in the TTC.
“TTC ridership last year was less than 60 per cent of pre-pandemic levels and road traffic is crawling,” says Hunter. 
“In the already-congested downtown core, the beginning of construction on the Ontario Line will only make traffic worse. This is the worst time to be reducing TTC service frequency and hiking fares. I will fix that by restoring service, reducing fares and making the TTC free for seniors and Wheel-Trans users.”
Hunter’s plan to get Toronto moving again includes:
●       Eliminating all TTC fares for seniors and all users of Wheel-Trans to help our most vulnerable and those living on fixed incomes with the rising cost of living and boost ridership, starting this September ($57 million estimate in 2024)
●       Reversing the TTC fare hikes that took effect in April 2023 to save transit riders more than $20 million a year
●       Reversing the almost $53 million in TTC service cuts that reduced service frequency by about 10 per cent and increasing Wheel-Trans service to accommodate increased demand 
●       Fully-funding TTC’s operational costs, while advocating for greater support from the Provincial and Federal governments
●       Negotiating with the Province to reach a fair deal for Toronto to eliminate the dual fares paid by transit users when they switch between the TTC, GO and transit systems in neighbouring cities.
●       Implementing Hunter’s previously-announced five-point safety plan, which includes increased police patrols around stations as well as pairing TTC officers with social workers to assist vulnerable people, a community ambassador program to do safety audits, implementing sliding safety doors, consulting with TTC workers about their safety, and data collection to track success. 
The cost of Hunter’s plan is $144 million when fully-implemented by 2025.
In addition to the new transit projects already underway, Hunter will:
●       Build the Eglinton East LRT extension to the University of Toronto Scarborough and Malvern, with the City’s one-third share coming from the existing Scarborough Subway levy funds given that those funds are no longer needed because the subway is now fully funded by the Province.
●       Commit to building the Waterfront East LRT to extend streetcar service along the waterfront and transfer the City’s share of funding to a new and dedicated fund.
●       Champion and advance the planning for the North York Scarborough Subway extension along Sheppard, connecting Line 4 to the new Scarborough Subway Extension in the east and to Sheppard West on Line 1.
●       Advocate for the additional Cummer Station to serve the Newtonbrook area of North York as part of the Yonge North Subway Extension.
●       Be a fierce advocate with Metrolinx to ensure as we grow our City and build new transit that it is done in a way that is more transparent, minimizes and coherently coordinates road disruptions, and provides real benefits to communities impacted – like improvements to public spaces, trees and relief for small businesses.
“My plan restores service cuts, gets more people riding the TTC now, but also sets out how we can make the TTC better than ever before in the future,” says Hunter.
“I am going further than any other mayoral candidate because I am bringing fresh eyes and new solutions to the TTC in order to get Toronto moving again."