In The News
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- August 18, 2017: How New York Subways Got Broke, On Purpose
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is pushing for a tax on the rich to fund desperately needed improvements to the crumbling subway system run by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). De Blasio's plan would raise city income taxes on individuals making over $500,000 a year and couples making over $1-million by about half of a per cent, which would raise over $700-million for subway and bus upgrades as well as half-price Metro Cards for the almost 800,000 city residents who are at or below the federal poverty level.
- August 2, 2017: The Summer of Fear for New York Subway Riders
After months of increasing delays at all times of the day and night, a series of incidents have now raised an even more urgent question: about the daily safety for those who ride and work on New York City's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). On July 17, the Monday morning commute ground to a halt for anyone in need of the A, B, C or D lines when a track fire trapped two trains full of people underground and disrupted service for tens of thousands trying to get to work. Four days later, the derailment of a Q train at Brighton Beach - the fourth derailment on an MTA subway this year - shut down service for five hours, with passengers forced to evacuate.
- June 6, 2017: New York subways reach the breaking point
On any given day, millions of people who depend on New York City subways wake up and wonder how much extra time they should take to make it to their job.
- May 22, 2017: Toronto’s 2018 Budget and Continuing Transit Austerity
In a report to the City of Toronto’s Budget Committee meeting for May 11, 2017, City Manager Peter Wallace makes two recommendations that will have a major effect on transit planning and operations in Toronto: All spending for the 2018 Operating Budget would be frozen at 2017 levels; No new projects would be approved within the Ten Year Capital Budget and Plan until 2027 when there is borrowing headroom available to the City to fund additional works.
- May 20, 2017: Why Britain’s Trains Don’t Run on Time: Capitalism
If how the railways run is a guide to the state of a nation, then it tells you something that Britain is in the middle of its biggest railway strike since 1994. Not coincidentally, that was the year the national rail network was privatized by the Conservative government of Prime Minister John Major. A labor dispute has been simmering for nearly a year on the routes managed by Southern, a train operator that, as the name suggests, runs crucial commuter services between London and the South Coast.
- May 18, 2017: What Seattle’s New Left Wants
Katie Wilson, general secretary of the Seattle Transit Riders Union -- a pro-transit group -- says taking on corporate interests is daunting, but is of central importance to the goals that groups like hers hold. 'If we’re going to really create a society that’s equitable, we as a community need to be taking ownership of services, not just regulating how corporations provide those services,' she says.
- May 8, 2017: Laval, Quebec seniors to ride buses fare-free
'Taking into account that active mobility and mass transit are priorities for Laval residents, the sums announced by the Finance Minister over five years to improve the service offer, including an increase in the frequency of buses, is good news,' the mayor added.
- April 21, 2017: Transit cops or free transit?
After the February murder of Winnipeg transit operator Irvine Jubal Fraser, and other violent attacks, there is a push for transit cops to be introduced in Winnipeg. Conducted a month after Fraser’s murder, a survey has now been widely publicized finding 64 percent of respondents favour the introduction of transit police, despite 75 percent believing Winnipeg Transit is safe. Those who 'strongly' or 'moderately' feel safe drops to 49 percent for night buses with 38 percent feeling unsafe.
- April 12, 2017: People of colour and women priced out of Toronto's core face longer travel times
A good job in the city, a big house in the suburbs - it's the classic suburban dream. A long commute was the price to pay for a salary that could sustain a comfortable life. But over the past 20 years, that situation has reversed along racial and gender lines.
- April 2, 2017: Allies at Every Stop: Organizing Passengers and Building Power
These two videos are sections of a two-part on-line training course, produced by the International ATU, for use by ATU locals in the U.S. and Canada. The goal is to help members to build alliances between transit workers and users, to collectively challenge the common agenda of business and its allies to privatize, deregulate and cut needed social services (such as public transit), and attack the rights of those who deliver the service, in the transit unions.
- March 17, 2017: Columbus May Offer Free Transit Passes to All Downtown Workers
A few years ago, a group of property owners in downtown Columbus realized they had a problem: They were running out of room for car commuters. There wasn't enough parking to accommodate more.
- February 16, 2017: 2017 TTC Budget Smoke and Mirrors at City Hall
The Toronto Sun brought an opinion piece from Mayor John Tory about all of the wondrous new spending we would see in this year's budget, and how our transit system would be better for it.
- February 8, 2017: Toronto's monthly transit pass the 5th most expensive in the world
Torontonians pay some of the highest prices in the world for a monthly public transit pass, according to a study from a European moving company. Movinga contacted transport offices around the world to find out the cost of a monthly public transit pass. Only London, Dublin, Sydney and New York City are more expensive than Toronto.
- January 23, 2017: Bikes vs Cars
Bikes vs Cars depicts a global crisis: climate, Earth's resources, cities where the entire surface is consumed by automobiles, an ever-growing, dirty, noisy traffic chaos.
- January 11, 2017: The Newest Americans, Getting Off the Bus
To get to class, Ramon Garibaldo Valdez would start from his home in East Charlotte, North Carolina at 8 a.m. each weekday. He'd board the 17 at the nearby bus station, settling in for a 40-minute ride downtown.
- December 23, 2016: The TTC 'fare evasion' fraud and Toronto's fiscal chickens coming home to roost
Lost late last week in the cacophony of reaction to Mayor John Tory's announcement that he would be considering the implementation of road tolls on Toronto's highways was a very interesting article from the Toronto Star's Edward Keenan.
- December 20, 2016: What would Rosa Parks do today?
This week marks the 60th anniversary of the Montgomery Bus Boycott victory, which began when Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat to a white man in 1955.
- December 20, 2016: Free Transit Library
An international resource for everything public transit.
- December 20, 2016: On Toronto Tolls, Marxists Align with Auto Industrial Complex
What's left and what's right? Usually it is obvious, but sometimes you have to take a step back and consider the bigger picture. For example, the Toronto toll debate has exposed a lack of scrutiny of the leading source of corporate profit over the past century by many supposed leftists.
- December 20, 2016: Paris in Transit: A Few Snapshots
In early December 2016, the Paris region suffered from the most intense bout of small particle pollution in a decade. Anticyclonic weather (cold air under a cover of hotter air undisturbed by wind) trapped pollutants. These came for the most part from car traffic (including diesel-powered beasts), ammonia-emitting intensive agriculture, some industrial emissions and a spike in pollutants from residential heating (90% of which emanating from the relatively few wood-fired ovens).
- December 19, 2016: The road tolls for thee
Last week, Toronto mayor Join Tory announced a plan to toll two major Toronto highways, the Gardiner and the DVP. The city is starved for cash with huge shortfalls for both infrastructure (new housing, new transit lines) and even everyday operating expenses.
- December 19, 2016: Montreal P3 light rail: new analysis shows public will pay for private profits
The more we learn about the details of a P3 light rail project in Montreal, the clearer it becomes that it's a train wreck when it comes to the public interest.
- December 18, 2016: Toronto agrees to slash fares for up 200,000 low income transit riders
The new $50M fair pass program will give riders on social assistance and riders earning less than $22,000 a year (and you can earn more if you have dependents) will receive a fare discount of 33% on cash fares, and a 20% discount on the monthly metropass.
- December 12, 2016: Sheila Block on road tolls and taxes in Toronto
Mick Sweetman interviews Sheila Block, a senior economist with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives Ontario office, on the proposed new road tolls and revenue tools being considered by the City of Toronto.
- November 30, 2016: Kingston gives welfare recipients free public transit in 2017
Willa Thayer says she’ll have more freedom to get around the city now that public transportation is free. Eligible Ontario Works recipients will get unlimited monthly passes to ride Kingston Transit as part of a one-year pilot project starting next year. Kingston is believed to be the first municipality in Ontario to offer this service.
- October 23, 2016: Derailing Neoliberalism
Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), the private corporation running a notoriously poor service on Britain’s busy Southern Rail network, are currently embroiled in a standoff with their staff. While the immediate cause is GTR’s attempt to cut crucial safety workers, the dispute goes to the heart of arguments over who should own Britain’s railways and how they should be run.
- October 22, 2016: Fighting for free public transit in Canada's largest city
On this episode of Talking Radical Radio, Scott Neigh speaks with Stefan Kipfer and Herman Rosenfeld. They are active with Free Transit Toronto, an activist network focused on a long-term vision of high quality and completely free public transit, as well as on supporting short-term organizing that seeks winnable immediate reforms that move in that direction. The ability to get from place to place is very important, and it's not an easy thing for a lot of people, particularly in a large and expensive city.
- October 12, 2016: Cape Breton transit numbers got big summer boost thanks to free program
The end of summer has brought about the end of a Cape Breton pilot project that allowed transit users to ride the bus for free. For July and August, survey results from the Cape Breton Regional Municipality showed transit usage surged. 'Ridership went up between 200 to 300 per cent over the course of the two months we had the free service,' said Mayor Cecil Clarke.
- September 27, 2016: The Traffic Hierarchy
Mobility and class are deeply entangled. Not only because one's potential for mobility often has to do with one's economic position, but also because a society built on today's mobility paradigm – automobility – directly contributes to growing economic and social differences. A society which puts the car on a pedestal quite obviously favours motorists. Another obvious fact is that white high-income and middle-aged men are an over-represented group among motorists.
- September 26, 2016: How will the TTC make up for an $172M budget shortfall?
The TTC budget committee has a big job to do when it meets Wednesday. The TTC is facing a shortfall of $172.6 million and a request from the mayor's office to deal with a 2.6 per cent reduction in the subsidy it receives from the city, an amount totalling $15.8 million.
- September 25, 2016: Free Public Transit
Public transit lies at the intersection of several critical social struggles today. Affordable (or free) public transit is an important mechanism for redistribution, and particularly targets low income women and people of colour. This video mostly focuses on Tallinn, Estonia, and includes interviews with international activists. Video produced by Revo Raudjarv for Tallinna Televisioon (2015).
- September 23, 2016: TTC insists cost-saving measures aren't service cuts
TTC CEO Andy Byford outlined steps the transit commission is taking to reach the target of reducing its net operating budget by 2.6 per cent.
- September 19, 2016: Are cars the new tobacco?
