TTC STRIKE: in a nutshell


People who dig details might quibble here and there but this YouTube clip is the best under-five explanation for what happened to the TTC this past weekend.

Thanks to commenter uSkyscraper for posting the link in the Monday Headlines thread.


  1. I don’t deserve any credit – just repeating the link from a comment by someone named woneill on another Toronto blog yesterday.

    This is the first strike commentary I’ve seen that gets the bigger picture of why the TTC has had more strikes in the last fifteen years than any other agency… it’s not the employees, or the management, it’s the chronic underfunding of the whole mess. Least-subsidized on the continent is not a meaningless stat.

  2. Who’s Howard Hampton? Didn’t I see him on that show with that formerly jailed TV host, Martha Vinyard?

    We need a German to run Toronto’s U and S-bahns. Where’s David Hasselhoff when we need him? I need to take the Knight Rider express from Union Station to the airport.

  3. A splendidly tongue-in-cheek video, aside from the completely unneccesary swipes at Alberta. 😛 We had a seven-week transit strike in Calgary in 2001, and the broad consensus here is that we simply will *not* countenance another one.

  4. So the problem is “chronic underfunding”? Okay. How much money would it take to avoid future strikes?

  5. i just like that the vid shits on all three levels – we have a tremendous organizational poverty in toronto, ontario, canada.

  6. Mike W. – the answer is simple enough. Provide the TTC with enough dough to put their public subsidy fare at the average level for big North American transit agencies, and then and only then is it fair game to delve into payrolls, management, routes, etc. to decide how to best spend it. This level of funding would probably need to set 55% of revenue from the farebox instead of the 70% it is now.

    Some quick, possibly totally wrong math: operating (not capital) budget in 2008 was something like $1.2 billion and revenue from fares was $835 million. If that $835 million was to be 55% of the budget instead of 70%, assuming fares stayed the same, you would need to toss in another $300 million annually to end the “chronic underfunding”.

    That’s a pretty big number for a city with a budget of $8b total, which is why no city on the continent except Toronto tries to pay for transit solely out of city coffers. (Even somewhat similar city-only agencies like SF Muni get massive operating grants from the state and US governments) Cities have regional benefits, and therefore regions usually pay for city infrastructure like transit that benefit them indirectly. The only answer is regional, provincial and federal funding to level the playing field.

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