A Statement for Free and Just Transit

Free Transit Toronto, Free Transit Ottawa, Courage, Climate Justice Toronto, and others

The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly affected public transit in cities and towns across Canada. There are fewer riders as people who are able to stay home avoid public transit to physically distance. For those who rely on it, however, transit remains a necessity as it was pre-pandemic. Our governments’ responses have been to threaten massive transit budget cuts.

Carlos Santos
masked man leaving TTC subway
 Aug. 25, 2020
3 min. read

While the U.S. border remains closed, Joe Biden’s election slogan has found its way into Canada. “Build back better” is what Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is now promising as Canada rebuilds from the coronavirus pandemic.

For Toronto, building back better starts with changing the TTC for the better. Toronto needs a safe and reliable public transit system to fuel our economic recovery.

Paris Marx
Passengers wait to board a New York City subway train. Fabrizio Lonzini / Flickr

July 3, 20-20

For a century our cities have been transformed by the car industry, making way for drivers at the expense of cyclists and pedestrians. A renewed movement for urban public transport is pushing back. 

Review of James Wilt, Do Androids Dream of Electric Cars?: Public Transit in the Age of Google, Uber, and Elon Musk (Between the Lines, 2020)

Asbjørn Wahl
Trucks en route

May 14,2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Socialist Project — The transport sector represents one of the most serious challenges when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions, which are increasing faster than from any other sector in society – and at an ever-increasing pace (over 120 per cent globally over the last 30 years – and still increasing in all parts of the world).

Chris Campbell
waiting for bus

MAY 6, 2020

Drastic service cuts to public transit at TransLink and Coast Mountain Bus Company are having “severe, negative effects” directly on Burnaby front-line workers.

Richard Zussman
 TransLink crews spray a bus with disinfectant. The transit authority says buses are now getting a weekly spray, along with regular cleaning. . TransLink

May 8, 2020

With the B.C. economy expected to gradually start to re-open on May 19, TransLink has suspended planned service reductions and the 1,500 layoff notices expected as part of the cutting of routes.

TransLink says if it doesn't receive emergency funding from the federal or provincial governments, there could be unprecedented cuts to local transit services. (Ben Nelms/CBC)
Metro Vancouver’s transit authority, TransLink, just slashed services that tens of thousands of us rely on, including frontline and healthcare workers and ordinary British Columbians who take the bus or SkyTrain to work every day.[1]

Alon Levy, Eric Goldwyn
A sign advising passengers to wear face masks is displayed on a New Jersey Transit bus in Atlantic City. Angus Mordant/Bloomberg

[Canada faces similar challenges.]

Apr. 24, 2020

Jane Slaughter
A city worker is cleaning a bus at the end of the line. Photo: Jim West /

March 21, 2020  

Detroit bus drivers collectively declared Tuesday morning that they weren’t going to work without safety precautions. Bus service was canceled throughout the city because of “the driver shortage,” as city officials put it.

The drivers’ union backed them up and their brief work stoppage, less than 24 hours, won all their demands. Fares will not be collected for the duration of the coronavirus crisis.

Steve Munro

Mar.4, 2020

"The fine for evasion is high by comparison to the slap on the wrist motorists receive for a variety of ills ranging from parking tickets to running red lights. On this one, the TTC appears to be at war with its riders.''


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