(This is a map of potential TTC service cuts by Ian Trider via the Torontoist. Solid red lines are routes which may be entirely eliminated. Broken red lines are routes which may be eliminated, but partially serviced by other routes. The yellow lines are routes which may have their service reduced. Click here to see a larger-size version.)
Basic access refers to people’s ability to access public services, health care, employment, education, social activities, and essential goods. Basic mobility refers to the physical travel that provides basic access. Both should be recognized as a fundamental right of every citizen in Toronto. The TTC plays an integral role in making that fundamental right a reality. Regrettably, the City’s financial crisis has backed the TTC into a corner which threatens every citizen’s basic access and mobility rights.
The map above shows over 50 routes which will either be completely eliminated, be partially eliminated, or have their service substantially reduced. (To see a full list of routes, click here.) The TTC’s strength has always been its vast, multi-modal network, which served diverse needs at different times of the day. So, at a time when we should be upgrading and expanding our network, (especially our Wheel-Trans service) we are now faced with the possibility of it being gutted.
Gutting the network could lead to irrevocable damage to the city as a whole, both tangible and intangible: former transit riders who become drivers and never look back; redistributed riders on already crowded routes; worsening gridlock; and longer commute times, which equals less personal time and exacerbates feelings of isolation for approximately 1.3 million riders a year.
I wonder how Torontonians would react if their water, hydro, fire, or ambulance service were threatened to the same extent as public transit. The TTC needs to be viewed as an essential service, on par with those just listed, so that cutting public transit is anathema.
Basic access and basic mobility are a fundamental right of every citizen in Toronto and the TTC is the best way of making sure those rights are upheld. Let your City Councillors know.
One way of informing City Councillors is to fill out both the TTC’s “My TTC is…” survey and the Torontoist’s more in-depth version. Another is to attend the TTC Commission meeting on Wednesday, September 12 (more details to follow), where they will be making a decision on service cuts.