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Is it fair…Pay more but receive less service?

Posted by DreamSharer on February 6, 2012

Time to vent…rather sit down and wallow in what this world has come to. To narrow it down I am talking specifically about my country…Canada – The greatest place I would not trade for any other place – well I still love my country but I hold my head down and cry thinking of how bad things have become. Where is my old city that used to do everything to make us (the citizens) happy? I grief because of how things are today?

Toronto – Pull up your socks, lace up your boots and get ready to pay more, but receive less service.

It has already started with the TTC and it is only a matter of time till it moves on to another essential service that the city provides.

Yesterday I sat down for 45 minutes waiting for the bus when a month ago there used to be a bus every 10 minutes! But I guess…Not anymore. When the bus came to my stop it was stacked like some sort of clay or mud coming together to form a shape. No chance for anyone to breathe. The first woman came in asking the driver I have been waiting for 1 hour at the stop. Next the bus stopped at another stop and there was no room for anyone else to come in and the woman at the stop said I have been here for more than an hour and now I have to wait another hour for the next bus because this one is full?

The driver does not have the answer! It is not his problem why should he have the answer? So I ask who then has the answer if no one does?

A month ago every single bus route used to have a 10 minute between buses frequency. A month ago street cars used to come every 5 minutes while subways used to run every 1-3 minutes. Now with the new cutting down the services rule, buses come every 30-45 minutes and streetcars run every 15-20 minutes if not more. While subways run every 5 minutes. The fare used to be $3 a ride on any TTC transportation and a monthly pass used to cost $121. Well not anymore. The fare had risen now for every ride and the monthly pass now costs $126 and when the child used to ride for free well now the child rides for 75¢.

So we are paying more for less! What ignorant marketing director issues such rules? Why should we pay the price because some mayor decided to cut down the budget? For so many years all we have been hearing is cut down the budget while taxes are on the rise so what do we exactly pay for? Do I pay more taxes for less job opportunities? Do I pay more taxes for less buses or to be squeezed in with dozens of people? Do I pay more taxes to end up paying more for goods and groceries?

Personally I don`t care what the Mayor (with all due respect) has to say! I don`t care what his reasons are or why he cuts down millions of Dollars off the budget. I am not into politics and I certainly am not working for the TTC to sympathize with their reasons either. Just as selfish as people are, I am selfish to care about my own self and be upset for paying more for less or for the severe inconvenience the TTC has caused.

The TTC General Manager Gary Webster noted in one of his statements that the service would not be increased and the cuts in the 2012 is just the beginning. Also the TTC chair Karen Stintz told Global News that the fare hikes would account for the rate of inflation.

And after all this, TTC boss Webster said he feels the riders’ pain and he sympathizes with us! Really? We are glad you sympathize with us but allow me to ask what is your compassion going to change? Is it supposed to make things better? Is his compassion enough?

In the last couple of weeks, the discussions of raising the Toronto Transit Commission fares led to more talks about a possible annual 10-cent increase until 2015.

In fact, the service from the TTC is expected to be reduced to the 2004-levels.

Furthermore, some city council members believe that the City should not expect transit riders to pay more for less. Council Joe Mihevc said: “There is no way, when asking passengers to pay 10 cents more, we should be cutting service.”

Despite these statements, Webster did not have any optimistic view or opinions about the future of transit in Toronto. He justified their new decision by saying that the TTC cannot afford to maintain or increase its service without finding additional sources of revenue.

“It’s not going to get better unless we get more money through subsidy or higher fares to sustain a higher level of service.”

Webster was a guest on CBC Radio’s Metro Morning one day after the TTC announced it would reduce service on 56 bus and six streetcar routes.

What we should all know is that the service reductions are part of cuts Mayor Rob Ford mandated across all departments as the city struggles to curtail a budget shortfall of $774 million.

What is funny is that although Webster admits the fare increase and service reductions are bad news, he still said the TTC’s budget problems are to blame. And is that supposed to be our problem? So if the budget is to blame why should we pay the price? Sorry but this isn’t a good excuse!

The cuts caused us longer waiting times and more crowding on TTC vehicles, which again is something Webster said he regrets. However, how much does this regret change the bad situation the mass population is facing? We are facing serious issues here when people can’t get to their appointments or get to work on time because the public transit is blaming this problem on the budget.

“I know [customers] are not happy,” he said. “I know this is not minor stuff for some of the routes. When you reduce service or raise fares, people leave the system. And that’s clearly not what we’re trying to do. We’re hoping that as much as people don’t like what we’re doing … perhaps they can accept it and trust that we’re working hard to get an agreement in place with all the funding partners so that we can lead ridership when it grows in the future.”

I am just so sad about what is happening. I went to my doctor’s appointment yesterday I left at 3 pm and I came back home at 11:30 pm. I was stranded several times between buses unable to catch the buses on time and waiting around 45 minutes every time. This isn’t right. The TTC does this when the city has a big traffic problem which means less cars are needed. Yet with this TTC decision more people will end up buying cars which means more pollution and more traffic jams.

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