Toronto Vital Signs Report – Issue Six: Getting Around

Toronto Foundation has just released Vital Signs Report 2019: Growing Pains and Narrow Gains. This report provides a consolidated snapshot of the trends and issues affecting the quality of life in our city and each of the interconnected issue areas is critical to the wellbeing of Toronto and its residents.

Vital Signs examines ten issue areas. We are going to explore highlights of each of these sections. Issue Six is Getting Around.

Major transit investments are both proposed and under development, but they will take up to a decade or more to complete. The TTC remains proportionally one of the least subsidized transit systems, while many people with a low income in Toronto continue to face decreased access and the ability to afford transit.

  • Toronto has the longest commutes of any major city in the country, and possibly North America, with public transit users having most of the most extreme commutes.
  • Toronto has the highest public transit ridership and commuter share in North America.
  • Transit costs have been growing at twice the rate of inflation for the last 20 years, a significant challenge for the low-income families who disproportionately rely on it to get around.
  • Toronto has the lowest public subsidies for rides of any major city in North America, and unlike most jurisdictions has no guaranteed revenue streams.
  • Recent city initiatives such as two-hour transfers on the TTC and discounted fares for those on welfare and disability have improved transit affordability for some, but discounted fares have yet to be rolled out to other low-income groups.
  • Active transportation is growing, with more people walking and cycling to work, but most improvements come from those who work within five kilometres of the city’s core.

CSI members TTCriders is a grassroots transit advocacy organization that gives Torontonians who use the TTC a voice. It emerged as a response to the tens of thousands of transit users who said that they want better transit in Toronto.

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