The history of public health reflects the problems of each age and evolving understandings of health. In the late nineteenth century, the pressing problems were communicable diseases associated with environmental conditions and efforts were directed to improving water and sanitation and reducing overcrowding. In the twentieth century, the rise in non-communicable diseases associated with ‘lifestyle’ factors led to a focus towards strategies to persuade and empower individuals to adopt ‘healthy choices’ and deliver healthcare to individuals.
- September 17, 2016: The struggle for the new commons in the Brazilian free transit movement
This paper analyzes the Brazilian free transit movement of June 2013. I begin by contextualizing the movement as being part of a new Left that emerged following the 2008 global crisis. I argue that the movement was a reaction to neoliberal continuities in Brazil and to the limits of the Workers’ Party's (Partido dos Trabalhadores, PT) strategy for social transformation. In addition, the movement took meaningful steps towards creating a new commons, a political space in which a postcapitalist future is prefigured. However, the movement continues to struggle to develop new forms of democratic participation that can move it decisively beyond mere negation of the existing political system.
- September 6, 2016: The Tension Between Parking Space, Changing Driving Habits and Land Use
Parking spots can be found almost anywhere in the downtown area. The first thing we do when we arrive at our destination is search for a vacant spot, whether it is on the street or in a parking lot. Parking is a necessary land use in this age of personal automobile use.
- August 19, 2016: Are We There Yet?
A report released on August 16, 2016 by Move the GTHA reveals a $30-billion capital funding gap to build our rapid regional transportation network, plus billions more needed for operations, maintenance and rehabilitation.
- August 18, 2016: Almost $391 million in cap-and-trade dollars awarded to public transit projects across California
Transportation officials have selected 14 public transit projects across California for a slice of proceeds from the state's auction of greenhouse gas pollution credits, almost $391 million in spending between now and the summer of 2018.
- August 18, 2016: Cities Need More PublicTransit, Not More Uber and Self-Driving Cars
New transportation technologies -- self-driving cars, electric vehicles and ride hailing services like Uber -- promise to revolutionize transportation, especially in cities. While there are certainly potential benefits to these technologies, they have been called 'solution[s] in search of a problem' because many of the benefits touted by advocates of these technologies are benefits that public transportation, walking and cycling already offer in abundance.
- August 9, 2016: Calgary Transit to introduce sliding scale for low-income passes
What can some low-income Calgarians do with $5.15? They can ride Calgary Transit for a month knowing they’ll get from point A to B without having to pinch pennies. On Monday, councillors voted to reach deep into city coffers and expand the lower-income pass offering by adopting a 'banded' system. This will change the current $44 pass to one that's price dependant on income, according to the low income cut-off scale. This will deepen the current discount for pass holders up to 95 per cent based on their income for 2017. The item was carried unanimously, and followed by a raucous applause.
- August 2, 2016: Why Toronto Needs a Low-Income Metropass Program
When many Torontonians think of poverty, the first issues that come to mind are housing and food. Mobility is often overlooked, creating a gap in accessibility and services available to those looking to get around the city. Grassroots organization TTCriders has established the Fair Fare Coalition in an attempt to fill that gap. Last month, members attended City Hall to push for lower TTC prices for the city’s lowest income residents.
- July 22, 2016: Toronto's Questionable Plan to Add a Single Subway Stop
After years of fractious, divisive, and sometimes farcical back-and-forth, Toronto is going to extend its subway system. Toronto’s city council voted 28-15 last week to finally reject a fully-funded light rail line (LRT) in favor of a more costly, one-stop subway extension. Both would have run from the present eastern terminus of the subway system to the centre of Scarborough, a formerly independent city that amalgamated with Toronto in 1998. But that's where the similarities between the two proposals end.
- July 12, 2016: City committee endorses $5.15 monthly transit pass for Calgary's poorest
Kirk has found himself begging for transit tickets or cashing in empty bottles to pay for a needed bus ride. When she lived in transitional housing, Hilary Chapple would watch housemates desperately plead for bus tickets just to go to work.
- June 2, 2016: TTC riders protest low income pass delay
Over 250 transit riders held a rally today at City Hall and then attended the TTC Commission meeting to protest City Hall’s failure to make the TTC more affordable to low income riders. We are so frustrated. We were protesting the City’s repeated delays to come up with a plan to give fare discounts to low income riders. In 2014, TTCriders and the Fair Fare Coalition convinced the city to come up with a plan to make the TTC more affordable to low income riders.
- May 22, 2016: Transit Activism and the Urban Question in Belo Horizonte, Brazil
The current conflagration of the Dilma Rousseff government notwithstanding, Brazil has been an inspiring source of debate for the global left over the last generation. This has been true for a range of initiatives, including the rise of the Workers’ Party (PT) in the 1980s, municipal socialist projects in the 1990s, and the movement of landless workers Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra (MST). The demand for free transit has been an important starting point of more recent mobilizations, notably those that shook the whole country in the summer of 2013.
- May 21, 2016: Desire to Kill the Streetcar
In the 1920 and 30s, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Boston, Seattle and countless other major American cities had sprawling electric streetcar rail systems until General Motors, Standard Oil, Phillips Petroleum and Firestone bought up a controlling interest in National City Lines.
- May 18, 2016: Off the Rails - The Rise and Fall of the Streetcar
If you wander the streets of Portland Oregon you might catch the glint of buried steel track having worn its way to the surface over the years since they were paved over. These are the ghosts of the electric streetcars that were once ubiquitous in Portland and in major cities across America by the turn of the century and much of the early part of the 20th century.
- April 25, 2016: The year it all went down the tubes for the TTC
In the 1980s and early '90s, the TTC really was the better way. A cash fare hovered around a dollar, service levels met the cities needs, and the transit provider could even advertise how great it was on television. Not only that, but big plans were in the works to expand the TTC over the next few decades to ensure that it met Toronto's rapidly growing population. Then everything changed. The date was June 26, 1995.
- April 21, 2016: Joe Mihevc and Toronto politicians are "ripping off" the TTC -- Not transit riders!
Toronto City Councillor Joe Mihevc thinks the TTC has a problem -- and that problem is all those dastardly fare evaders who are allegedly ripping the fine city of Toronto off!
Mihevc went on TV to state: “I take the streetcar virtually every day on St. Clair. I notice the number of people boarding on the back door and I do wonder whether some of them are getting a free ride,” Mihevc told CP24 on Friday afternoon.
- April 20, 2016: Union Pearson Express can't break even at lower fare,
The Union Pearson Express cannot break even at its new and lower fare, an internal report suggests, and will require a hefty per-rider subsidy indefinitely. Boosters once said that the troubled airport-to-downtown train would recoup both its capital and operating expenses. But the struggling project, which was given to transit agency Metrolinx under the expectation that it would at least break even on day-to-day costs, now appears destined to require ongoing taxpayer funding.
- April 14, 2016: The Absurd Primacy of the Automobile in American Life
Considering the constant fatalities, rampant pollution, and exorbitant costs of ownership, there is no better word to characterize the car’s dominance than insane. The car is the star. That’s been true for well over a century—unrivaled staying power for an industrial-age, pistons-and-brute-force machine in an era so dominated by silicon and software.
- March 31, 2016: Where Is Toronto Transit Ridership Going?
In a previous article, I wrote about a TTC management report giving a “Ridership Update” for early 2016. This was triggered by concerns that overall ridership had stagnated, and the obvious question management might hear: “what are you doing about this”. During the debate at the March 23 Board meeting, it became clear that to some extent, management was making up the story as they went along. The report includes data for the first two months of 2016, and February was particularly bad with a drop against both the budget target and against results in 2015.
- March 22, 2016: Joe Mihevc and Toronto politicians are 'ripping off' the TTC -- Not transit riders!
Toronto City Councillor Joe Mihevc thinks the TTC has a problem -- and that problem is all those dastardly fare evaders who are allegedly ripping the fine city of Toronto off!
- March 21, 2016: La gratuité des transports fait des émules au Québec
Dès le 29 février, la ville de Beauharnois instaurera un système de transport collectif local entièrement gratuit. Le développement économique municipal et une volonté d’intégrer l’ensemble de la population à la vie économique de la ville sont les raisons principales qui ont poussé l’administration à agir.
- March 18, 2016: The Streetcar Hustle
Big changes are coming to one stretch of the New York City waterfront. In his recent State of the City address, Mayor Bill de Blasio introduced an ambitious plan for a new streetcar system that would connect the city’s most populous borough, Brooklyn, to its largest, Queens. Citing “explosive growth on the waterfront in Brooklyn and Queens,” the mayor proclaimed: “Today, we take the next great step in connecting New Yorkers to the heart of our new economy for New York.”
- March 15, 2016: Toronto's transit deal not done until the wheels go round and round
Toronto transit planning, a new report from city officials states, is “an iterative process.” They can say that again. Toronto’s rapid-transit plans have gone through so many iterations, permutations, modifications and alterations that the most dedicated transit geeks have trouble keeping track.
- March 9, 2016: Metrolinx Fare Integration: Get Ready to Pay More For Subway Trips in Toronto
One of the great mysteries surrounding the roll out of Presto on the TTC has been the whole debate about “Regional Fare Integration”. Now and then, discussion papers surface at Metrolinx, but folks at the TTC, especially the politicians, are strangely silent on the subject. “Wait and see” is the order of the day.
- March 8, 2016: Public transit is a women’s issue
Run-of-the-mill conversations on public transit usually revolve around cleanliness, dubious efficiency and service, crowded conditions, and constantly rising fares. But female passengers face specific harassment and safety issues, making public transit very much a women’s issue.
- March 1, 2016: Metrolinx blames you
Earlier in the day, the province announced that fares on the underused line would finally be coming down. Starting March 9, one-way adult tickets between Union Station and Pearson Airport will dive from $27.50 to $12, or from $19 to $9 if you pay with a Presto card.
- February 26, 2016: How Much Sprawl Costs America
More and more young people are moving to urban centers because they prefer to live in walkable areas with lots of public transportation options. Still, developers are reluctant to build compact housing using this smart growth approach. But perhaps a new economic case against sprawl can convince these developers to think twice.
- February 18, 2016: Toronto Unveils 6 and 15 Year TTC and GO RER/SmartTrack Plans
As the City of Toronto, TTC, and Metrolinx roll out their public consultations across the Greater Toronto Area starting tonight, the details of the combined "wish list" for transit are becoming clearer, and they contain one or two surprises.
