May 29, 2014
By Jane Brown
TTC riders are catching a break at the fare box. Transit commissioners have voted unanimously to back a motion by former TTC chair Karen Stintz to use a nearly $48-million surplus to avoid a fare increase in 2015. “It wasn’t an expected amount…and so because it’s unexpected, I think it’s important that we do keep it and we do reward riders for their loyalty given all that they’ve had to go through the last few years.” Toronto City Council still has to approve the decision to freeze TTC fares next year.
Stintz also released a statement yesterday which took a jab at two of her fellow Toronto mayoral contenders. She said both “John Tory and Olivia Chow have refused to comment on how they would allocate this substantial amount of money.” Stintz stepped down as TTC chair before formally registering to run for mayor. But she remains on the board.
Commissioners also voted to reduce the number of streetcar stops throughout the city by some 70 locations. TTC CEO Andy Byford says, “there were some stops that were non-contentious, so what I’m pleased about are those stops that were non-contentious, the commission did vote to approve the fact that we can now proceed with removal of those stops. It was only those few that were contentious with particular councillors, that we agreed to take away and consider elsewhere.”
The new streetcars to be added in the coming months are significantly longer, and so the distance between most stops will be increased. Right now, the average distance between stops is about 250 metres. TTC commissioners have agreed 350 metres is a more appropriate distance.