TTC Riders hands out ‘overcrowding relief kits’ to commuters

Yonge subway line over capacity during the morning rush

On Thursday, Jan. 18, the same day Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) was discussing the future of Line One, the transit advocacy group TTC Riders handed out “overcrowding relief kits” to passengers at King Station.

“The Yonge line is dangerously overcrowded, and riders are in desperate need of relief,” said Shelagh Pizey-Allen, executive director of TTC Riders in a statement.

“The TTC board must consider the actions for the future over TTC lines, we all need to see all the levels of governments functioning to fund construction of the relief line as soon as possible,” said Pizey-Allen in an interview with The Dialog.

Inside the kit, there was a breath mint, a transit-themed crossword puzzle and a guide on how to relieve overcrowding.

The guide urges commuters to call Mayor John Tory and Premier Kathleen Wynne, demanding to fund and build the relief line as soon as possible and included their phone numbers.

“TTC Riders is campaigning for lower fares and better services on the TTC, and we are working towards to a world-class, affordable public transit system” said Pizey-Allen.

A report called Managing Crowding on Line One by  TTC chief operating officer Mike Palmer states that “Finch to Union Station is the busiest section of any transit line on the TTC network, carrying 450,000 customer trips per day.”

The report says use of line one has grown during the last 15 years exceeding the capacity during the morning rush.

The report also recommends implementation of automatic train control at the end of 2019, which will permit trains to run closer and safer. It also suggests implementing a customer awareness campaign about emergency alarms, the work on the relief line, the purchase of new trains, and congestion fare pricing as a medium-term solution.

“The city and province need to fund better TTC service and start building the relief line as soon as possible to end the dangerous overcrowding on the Yonge line” said Pizey-Allen.

In addition to the construction of the relief line, TTC Riders wants the city to increase the subsidy for the TTC.

“The TTC is the least funded transit in North America with an average of $2.60 per ride. In 2017, the TTC received a city subsidy under $1 per ride,” said Pizey-Allen.

TTC Riders is planning a transit day of action on Jan. 30 and are calling for the creation of two-hour transfers, a low-income transit pass and better service, according to Pizey-Allen.

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TTC Riders hands out ‘overcrowding relief kits’ to commuters