- February 10, 2016: Finally, signs that UPX pricing may get another look
Well, it’s about time. The premier of Ontario said Monday that Metrolinx “has to look at” the possibility of pricing the Union-Pearson Express (UPX) train to serve local commuters.
- February 8, 2016: If labour really wants to break the wealthy's grip on society, it should fight car culture
At their finest labour unions are class-conscious organizations that check the corporate elite's influence over public policy. But, even the best Canadian unions have largely failed to provide an alternative vision to the existing system and challenge the power of big business over important areas of our lives.
- February 4, 2016: Mayor Tory, increasing the TTC budget through fare hikes is not investing in transit
Yesterday, John Tory held a press conference, allegedly to announce that his administration is investing in the TTC. Mayor Tory proclaimed that “the [TTC] budget, as proposed, will represent a $50 million increase over the budget of last year.”
- January 30, 2016: Urbanophobia: A Growing Threat to Public Transit in America
Agenda 21 isn’t getting the attention it once did. Five years ago, the much-criticized United Nations environmental manifesto was all over TV news and conservative talk shows, denounced by Glenn Beck and others as a sinister globalist threat to American sovereignty and liberty.
- January 25, 2016: TTC budget cuts could mean more buses breaking down in Toronto
More buses could break down on Toronto’s streets if Mayor John Tory’s budget proposal passes, transit advocates say. Tory has asked the TTC to trim an additional $5-million from its budget for 2016. In an email to Metro, TTC spokesman Brad Ross said the cuts could come at the expense of “subway safety watchpersons and some bus maintenance initiatives.”
- January 21, 2016: Which track is Smart Track on?
One of the enduring features of Toronto’s so-called transit debate is the uneven and treacherous information terrain that ordinary citizens are forced to navigate if they aspire to crazy goals, such as trying to make sense of the endlessly shape-shifting discussion about competing options.
- January 20, 2016: Scarborough's Path of Progress
Local progress (toward big goals) takes unpredictable paths. Blame politics. Or, blame the globalized economy. Blame shifting population settlement patterns. Progress in a city or city district is if anything?—?a big debate. Have things progressed? we ask.
- January 11, 2016: Scarborough's social advocates feel money for improvements slipping away from Toronto's 2016 budget
Lots of pie charts were shown at the Scarborough Village Recreation Centre, but not much hope. Social Planning Toronto (SPT) wants more money spent in Toronto fighting poverty, and cheered last year as councillors committed to a poverty-reduction strategy.
- January 6, 2016: TTC Falls Short on Gender Equity Targets
The Toronto Transit Commission has a mandate to staff its workforce—one of the largest in the city—with employees as diverse as the riders it serves. But so far it’s dramatically missing the mark, particularly when it comes to representing women.
- January 4, 2016: Germany opens first stretch of bicycle 'autobahn'
Cities to be linked include Duisburg, Bochum and Hamm as well as four universities. Martin Toennes of regional development group RVR said that almost two million people live within 2km of the route and will be able to use sections for commuting. A study by the group calculates the track should take 50,000 cars off the roads every day.
- November 25, 2015: TTC votes to increase cash fare, cost of tokens
The Toronto Transit Commission voted on Monday to increase cash fares and the price of subway tokens to help fill a $58-million deficit heading into 2016. The cash fare will jump by 25 cents to $3.25 and the cost of tokens and tickets will go up by 10 cents to $2.90. The price of the monthly Metropass will remain frozen at $141.50.
- November 24, 2015: Keep transit public in the age of Justin Trudeau
Although the dust has only just settled on the longest election campaign in recent Canadian history; it's time we took stock of our Prime Minister-elect and his plans for public transit. On the surface, things look good: the Liberal Party's signature promise to run three years of deficits to fund infrastructure investment stands in stark contrast to the previous government’s record of piecemeal, project by project spending.
- November 9, 2015: The True Costs of Driving
Car owners don't come close to covering the price of maintaining the roads they use. A report published earlier this year confirms, in tremendous detail, a very basic fact of transportation that’s widely disbelieved: Drivers don’t come close to paying for the costs of the roads they use. Published jointly by the Frontier Group and the U.S. PIRG Education Fund, “Who Pays for Roads?” exposes the myth that drivers are covering what they’re using.
- October 28, 2015: Corporations Undermined Public Transportation
Over the past eighteen months two of the world's largest automakers have been found responsible for deadly conspiracies. But, recent revelations can't compete with the industry's previous scandals. Last month Volkswagen was caught rigging millions of its cars’ emissions testing systems to meet regulatory standards. The Volkswagen scandal follows on the heels of General Motors’ efforts to hide ignition and airbag defects in millions of its vehicles.
- September 25, 2015: Free Public Transit
We are at a crossroad: in order to reduce our oil dependency and to make our cities climate smart, we have to change our ways of getting around. The future is on track, and with free public transport everyone can come along for the ride!
- September 11, 2015: This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Trains
Riding the high-speed train between Berlin and Hamburg, Germany's two largest cities, is a radically different experience from riding its American counterpart, Amtrak's Acela, which connects major East Coast cities. Germany's InterCity Express ride is as smooth as a Mercedes on the Autobahn. The conductor comes around politely offering to bring you coffee. The bathroom doors open electronically with the push of a button for disability access.
- August 31, 2015: Free public transport, an international campaign
How is free transit cheaper? Don't you have to make up for lost fare revenue? The answer is that your city will save so much money in other areas, and quality of life will improve so much that you will get back much more than the lost fares. Some examples are listed below. If you want to see specific numbers, see our spreadsheet.
- August 27, 2015: Pittsburghers for Public Transit
Pittsburghers for Public Transit is a grassroots organization of transit riders, workers, and residents working together to defend and expand public transit in our region. Founded in 2010, we have raised consciousness about the importance and value of public mass transit -- providing education about the nature of the funding crisis, organizing rallies and demonstrations, and mobilizing thousands of people to exert the pressure required to pass the state transportation bill.
- August 24, 2015: Romanian city offers free rides to people reading on the bus
Those who can't resist reading a good book on public transport have been rewarded by a city in Romania, which offered a free bus ride to anyone who read a book during their journey. The initiative, which ran for a week in June, was proposed by Victor Miron, a book-lover and resident of Cluj-Napoca in north-western Romania.
- August 23, 2015: Public Transit Struggles in London and Toronto
P3s, Transit Workers and Alternatives. Moderated by Herman Rosenfeld. Presentations by Kamilla Pietrzyk, Brenda Thompson and Janine Booth. Recorded in Toronto, 9 August 2015.
- August 18, 2015: A Win for Pittsburgh Public Transit
Since port Authority of Allegheny County cut 15 per cent of its service, residents of Baldwin, Mooncrest and Groveton -- working-class suburbs of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania -- had to walk two miles, over roads with no sidewalks, just to catch the bus. But on September 8, Baldwin residents active in the struggle of “Buses for Baldwin” and Groveton residents who pushed for service in their county housing authority will be riding the first restored buses, celebrating the sweetness of the victory.
- August 12, 2015: The real reason American public transportation is such a disaster
The US spends a ton of money on public transportation. So why is it so terrible? American buses, subways, and light rail lines consistently have lower ridership levels, fewer service hours, and longer waits between trains than those in virtually every comparably wealthy European and Asian country.
- August 7, 2015: Students ready for free ride
Starting in September, all high school students can ride city buses for free in Kingston Ontario. The city's complimentary bus pass program included only Grade 9 students when it began in 2012, but it has grown to include grades 10 and 11. The newest version, which includes Grade 12 students for the first time, is a one-year pilot program.
- July 24, 2015: The UPX train is running virtually empty during the PAN AM Games
Last Thursday, TTCriders members counted riders exiting and entering the UP Express at Pearson Airport during rush hour from 7.30am to 9.30am. We discovered that on average just 14 people rode on each train, which translates to approximately 8% of the 173 seat full capacity.
- June 12, 2015: UP Express puts communities in peril
Transit advocacy group, TTCriders has released a video showing how the new UP Express trains put communities in peril, on the day of the official launch of the service. The 30-second historical-themed video shows local Parkdale-High Park MPP Cheri Di Novo tied on train tracks about to be runover by a UP Express train.
- June 9, 2015: Affordable TTC: A Ticket to the City
Public discussion about quality of life in Toronto has begun to include the critical role of public transit. Concerns about infrastructure and service issues were widespread during the recent 2014 municipal election. Much of the focus of the discussion about public transit is on the economic costs of congestion, the environmental benefits of quality public transit services and the importance of transit as a public service.
- May 29, 2015: Waiting for a bus that takes forever: Welcome to Toronto’s ‘transit desert’
Amid the storied history of horrific Toronto transit tales, there is the experience of Asmait Abraham and her 12-year-old son Simon. On a frigid morning in February, Abraham left Simon waiting for the 59 Maple Leaf bus to take him to school. He waited and waited, but unbeknownst to him bus service had been disrupted. For two hours Simon stood in the cold with a crowd of other passengers, Abraham says. When he finally got to school he collapsed. She says his feet had turned blue.
- May 8, 2015: How Amsterdam became the bicycle capital of the world
In the 1960s, Dutch cities were increasingly in thrall to motorists, with the car seen as the transport of the future. It took the intolerable toll of child traffic deaths – and fierce activism – to turn Amsterdam into the cycling nirvana of today.
- April 16, 2015: Seattle transit fares now based on income
Public transit agencies around the world commonly offer fare discounts based on age, such as for children and seniors. Just south of the border, Seattle has recently gone one step further by implementing a transit fare system based on the level of household income.
- April 13, 2015: Spadina subway shakedown
The overwhelmed TTC's transit expansion department is unable to oversee big infrastructure projects like the Spadina subway extension without delays and $150-million in cost overruns. That, the players at City Hall would have us believe, is why TTC CEO Andy Byford fired chief capital officer Sameh Ghaly and project manager Andy Bertolo in mid-March.
- March 26, 2015: TTC shutdown: Poor funding leads to poor transit, TTCriders says
TTCriders is calling for better transit funding from the Ontario government, following a surprise fuel leak at College Station that made tens of thousands of Toronto commuters late for work on Tuesday. 'This is another example of our transit system being stretched to breaking point, because once again thousands of riders are late,' said Jessica Bell, the executive director of the public transit advocacy group, in an interview Tuesday morning.
