Some may feel that last Friday’s impromptu “TTC Riders’ Strike” failed since so few joined the boycott -- apparently trains and buses were as crowded as ever. And yet the protest attracted a lot of media attention, despite being organized quickly by individual customers upset at the threat of rising fares.

Other displeased riders have likely been contacting Toronto city councillors.

At tomorrow’s transit commission meeting, riders are likely to speak against a price increase, but can they propose constructive alternatives? The TTC budget is very complex, especially as it is closely tied to the financial health of city hall and Queen’s Park.


The website reports chair Adam Giambrone will move a Metropass price rise of 11 per cent instead of the proposed 15. Expecting a complete fare freeze is unrealistic, and yet we have every right to ask commissioners what they have done to contain costs.

As for those upset riders who want TTC budget cuts, do your homework first. Look up news stories or see well-researched blogs like to develop credible proposals.

It might help if the public were involved in an ongoing debate about transit efficiency throughout the year, instead of waiting until fare hikes are nigh. Given the opportunity, I bet riders can come up with balanced suggestions on how to streamline the system. Money is going to be tight for a while, so let’s talk about how we are going to pay for a good quality transit system that can weather economic storms.

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