The Keep Transit Moving coalition (KTM) today released its platform for the Ontario election, offering a bold, positive vision for the future of public transit in the province.
The coalition is urging all parties to go beyond promises of lower fares and instead adopt a robust platform of universally affordable, accessible, and expanded transit service for all, when the legislature resumes after the election.
“It’s time for transit that’s not stuck in traffic,” says Nick Grover of Free Transit Ottawa. “People across Ontario need convenient, quality transit that is treated as a public service without cost barriers. Addressing these needs will help us deal with the crises we’re facing, including the climate, pandemic, and skyrocketing inequality.”
The coalition urges all party leaders to prioritize permanent funding for transit operations, which would allow for more frequent and reliable service within and between communities, expanded paratransit service and universally affordable fares.
“It’s time to cancel proposed new highways to fund transit. The parties are talking about transit, but need to go much further to address people’s transportation needs and the climate emergency,” says Dylan Penner, Climate and Social Justice Campaigner with the Council of Canadians. “Public transit has become an election issue because people across the province are demanding service expansion within and between communities, universally affordable fares, climate action, and real transit accessibility.”
Without permanent operational support, the Coalition warns that public transit systems are likely to enter a death spiral where funding cuts lead to degraded service and lower ridership, justifying further spending cuts.
To avoid a transit death spiral, KTM is calling on all elected leaders to establish a federally-matched, permanent provincial framework for transit operating funding, and redirect funds currently allocated for highway and fossil fuel projects towards climate-friendly local and intercity public transit.
Keep Transit Moving is a non-partisan pan-Canadian coalition of rider advocacy groups, climate justice organizations, and labour unions.
For more information contact:
Dylan Penner, firstname.lastname@example.org, 613-795-8685