- March 20, 2015: The Complete Business Case for Converting Street Parking Into Bike Lanes
Here's the thing about the 'studies on possible economic impacts' requested by retailers on Polk Street, or really wherever bike-lane plans emerge--they've been done. And done. And done again. And they all reach a similar conclusion: replacing on-street parking with a bike lane has little to no impact on local business, and in some cases might even increase business. While cyclists tend to spend less per shopping trip than drivers, they also tend to make more trips, pumping more total money into the local economy over time.
- March 15, 2015: TRANSITogether: Building A Movement
The election of John Tory creates new openings and challenges for the public transit movement in Toronto, as does the large vote for Ford in the city's inner suburban areas. How are we to understand this moment, and how do we move forward as a transit movement? Recorded in Toronto, 1 March 2015.
- March 5, 2015: Scarborough Subway has issues and Council is in denial
I just got off the phone with a neighbour one street over. She has been following the news about the sunk costs for the Scarborough subway and she is frustrated with Council's refusal to consider Councillor Josh Matlow's administrative enquiries into these costs and ridership levels. Let me first say that my neighbour is not a transit rider. Like most people in Scarborough she drives everywhere.
- March 5, 2015: Targeting Inequality, This Time on Public Transit
On Sunday, the county transit system for the Seattle metropolitan area began hurtling down a road that few cities have traveled before: pricing tickets based on passengers' income. The project, which is being closely watched around the nation, gives discounts on public transportation to people whose household income is no more than 200 per cent of the federal poverty level -- for instance, $47,700 or less for a family of four under the 2014 guidelines.
- February 4, 2015: Why Can't Public Transit Be Free?
About 500 subway riders in Stockholm have an ingenious scheme to avoid paying fares. The group calls itself Planka, and they've banded together because getting caught free-riding comes with a steep $120 penalty. Here's how it works: each member pays about $12 in monthly dues, and the resulting pool of cash more than covers any fines members incur.
- January 30, 2015: Group Urges Swedes To Evade Subway Fares, And Even Insures Against Fines
Every city that has public transportation struggles with fare jumpers -- people who sneak onto the subway or the bus without buying a ticket. In Sweden, fare-dodging is a brazen movement in which the group's members don't try to hide what they're doing.
- January 28, 2015: Rapid Transit Rip-Off
Campaigning for re-election in April 2014, Liberal leader and Premier of Ontario Kathleen Wynne announced that Ontario would invest $29-billion in roads and transit. She did not make this announcement from the Office of the Premier at Queen's Park or at Metrolinx headquarters on Bay Street. She spoke at the Toronto Regional Board of Trade, at an event sponsored by global, mostly foreign, multinational corporations.
- January 21, 2015: The forgotten history of how automakers invented the crime of "jaywalking"
100 years ago, if you were a pedestrian, crossing the street was simple: you walked across it. Today, if there's traffic in the area and you want to follow the law, you need to find a crosswalk. And if there's a traffic light, you need to wait for it to change to green. Fail to do so, and you're committing a crime: jaywalking.
- January 19, 2015: 7 Cities That Are Starting To Go Car-Free
Urban planners are finally recognizing that streets should be designed for people, not careening hunks of deadly metal.
- December 19, 2014: Wise guys
- December 8, 2014: What Really Happens When a City Makes Its Transit System Free?
When Jean-Francois Mayet became mayor of Châteauroux in 2001, the town's transit system was descending into irrelevance. Each of Châteauroux's 49,000 inhabitants took the bus, on average, 21 times per year, well below the 38 per annum average for small French cities. Mayet, a member of France's Socialist party, did what few mayors confronted with a struggling mass transit system would do: he made the whole thing free.
- December 3, 2014: She Moves: Women's Issues in Transportation
The media tend to portray men as bold travellers, yet women throughout history have been daring travellers and have undertaken epic journeys of discovery. Even though few studies focus on the place and the role of women travellers, there is ample evidence of women as intrepid travellers and explorers, women and their families journeying to make a new life in remote parts of the world, and women making pilgrimages to distant holy places.
- November 17, 2014: International Free Public Transport Conference in Zory, Poland
Zory became an international arena for exchanging views on free public transport. The conference was addressed mainly to representatives of local governments, but also research institutions, movements and companies involved in the management of public transport. The purpose of the conference was to disseminate knowledge about free transport.
- November 2, 2014: Beyond the Gridlock
Struggles to expand public transport and to block privatization are central to overturning neoliberalism and addressing climate justice. This forum brings together some of the leading public transit activists in Europe and North America.
- October 13, 2014: Fight for Fare Free Transit in Toronto
Kamilla Pietrzyk of the Greater Toronto Workers' Assembly's Free and Accessible Transit Campaign; Ward 6 Socialist city council candidate Michael Laxer, who is campaigning for Free Transit. Recorded in Toronto, 28 September 2014.
- October 6, 2014: Everyone On the Bus: Rider-Driver Alliances
When Barbara Lott-Holland was laid off, she couldn't afford to keep her car, so she used public transit to get to temp jobs around Los Angeles. People like her risk losing hours, or even their jobs, when bus service is cut. It's one way cuts "put a physical, mental, and economic strain on that community," said Lott-Holland, now co-chair of the L.A. Bus Riders Union.
- September 27, 2014: Transports en commun gratuits?
Malgré la bonne volonté des petits gestes que nous pouvons faire chaque jour pour améliorer l'environnement, il faudra bien que de grands gestes soient aussi faits pour que l'on puisse constater un tant soit peu des changements vérifiables et concluants pour vivre dans un monde moins pollué.
- September 7, 2014: Big Bam pour la Gratuité
Manifestation pour la gratuité du transport en commun à Québec le 31 août 2014.
- September 6, 2014: Fast Cities
Investing in transit infrastructure is essential to relieve gridlock in Canada's cities and provide commuters with convenient ways to get around. However, not all cities are improving their transit systems to the same degree, and some are falling behind.
- September 4, 2014: Buenos Aires: Building a People-Friendly City
Buenos Aires is fast becoming one of the most admired cities in the world when it comes to reinventing streets and transportation. Just over a year ago, the city launched MetroBus BRT (constructed in less than seven months) on 9 de Julio Avenue, which may be the world's widest street.
- September 4, 2014: The Cities That Spend The Most On Bike Lanes Later Reap The Most Reward
Investing in a network of fully separated bike lanes could save cities huge sums in the long-term. But too little investment in wimpy infrastructure could actually decrease enthusiasm for cycling.
- August 21, 2014: Transportation Alternatives
Transportation Alternatives' mission is to reclaim New York City's streets from the automobile and to promote bicycling, walking, public transit. With 100,000 active supporters and a committee of activists working locally in every borough, T.A. fights for the installation of infrastructure improvements that reduce speeding and traffic crashes, save lives and improve everyday transportation for all New Yorkers.
- August 19, 2014: TTCriders supports investing public dollars into good jobs
Any investment of public dollars should go toward supporting good green jobs for Ontarians. Government investments into public transit should offer Ontarians, and Torontonians, the possibility of meaningful, well-paid work. Good jobs help build a brighter future for our province.
- August 19, 2014: Rapid Transit
Amazing Traffic Scheme. The "Rapid Bus Transit" system.
- August 15, 2014: Size matters: What Berlin's rapid transit would look like in Toronto
Every morning so far in Berlin, I've walked down the street to the U-Bahn stop at Samariterstraße. From there, I take the U5 line five stops to my German lesson to the west, and walk the last few hundred metres. In all, the trip takes about 25 minutes.
- August 13, 2014: Free public transit for seniors?
Kathleen Wynne's Liberals now face the promises they made during the election campaign. These included better transit, increasing ridership, reducing traffic congestion, improving road safety, stewardship of the environment, reducing CO2 emissions, higher pensions and reviving the economy. All while reining in public spending and under the ever-watchful eye of international bond rating agencies.
- July 29, 2014: Low Income Transit Passes: Consolidate and Struggle to Make it Free
The passing of a resolution to "develop a Policy Framework for Toronto Transit Fare Equity for consideration by the end of 2015" by Toronto City Council on July 8th, 2014 is a step forward. It reflects a series of struggles by low income people, social activists working in community movements, social agencies, transit activists and allies.
- July 27, 2014: Listen up, America: It's time to start making mass transit free!
In March, when a cloud of particle pollution settled across Western Europe, Paris took a radical approach. The Ile-de-France region introduced alternate driving days (odd-number plates one day; evens the next) and eliminated fares on local trams, buses, trains and subways. Traffic dropped by nearly 20 percent in Paris; congestion on the Périphérique ring road fell by 30 percent at rush hour; large-particle pollution fell by 6 percent. Measured by the impact on the roadways, the emergency measures worked as intended.
- July 14, 2014: Are fare equity policies a real alternative to universal fare reduction strategies?
Toronto City Council is considering the idea of a "low income" "fare equity" policy that would, in theory, make public transit in Toronto, the TTC, more accessible and affordable for those deemed to be below the "low-income" threshold to be set by the city.
- July 3, 2014: Toronto Talks Transit
Herman Rosenfeld from TTC Riders is our guest this week in the final installment of our Toronto Talks Transit series. In this episode, we delve further into the specifics about how transit actually functions, and more specifically what it needs to function well. Herman talks about transit philosophy and it's role in city management.
- June 30, 2014: Zero-Fare Canada
A website dedicated to fare-free urban public transportation.
- June 13, 2014: Free Public Transit
Here is a list of cities that currently provide public transport for free. If you know any city which isn't represented in the list, please contribute to the site with that information and we will ad it to the list.
- May 28, 2014: Toronto's Chattering Elites and Scarborough's Transit Victims
While visiting Case Western Reserve University in 1974, I learned about Cleveland's proposed new high-speed public transit system. I asked a politically incorrect question: "Why aren't there any Regional Transit Authority (RTA) transit stops being proposed in the poor black areas of East Cleveland, such as Hough?"
- May 8, 2014: Premier Wynne jogs past P3 failures in mocking TV ad
A new round of television ads mocking the Liberal party's P3s began airing today on virtually all Toronto TV stations. Visitors to the site can enter a daily draw to win the cash equivalent of an adult Monthly TTC Metropass ($133.75). Kinnear says the main purpose of the campaign is to alert the public as to how their tax dollars are being wasted to make it appear that the government is keeping taxes low.
- May 5, 2014: Transit Irony: The More You Rely on It, the More They Cut
On one side of town, tourists and young professionals head downtown on light rail: clean, air-conditioned, fast. If there's a problem with service, the city diverts buses to help. On the other side of town, workers wait at bus stops. The buses that carry them to work come less and less frequently, thanks to service cuts. Drivers struggle to get through their routes in less time.
- April 23, 2014: Réseau pour un transport en commun gratuit
Le RTC est un service public dont la mission est de «permettre aux citoyens de mieux vivre la ville par un transport collectif de qualité, au meilleur coût pour la collectivité». La seule façon de remplir pleinement cette mission de façon juste et équitable est d'abolir toute tarification et d'opter pour la gratuité du transport en commun.
- April 18, 2014: Free Transit: Three Reasons It Is an Idea Whose Time Has Come
On January 1, 2013, Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, became the largest city in the world to make mass transit free for its residents. While the effects of having done this are, of course, specific to the context of the city itself, it has shown that a major city can do it and that it has been widely popular with its residents.
- April 16, 2014: Toronto Transit Zine No. 1
Getting around Toronto is difficult, and it's the subject of many private discussions throughout the city. Despite all we have to say, there is currently no independent publication circulating that is solely dedicated to discussing transit. Enter the Toronto Transit Zine, of which you're reading the very first issue.
- April 9, 2014: The New Struggle for Public Transit
As we in Canada (and especially Toronto) face the painful and seemingly never-ending process of developing actual projects for public transit expansion, the drumbeat of calls for privatization in its various forms is inescapably present. Indeed, there is a failure even to fund properly the existing public transit network in Toronto and other Canadian cities.
- April 8, 2014: COPE puts free transit and tenant protection on its platform
Members of the Vancouver civic party COPE voted on more than 160 motions last weekend to solidify their platform, said Tristan Markle, an executive of the board. Markle said stronger protections for tenants form a major focus of the platform.
- March 18, 2014: As polluted as Beijing
Public transport will be free from Friday until Sunday evening in Paris as the authorities try to encourage drivers to leave their cars at home, as much of France suffers severe air pollution caused by unusually warm weather.
- March 17, 2014: Ontario NDP Waging War on Public Investment
Public transit remains a crucial policy issue for the province of Ontario, but it is not clear that citizens will get good solutions any time soon. Investment in public transit is expensive, often requires raising taxes and can get bogged down in the nitty-gritty politics of neighbourhood planning, not to mention partisan competition.
- February 27, 2014: What is walkability?
Humans are creatures of intention. We use our language to communicate thoughts and ideas in a deliberate way. But our language is imperfect, and sometimes the intention of our communication is muddied by the words we use. Confusion can result when we use a single word that is a stand-in for a larger set of ideas. Here, nuance and caveat become increasingly important if one hopes to convey precisely what they are meaning.
- February 21, 2014: Rio fare protesters seize main station and let commuters travel free
After street protests, station invasions and turnstile vandalism, Rio de Janeiro's free public transport movement finally got what it wanted for a few hours on Thursday night with a takeover of the city's main train and bus hub. Thousands of commuters were shepherded through demolished ticket gates at the Central do Brasil station amid a violent confrontation over proposed fare rises.
- February 17, 2014: Hamburg sets out to become a car-free city in 20 years
Hamburg City Council has disclosed ambitious plans to divert most cars away from its main thoroughfares in twenty years. In order to do so, local authorities are to connect pedestrian and cycle lanes in what is expected to become a large green network. In all, the Grünes Netz (Green Web) plan envisages "eliminating the need for automoviles" within two decades.
- February 10, 2014: The Unique Genius of Hong Kong's Public Transportation System
New Yorkers are famous for complaining about the city's subway: despite an ever-increasing rise in fares, service never seems to get any better. And even still, ticket-sales still only funds part of the New York City subway system; the city still relies on supplementary taxes and government grants to keep trains running, as fares only cover about 45 per cent of the day-to-day operating costs.
- February 4, 2014: CityRail: Getting the GTA Moving
CityRail is a revolutionary new proposal for transit in the GTA. It would connect more people to more places, make trips faster, and bring the GTA together in a new way. The best part is, it is entirely feasible.
- February 3, 2014: The Largest Free Mass Transit Experiment in the World
Last January, Tallinn, the capital city of Estonia, did something that no other city its size had done before: It made all public transit in the city free for residents. City officials made some bold predictions about what would result. There would be a flood of new passengers on Tallinn's buses and trams -- as many as 20 per cent more riders.
- January 31, 2014: Advocates argue free transit benefits us all
Dave Olsen has an idea for how to get Metro Vancouver voters engaged in a transit referendum. Let's talk about a system where everyone rides free, the environmental consultant suggests. After all, except for the tolled Golden Ears and Port Mann bridges, roads are free. Yet like transit, car-oriented infrastructure is paid for with tax dollars, noted the former Vancouver resident, who is based on Lasqueti Island.
- January 30, 2014: Fare-Free South Asia
A website devoted to climate, environemnt and mass public transportation in South Asia.
- January 28, 2014: Are TTC fares still the priciest in North America?
Continuing a series that started two years ago, and was revisited last year, it's time once again to see how the TTC compares to its peers when it comes to the cost of riding public transit. Based on those past studies, the Red Rocket was judged the most expensive transit system in any big Canadian or American city that uses a single fare zone. The year 2014 has brought yet another TTC fare increase.
- January 22, 2014: Protesting Rising Transit Costs in Mexico
Mexico City's extensive subway system, constantly packed with its 5 million daily users, has just become one of the most expensive public transit systems in the world. On December 13th, 2013 the subway fare was raised from three pesos (roughly 25 cents ) to five pesos (roughly 40 cents.) Basic mathematics informs you that this is a whopping 66 per cent increase.
- January 13, 2014: Fare-Free South Asia
V Madhwa Raja, chief engineer, Hyderabad Metro Development Authority, opines that inaccessibility to public transportation system is one of the reasons for people to opt for personalised transportation. He pointed out that the share of public transport has been coming down gradually from the past decade with it constituting 44 per cent now.
- January 13, 2014: The campaign for free public transport in Poland
Since December 2012 Free Trade Union "August 80" and Polish Labour Party are organizing a nationwide campaign under the slogan "No to increases in ticket prices, yes to free public transport." Currently, free public transport in various forms exists in Nysa and Olkuszu (for drivers), in Zabki (for residents) and Kielce (2 free lines in the city center).
- December 14, 2013: Free Fare Movement in Brazil
The story of the free public transport movement in Brazil, for the benefit of the English speaking world.
- December 11, 2013: Ventra Capitalists
In recent years, Chicagoans have been forced to endure more than our fair share of privatization deals gone awry. In 2005, the city privatized a highly trafficked toll-bridge and now it's the costliest stretch of road in the country. In 2008, city hall rammed through a deal that turned over Chicago's parking meters for 75 years to a coterie of big-money investors lead by Morgan Stanley.
- November 26, 2013: No Transit Fare Increase!
The entire Canadian urban public transit system is in serious crisis after years of neglect and underfunding from the neoliberal policies adopted by all levels of government in Canada. This is compounded by Canada's singular lack of a national transit strategy -- a stunning example of the utter backwardness of the Canadian state system and the stifling political hegemony of the capitalist classes.
- October 5, 2013: Recommendations for Scarborough RT Replacement Options
Scarborough Transit Action (STA) has consistently supported the rapid implementation of the Transit City proposals as outlined in the agreement between the City and the Province. The LRT option would have provided cost-effective, fast service to more communities using the existing SRT right-of-way. It was fully paid for by the Province. Since an EA and detailed design work are already in place it would provide the shortest construction time and did not run on any roadways.
- October 1, 2013: Support TTC-Riders this month
Unfair fare hikes. Delays. Overcrowding. Toronto has a transit crisis. The provincial government used to help pay for the costs of operating the TTC but has stopped doing so, even though demand for public transit has reached record highs. More fare hikes are in the works, even though riders in Toronto get less government-subsidy per ride than riders in other North American cities. We already pay too much.
- September 24, 2013: Making Transit a Priority
Access to transit needs to be a significant component of any initiative to reduce and ultimately eliminate poverty in Toronto and Ontario. Toronto Public Health collaborated with Social Planning Toronto to convene a number of groups with a shared interest in making sure that affordable, accessible transit is part of Ontario's next Poverty Reduction Strategy. From that conversation, a background paper, "Make Affordable Transit an Issue in Ontario's Next Poverty Reduction Strategy" has been developed. We hope that it will be a useful resource for individuals and organizations working to shape the next phase of Ontario's poverty reduction strategy.
- August 31, 2013: Public Transit: Fix it, fund it and expand it
Public transit affects us all. Over the last three decades, the failure of politicians to address our region's transit needs has seriously eroded the effectiveness of Toronto's transit system. Commute times have increased to an average of 82 minutes per day (and are expected to rise to 102 minutes by 2031) and their health impacts are felt in the quality of life we live and the air we breathe.
- August 28, 2013: Bike lanes are just a start
July was a record-breaking month in Vancouver -- the driest on record. The political discussion in the city during these long, hot summer days was dominated by a most parochial issue: traffic changes from Burrard Street Bridge to Point Grey Road through Kitsilano. The proposed changes, supported by the Vision Vancouver government at City Hall, represented a modest extension of the city's network of bike routes and lanes, as well as some traffic re-routing.
- August 26, 2013: Free and Accessible Transit Now
Transit is a critical issue for people in Toronto, as in all major urban areas. More is at stake than reducing traffic congestion and gridlock. Transit and general mobility are intimately related to larger issues in capitalist society: how goods and services are produced and delivered; the location of and nature of jobs; where and how we live and travel; issues of class, inequality and oppression related to race, age, gender, and sexuality; climate justice; and the very shape and nature of our democratic institutions.
- August 26, 2013: Free Transit
This pamphlet, as part of the Socialist Interventions series, gathers together a number of essays on the struggle for public transit. It emerges especially out of the urban context of Toronto, and the Free and Accessible Transit Campaign of the Greater Toronto Workers' Assembly (GTWA). But the essays speak also to the wider crisis of public transit in North America, and the importance of this demand to an eco-socialist vision of feasible futures.
- August 16, 2013: Transportation Transformation
Building complete communities and a zero-emission transportation system in BC. This study lays out a plan for a 30-year initiative that would transform the ways in which people and goods move across our province. This in turn will create complete communities with affordable housing choices, more and better jobs, and a better quality of life for all British Columbians.
- August 7, 2013: Transport Action Canada
Transport Action believes that transportation is more than just a means of moving goods and people, measured only by profits or political benefits. Transport Action believes that public transportation impacts on land use, economic development and the quality of life. Transportation is a tool to protect the environment, conserve energy, diminish land pressures, curtail the growth of road and highway spending and promote economic growth.
- July 18, 2013: "Não Nos Representam!" -- A Left Beyond the Workers Party?
It started as a good idea. Rather than taking the path of the old Latin American left, in the form of the guerrilla movement, or the Stalinist party, Brazil's Workers' Party (Partido dos Trabalhadores), aided by strong union and social movements, decided to try something new. The challenge was to somehow combine the institutions of liberal democracy with popular participation by communities and movements. The answer eventually became participatory budgeting.
- July 6, 2013: A Bolder Plan: Balancing Free Transit and Congestion in New York City
Traffic congestion is strangling New York, costing the city $13-billion a year in economic losses and causing enormous environmental pollution and stress. Various proposals, including Mayor Bloomberg's PlaNYC congestion pricing scheme, have been put forward to curb traffic gridlock, against the backdrop of steadily rising fares for mass transit users.
- July 2, 2013: Brazilian Demonstrators Fill the Streets
The enormous protests in Brazil share the spirit of the Arab spring. We don't know what will happen next, but just a short time ago the huge mobilizations of the last three weeks would have been completely impossible to predict.
- June 27, 2013: Brazil to Spend $25bn on Public Transit
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has proposed to set aside $25-billion for public transport following days of mass nationwide street protests, in an effort to seize the political initiative. She also suggested on Monday a referendum on broad "political reform" in response to public anger with substandard public services and rampant official corruption in Brazil, the world's seventh largest economy.
- June 26, 2013: Brazil: Private Transit, Public Protests
Sao Paulo has some of the worst traffic in the world. Workers' daily commutes can be over two hours -- one way -- without ever leaving the city. Rain or traffic accidents can easily increase a commute to over four hours. Streets become so congested during peak hours of traffic that the local news stations report on the length of kilometers of stopped cars and trucks on the highways entering the city.
- June 25, 2013: First reflections on the mass movement that has shaken Brazil
The mass movement, that began as a protest against increased public transport prices, was unprecedented and surprising.
- June 21, 2013: Violence flares in Brazil over transit fares
Hundreds of people were detained across Brazil overnight Friday in fresh clashes between police and youths protesting an increase in mass transit fares on the eve of the Confederations Cup. The worst violence was in Sao Paulo, Brazil's economic capital and most populous city, where 232 people were detained following running battles in the city center, a police spokesman said. Most of those held were later released.
- June 20, 2013: Brazil protesters win U-turn on fare rises
Authorities in Brazil's two biggest cities have made a U-turn on public transport fare increases in the face of mass protests that have overshadowed the country's build up to next year's World Cup.
- June 19, 2013: The Free Fare struggle rises up
São Paulo was a war zone the night of June 13 as riot police viciously attacked a peaceful demonstration of the Free Fare movement, which is protesting hikes in bus and subway fares. Despite massive police repression and the intransigence of the city and state governments, there are have been four large demonstrations in the last two weeks by the Free Fare movement in São Paulo, South America's largest city.
- June 18, 2013: Brazil protests spread in Sao Paulo, Brasilia and Rio
As many as 200,000 people have marched through the streets of Brazil's biggest cities, as protests over rising public transport costs and the expense of staging the 2014 World Cup have spread.
- June 18, 2013: Transport fee hikes and police repression inspire protests across Brazil
As the world tuned into the FIFA Confederation Cup this week, Brazilians took to the streets, in a series of protests that has everyone in the country talking. Police repression against the Movimento Passe Livre (Free Fare Movement) and protests against exorbitant World Cup preparations have struck a chord with the population and have provoked a national dialogue on more than just transportation.
- June 18, 2013: Sao Paulo Is Burning
During the Brazilian National Free Fare Fight Day in 2012, a mass demonstration against the rising cost of public transportation, the Movement for the Free Pass (MPL) in São Paulo warned that if public transport fares went up, they would bring the city to a halt. Well, the fare went up 0.20 Brazian real (about $0.08) on June 1st of this year, so MLP called for a protest as promised. Since the first protest on June 6th, Sao Paulo's main streets have played host to numerous violent clashes between police and students.
- June 14, 2013: Air Rail stink
Get ready to see the government miss yet another opportunity to reconsider electrification of the new airport rail link -- and nix a creative plan for an inexpensive new addition to Toronto's transit network. This week Davenport MPP Jonah Schein reintroduced his private member's bill to amend the Metrolinx Act to ban non-electric trains from the west end Georgetown corridor.
- May 30, 2013: Public transport fare rises hitting the young the hardest
Young people are being systematically disadvantaged by government transport spending policies while concessions are ringfenced for older passengers, a report by claims.
- May 12, 2013: Rob Ford's confederacy of dunces
If it were not so terribly serious, one could almost be amused by the latest sad battle cry of Toronto's deeply confused politicians, calling on the province to give them subways that they ultimately want no one, at all, to pay for. To paraphrase Dire Straits, they seem to want to get their money from nothing and their transit for free.
- May 9, 2013: European Free Public Transport Cities
Free Public Transport networking seminar with 20 participants was held in Tallinn EU Office in Brussels on December 6, 2012. Seminar gathered free public transport cities Aubagne, Hasselt and Tallinn. The presentations covered wide spectrum of ideological aspects, socio-economical features, best practices of impelementation and cooperation prospects between European free public transport cities.
- April 26, 2013: Free Public Transport
We are standing at a crossroad: in order to reduce our oil dependency and to make our cities climate smart, we have to change our ways of getting around. It is a fact that the future is on track, and with free public transport everyone can come along for the ride.
- April 17, 2013: Free public transport: from social experiment to political alternative?
In a work combining storytelling and reflection, a local councillor and a philosopher analyse the policy of free public transport implemented since 2009 in Aubagne, near Marseille. A resounding success with residents, this experiment has opened the way to a stimulating debate on the feasibility of policies that offer an alternative to market-led solutions in urban areas.
- April 5, 2013: Does Your City Need a Transit Riders Union?
They tell a favorite story within the Los Angeles Bus Riders Union about the moment when the barely two-year-old organization first began to wield real power in the city. It was 1994, and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority was preparing to raise fares and eliminate the monthly bus pass on which many low-income riders depended. The Bus Riders Union filed for a temporary restraining order against the changes. And a judge actually gave it to them.
- April 5, 2013: Fare Increases to Pay for New Transit in Toronto
Metrolinx, the Greater Toronto Area's regional transit authority, has released a short list of revenue tools that they will consider using to help pay for new public transit in the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area. Projects like the Eglinton, Scarborough, Sheppard and Finch light rapid transit lines (LRTs) will need $2-billion a year from sources other than existing government revenue.
- March 30, 2013: How Free Transit Works in the United States
Earlier this year the Estonian capital of Tallinn became the largest city in the world -- with a population exceeding 400,000 -- to make its transit system free. Tallinn marks the latest in a growing trend toward fare-free transit on the Continent. The city is joining others to form the Free Public Transport European Network in an effort to spread the idea even farther. It seems unlikely that American cities will take a cue from Tallinn, but those considering a fare-free system have a ready example in the United States: Chapel Hill.
- March 30, 2013: Why Pay to Ride?
There is nothing revolutionary about providing 'free' transportation. It is done by every elevator in any office building or apartment. The cost of the service is collected as part of the rent from all tenants, whether they use it 100 times a day or not at all. Why do we collect fares for aircraft flights and not for elevator rides?
- March 22, 2013: A Fair Deal for Transit Funding
The Toronto and York Region Labour Council has a history of advocating for public transit going back nearly a century. Public policies surrounding transit should be fair, accessible, and equitable, promoting use of public transit to minimize smog and air pollutants, reduce commute times, and enhance the quality of life for all. We believe that an expanded transit system not only benefits transit users, but drivers and businesses similarly impacted by congestion.
- March 22, 2013: Is Olivia Chow missing the train?
Yesterday morning, Toronto Region Board of Trade (BoT) president Carol Wilding gave every politician in southern Ontario a veritable prairie of leeway by coming out boldly, and with no evidence of prevarication, in favour of four very specific revenue tools -- taxes!! -- to underwrite a generation of transit expansion in the GTA.
- March 15, 2013: Free public transport in a European capital!
Since January 1, 2013 in Tallinn, capital of Estonia, a city of 419,830 inhabitants, residents can take the bus, trolleybus or tram for free. Non-residents must still pay for public transport; they just have to obtain, for the price of 2 euros, a special green card, which tourists must recharge when paying, or else buy a ticket from the driver.
- February 26, 2013: Toronto: Why's the Dufferin Bus so awful?
Of Toronto's 172 TTC bus routes, is there any one more hated by the people who ride it than the #29 Dufferin? See, for instance, any number of angry tweets, or its 1 1/2-star Yelp review. (One reviewer: 'Oh eff my face, The Duff bus kills me. Kills me as in makes me laugh? No.' Another: 'Moses and his flock weren't lost for as long as I've had to wait for this darned bus.') But when it comes to what's to blame for buses that arrive three at a time to one stop, all packed full of people, 20 minutes late, only to short-turn at the next stop, it's not so obvious.
- February 24, 2013: Olivia Chow calls for long-term transit and infrastructure plan
Toronto Member of Parliament Olivia Chow is calling on the federal government to invest in a long-term plan to solve cities' problems of traffic gridlock and crumbling infrastructure. The Trinity-Spadina MP announced at a press conference in downtown Toronto Friday that she has tabled a motion urging the ruling Conservatives to include a 'long term, predictable, and accountable' plan into the upcoming budget, which she expects will be released sometime in March.
- February 19, 2013: Privatization and Public Transit in Toronto
Metrolinx, a Government of Ontario agency, has a mandate to "co-ordinate and integrate all modes of transportation in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area." Its blueprint for regional transportation expansion, The Big Move, was released in 2008. Initially, all debt to support transit projects in this plan was to be arranged through the Ontario Financing Authority using public procurement.
- February 6, 2013: Chow hosts open forum on public transit
The federal government must make a long-term financial commitment to building public transit if it is indeed serious about reducing gridlock in cities like Toronto. That's the message that NDP MP Olivia Chow delivered to a group of about 75 students at a forum on public transit Thursday night.
- February 5, 2013: Teachers' Union Members Join Bus Drivers' Picket Lines
Members of the United Federation of Teachers joined a picket line in the Castle Hill section of the Bronx on Saturday. They say the UFT and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1181 have to stick together against the city.
- February 3, 2013: Consultation Paper on Transit and Gridlock
Over the last nine years, government has spent a lot of time talking about reducing congestion, but traffic on Ontario's streets and highways only seems to get worse. Big transit plans are unveiled, but are too often delayed or stalled due to budget cuts or bickering between governments.
- February 3, 2013: Beyond Toronto's Transit Crisis
How can our campaign contribute to Toronto's transit movement and help transform the city? How could our demand for free and accessible public transit promote environmental justice and sustainability, housing, jobs and social equality? How can we move forward the GTWA Free and Accessible Transit Campaign? Recorded 20 January 2013 in Toronto.
- January 26, 2013: Estonians on track for free public transport
Estonians in the capital city of Talinn are soon to benefit from the arrival of free public transport. It is the first EU capital to make the shift and is part of a green platform adopted by Talinn's mayor. However, not everyone thinks the move will get cars off the road. The opposition fume that the idea is less about a clean environment and more about political opportunism.
- January 16, 2013: Bus Stewards Win More Routes Through Alliance with Riders
New York City transit workers ran a winning campaign when we turned to community organizing in our fight against cuts in service. The cuts to bus service were severe: 38 routes eliminated and 76 with shorter routes or shorter hours. Transport Workers Union Local 100 fought the Metropolitan Transportation Authority every step of the way, protesting at board meetings and in front of the director's house.
- January 14, 2013: Sustainable Transport Policy
Transport is a key feature of our society. How people move around and goods are transported shapes our urban environments and affects our impact on the globe. It also conditions who we can know, what we can do and how we experience the world. Given the wealth we can produce, people's mobility to meet others, engage in suitable work and learn about the world, and their access to a reasonable variety of goods and services, are now rights.
- December 26, 2012: Free and Accessible Transit Now!
Transit is a critical issue for people in Toronto, as in all major urban areas. More is at stake than reducing traffic congestion and gridlock. Transit and general mobility are intimately related to larger issues in capitalist society: how goods and services are produced and delivered; the location of and nature of jobs; where and how we live and travel; issues of class, inequality and oppression related to race, age, gender, and sexuality; climate justice; and the very shape and nature of our democratic institutions.
- December 21, 2012: Next Stop: Justice
After nearly 2 years of grassroots research and analysis, POWER, the DataCenter, and Urban Habitat are proud to release Next Stop: Justice / Próxima Parada: Justicia -- offering a cutting edge, comprehensive analysis of public transit in San Francisco, with a vision for transit policy that puts race and the environment at the center.
- December 13, 2012: Think About the Transportation Sector
Superstorm Sandy has made it clear that no matter how hard some politicians try to ignore climate change, climate change will not ignore them -- or any of us. More carbon means higher seas, the kind that inundate subways. The U.S. can also thank carbon emissions for contributing to the hottest summers on record.
- December 4, 2012: Greiner drives Sydney towards more traffic madness
The Infrastructure New South Wales chair, former Liberal premier Nick Greiner, delivered a vision for the state for the next 20 years on October 3. For the 4.5 million people living in Sydney, the State Infrastructure Strategy, titled First Things First, will mean more roads, more congestion and more transport frustration for years to come. At the centre of the strategy is a push for more motorways.
- December 3, 2012: Free Transit and Beyond
Epochal crises allow us to see clearly the irrationalities of capitalism, notably its systematic inability to develop to the fullest human capacities and provide the basis for sustainable and respectful relationships to the rest of nature. The current world economic crisis has thrown to the dustbin of history the aspirations and capacities of millions of human beings -- those laid off, driven off the land or relegated to permanent precariousness.
- December 2, 2012: No Fares!
This series by Dave Olsen, funded by readers who donated to The Tyee Fellowship for Solutions-oriented Reporting, takes a hard look at fare hikes and spending priorities by B.C.'s transit planners, as well as rising greenhouse emissions and pollution by the private automobile, and asks: Why are we creating any barriers for people who might take public transit?
- November 23, 2012: Harper slashes transit funding as climate crisis deepens
According to NDP MP Olivia Chow, understanding Stephen Harper's climate policy is easy: just look at federal funding for public transit over the last four years. Transport Canada figures show that federal transit funding has plunged from a modest $1.1-billion in 2008 to about $300 million in 2011. If the trend continues, federal transit funding could drop to zero within the next few years.
- November 23, 2012: Toronto's $8.4-Billion Light Rapid Transit Sell Out
It seemed all our transit woes in Toronto were finally behind us. Mayor Rob Ford's cancellation of Transit City had galvanized the mushy middle. In February, Toronto Council ignored his call for subways to vote in favour of four Light Rapid Transit lines (LRTs). At long last, the residents of Malvern and Jane and Finch in Toronto's northern suburbs were going to get some much needed public transit. In retrospect this was only the lull before the storm.
- November 10, 2012: Australia: Transport Policy
Reliance on private transport costs at least $39-billion a year, according to Rapid and Affordable Transport Alliance. Of this, $21-billion is lost due to road congestion and $18-billion for traffic accidents. The Socialist Alliance believes that immediate government action -- at a federal, state and local level -- must be taken to reverse the heavy reliance on private transport in Australia.
- November 9, 2012: Australia: Free Public Transport Now!
Big cities are degrading and poisoning the environment and making us all sicker and more stressed. The longer we continue with this "urban model" -- where cars carry 78% of people to work and trucks 60% of goods -- the worse things will get.
- October 2, 2012: 1% sales tax could net $1.3B for transit
More than a billion dollars for transit funding in the Greater Toronto Area could be had through a one per cent sales tax, which is widely regarded as one of the least objectionable options to fund transit expansion, according to a city report.
- September 29, 2012: Say NO to the privatization of the Eglinton, Finch, and Sheppard Lines
Ontario Government Agency, Metrolinx, announced its plans to allow a private company to build and run the new Eglinton-Scarborough Crosstown, Finch and Sheppard light rail lines. According to a comprehensive TTC study, a privately run light rail line will likely mean increased construction costs, less public influence over the project, and delays in completion. We believe the new light rail lines should be publicly-run and controlled by the TTC.
- September 14, 2012: National Transit Strategy: Call to Action
Canadians deserve decent public transit. With over-burdened cities and towns struggling to maintain and expand services, MP Olivia Chow is fighting for long-term federal transit funding and the cooperation of all levels of government. A crucial vote on Bill C-305 on September 19 will decide whether the National Transit Strategy can become a reality.
- September 13, 2012: Caution: Danger Ahead
In mid-2009 as part of its economic stimulus package, the federal and provincial governments gave Toronto $7-million to develop a recreational trail across the hydro corridor that runs just north of Finch Avenue. The federal government stipulated the trail must be finished by March 2011. That the trail remains unfinished a year-and-a-half after its completion date is a warning about the city's future.
- August 14, 2012: Are we paying more for less on the TTC?
A report from TTCRiders, a Toronto-based transit advocacy group, says the TTC is flunking in several key areas -- including the cost of a fare and the quality of service between various parts of the city -- after a year-long evaluation of subway, streetcar, and bus services. In the report, the group identified five "public transit principles" -- the cost of tickets, expansion and improvement, accessibility, frequency of service, and environmental sustainability -- and evaluated where the TTC stood in terms of achieving those goals.
- August 12, 2012: Just Mobility: Postfossil Conversion and Free Public Transport
Crises create opportunities to set long range goals for the future. A key question is that of urban mobility in a world in which the great majority of the world's population will soon live in cities of over a million inhabitants, many of them in metropolitan conurbations. Broadly speaking, there are two possible alternatives: one, the U.S. system of mobility centred on private, petrol-driven cars can be ecologically modernized and expanded to embrace the globe by switching to electric-powered cars; or, two, public transport can be ecologized and made more flexible.
- May 11, 2012: National Transit Strategy
This website is dedicated to promoting the vision of a Canada with a National Public Transit Strategy. We are the only G-8 country without one. 40% of federal investments in municipalities will expire soon. This includes important investments in public transit and infrastructure.
- May 11, 2012: It's time for a National Transit Strategy
Canadians spend an average of 32 days going to and from work every year. Eighty-five per cent of all employees are unhappy with their commutes -- that's a lot of people. Being stuck in traffic or waiting for overcrowded buses is daily routine for millions of Canadians. It's high time we have federal leadership to cut commute times and seriously invest in public transit.
- April 24, 2012: A "Fair" Protest in New York City?
If you ride the New York City subway system, then you've become accustomed to reading the signs in stations across the city that let riders know about service changes. Most often, there are delays, or you find that you must take a different line to get to where you need to go.
- April 4, 2012: New York City Fare Strike Continues Trend of Militant Self-Organization
During Wednesday morning rush hour, signs hung in at least eight New York subway stations, inviting straphangers to ride for free.
- April 3, 2012: Successful Fare Strike - NY City Subway for free
On March 28, before rush hour, teams of activists, many from Occupy Wall Street, in conjunction with rank and file workers from the Transport Workers Union Local 100 and the Amalgamated Transit Union, opened up more than 20 stations across the city for free entry.
- March 11, 2012: Transit Forum 2012
Which Way Forward for the Transit Movement in Toronto? Recorded 3 March 2012 in Toronto.
- January 31, 2012: We Make It Move
The challenges facing our transportation system are enormous. Climate change, the future of oil, and globalization are already reshaping how we move and the machinery that moves us. Dramatic changes lie ahead, and workers, including 100,000 members of our union working in transportation and manufacturing transportation equipment, will be deeply affected.
- January 27, 2012: Seizing the Transit Initiative
This week, news came out that plans to bury the Eglinton LRT may be revised.
- January 16, 2012: Transit workers offered to take a wage freeze if the TTC maintained services
'We said we would be willing--and this was just dialogue, wasn't offers passed back and forth--that we'd take this,' Bob Kinnear makes a zero with his fingers, 'provided that the Toronto Transit Commission maintains the level of service.'
- December 20, 2011: We get Fare Hikes, the Rich get Bailouts
Working people cannot afford the TTC fare hikes that kicked in on January 3, 2010. A single TTC ride now costs $3.00, up from $2.75; ten tokens cost $25.00, up from $22.50; and a monthly Metropass costs $121.00, up from $109.00.
- December 16, 2011: York transit workers demand council act to end strike
Hundreds of striking York Region Transit workers took to the streets Thursday morning in Newmarket in an effort to pressure politicians to intervene in the labour dispute by forcing binding arbitration.
- December 2, 2011: Toronto-Area Transit Workers Strike against Privatization
'The problem is privatization,' says Toronto-area transit union leader Bob Kinnear, so bus drivers are on strike to put that problem in front of the public.
- November 27, 2011: TTC users need a crusader to battle cuts
The city's most faithful customers -- the beleaguered brigade of transit captives -- are getting it in the teeth again. Bus and streetcar service on the most popular routes is being cut back to achieve a confounding funding target established by a befuddling mayor.
- November 26, 2011: TTC slashes service on 62 routes
Two long, snaking lines form on the platform at Finch Station waiting for bus 36 westbound. It's 4:30 p.m., rush hour, and in the end about a dozen people are left behind. The bus is too full to pick anyone up at the first few stops.
- November 1, 2011: Should All Public Transit Be Free?
More than half of the world's population lives near an urban center. But as our cities grow increasing traffic has clogged roads and highways. In much of the U.S., a car--there are 246 million registered, as of 2009--is a near-necessity. Meanwhile, longer commutes have been linked with severe health problems, according to a recent report by Gallup.
- September 14, 2011: Transit Union Takes Education On the Road
The Amalgamated Transit Union is educating local leaders around the country about what's wrong with the economy, helping bus drivers and mechanics who've seen transit funding slashed to understand some ugly truths.
- July 8, 2011: No TTC Fares on Smog and Heat Alert Days!
During Extreme Heat Alerts, the City of Toronto counsels people to seek shelter and opens cooling centres across the City. People are at risk of death during these alerts -- particularly pregnant women, senior citizens, people living with disabilities and chronic illnesses and people living in substandard housing. Flash mob organized by: Fair Fare Coalition, Greater Toronto Workers' Assembly Free and Accessible Transit Campaign and Damn 2025.
- July 7, 2011: Free Public Transit
The beginning of the end of autosprawl. A blog full of public transit resources.
- July 1, 2011: Atro-City
For at least a century, governments have tried to urbanise their nations. Communist states sought to drag people out of what Marx and Engels called their 'rural idiocy'.
- June 19, 2011: Stop Signs
Cars and Capitalism on the Road to Economic, Social and Ecological Decay with co-authors Bianca Mugyenyi and Yves Engler. Opening remarks by Jordy Cummings and Rick Salutin. Recorded 12 May 2011 in Toronto.
- May 9, 2011: The Shock Doctrine, Toronto Style
I doubt Rob Ford reads Naomi Klein. Between studying committee reports and football playbooks, the new Mayor likely doesn't have the time or the inclination to keep up with Canada's most prolific left-wing journalist.
- March 18, 2011: Transport Workers and Climate Change
Toward sustainable, low-carbon mobility: Discussion Document prepared for the ITF CLIMATE CHANGE CONFERENCE, Mexico City, August 2010 by the ITF Climate Change Working Group in collaboration with the Global Labor Institute (GLI), School of Industrial Relations, Cornell University.
- March 18, 2011: No Fare is Fair
A roundtable discussion with members of the Greater Toronto Workers' Assembly Free and Accessible Transit Committee.
- December 28, 2010: Disability rights activist still waiting for a fully accessible transit system
For nine months, Anne Abbott waited for the Toronto Transit Commission to fix the elevator at the Yonge and Bloor subway station in downtown Toronto so she and other disabled commuters could get to work, attend school, visit friends and be active members of their communities.
- December 15, 2010: Why I want subways, but would settle for Transit City
Mayor Rob Ford plans to dissolve 'Transit City,' former Mayor David Miller's plan to extend Toronto's existing transit systems to service the east and west ends of the GTA, and some of the north. Much has been written about the fact that the city has already spent about $130 million on 'Transit City,' while Ford has committed to new contracts in the amount of $1.38 Billion for his proposed transit plan.
- December 11, 2010: Why Private Transit is Destined to Fail
Publicly funded systems would be better suited to the economic and social pressures facing Canada's cities.
- December 10, 2010: Free Transit and Movement Building
The demonstrations surrounding the G20 summit in Toronto unfolded more or less as scripted. The state spent obscene amounts of public money to install security cameras in Toronto's streets, build an enormous fence, and augment the capacities of the local, provincial, and national police forces, both logistically and legally.
- December 7, 2010: Mayor Ford scraps Toronto light rail transit system
It was supposed to be one of the largest transit expansion projects anywhere. Seven new light rail lines along the streets of Toronto's major transit corridors. Older buses replaced with modern, cost effective, environmentally friendly light-rail vehicles.
- October 27, 2010: Drivers and Riders Unite!
Fare hikes, layoffs, and service cuts decimate public transit -
In 2008, when gas prices spiked, so did transit ridership, reaching 10.7 billion trips in the United States. Hard times make this service even more essential to millions of people.
- October 2, 2010: NO Fare IS Fair
Start of the campaign to win free and accessible transit for the GTA. A project of the Greater Toronto Workers' Assembly.
- August 21, 2010: New York's transit agency lays off workers, raises fares
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has laid off another 200 New York City station agents, while proposing to once again increase transit fares. The layoffs took place on August 13 as a result of a recent decision by the MTA, which runs the New York City transit system, as well as the surrounding commuter railroads.
- July 16, 2010: Free and Accessible TTC!
Forum featuring: Deb Cowen, Karen Sun, Franz Hartmann and Kamilla Pietrzyk
- July 5, 2007: No Fares! A Reader-funded Solutions Series
Is it crazy to imagine free public transit? Or crazy not to? You made possible Dave Olsen's inquiry.
- July 5, 2007: 17 Reasons (or More) to Stop Charging People to Ride the Bus
The case for Fare-Free Transit by Dave Olsen.
- April 10, 2007: Scottish Socialist Party - free public transport policy
Scottish Socialist Party election broadcasts for the Parliament elections in 2007. This one is on the SSP's free public transport policy.
► Other Transit Links ◄
- Free Transit Toronto
Free Transit Toronto started as the Free and Accessible Transit Campaign of the Greater Toronto Workers’ Assembly (GTWA) in 2010. It was built around the idea that public transit should be considered a public service and, like the libraries and Medicare, should be funded by progressive tax revenues, not by fares.
- No Fare is Fair!
We are the Free and Accessible Transit Campaign of the Greater Toronto Workers' Assembly.
- People of Brazil would rather have freetransit than FIFA
How is free transit cheaper? Don't you have to make up for lost fare revenue? The answer is that your city will save so much money in other areas, and quality of life will improve so much that you will get back much more than the lost fares.
- Public Transit Coalition
The Public Transit Coalition believes that Toronto residents should be free to travel where we want, when we want, in a reasonable length of time. Our Municipal, Provincial and Federal Governments have a responsibility to guarantee this fundamental freedom. In an urban area this is only possible with excellent public transit. Twitter - ourttc - #ourttc #savetransitcity #ttc #voteTO.
- Steve Munro - Transit, Politics, Reviews
The foremost authority on all things related to the TTC.
- Toronto Free Transit Wiki
Those of us advocating free transit are bound to hear a question - isn't the idea of Free Transit a bit extreme in the current context, with right wing ideas so dominant these days?
A voice for Rocket Riders - Toronto's newest transit users group. Twitter - ttcriders_ca - #ttc #transitcity #voteTO.
- BC Bus Riders Union
The Bus Riders Union is a labour/community organization that is an experiment in Left movement building. The BRU has been slowly but steadily gathering force; today we have over 950 members and thousands of supporters.
- Free Public Transit
What we mean by free public transit: remove the user fee [fare] from urban buses, trains, trolleys, street cars, and light rail. Why this website: provide the economic argument and evidence in favor of free public transit. Twitter - freepublictrans - #freepubtrans.
- Free Public Transport
We are standing at a crossroad: in order to reduce our oil dependency and to make our cities climate smart, we have to change our ways of getting around. It is a fact that the future is on track, and with free public transport everyone can come along for the ride.
- Human Powered blog by Dave Olsen
First and foremost a father, he knows his ultimate mission on the planet is to be the best father he can be. Reading Alice Miller's transforming works about childhood is passion that supports this mission. When he isn't having fun with his daughter, he bakes, bikes, and builds and generally tries to learn more life skills to share. Another passion in Dave's life is writing. Transportation and surviving civilization are favourite topics; spreading the word about insightful works of art helps both artist and planet survive.
- LA Bus Riders Union
The BRU has literally saved public transportation in Los Angeles and become the country's largest grassroots mass transit advocacy organization.
- NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign
New York's Transit Rider's Union site.
- Save Our Ride
Our Ride is about affordable, quality public transportation for all. We are a campaign of transit workers, riders, managers and advocates, community groups and environmental organizations. Twitter - saveourride.
- Stephen Rees's blog
Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves (mostly BC).
- Supprimons les tarifs de transport à Montréal
Ce site défend l'accès libre et universel aux transports collectifs. On y refuse la discrimination fondée sur le revenus et l'inégalité d'accès aux ressources de la communauté.
- The Transport Politic
An excellent source on transit projects from around the world. Twitter - ttpolitic.
- Wikipedia - Free Public Transit
Free public transport, also often called free public transit and sometimes zero-fare public transport, is a single or network of transport services funded in full by means other than collecting a full fare from passengers.
- Zero-Fare Canada
For fare-free urban public transportation. Twitter - freetransit - #freepubtrans.