Bus route cuts will hurt working people

Herman Rosenfeld

Hundreds of people have attended public meetings to complain about right-wing Toronto mayor Rob Ford and his political allies and their plans to eliminate 48 so-called “underused” bus routes.

The plans are part of the new municipal regime’s attacks on public programs and spending, and to move in the direction of selling off important public services to private businesses to run on a for-profit basis. This will hit users of public transit especially hard.

In order to accommodate the cuts in revenue, the Ford regime called for an increase to the already ridiculously expensive transit fares.

In the face of resistance to fare hikes from across the city, the mayor – in cahoots with his hand-picked TTC and budget chiefs – called for the cancellation of the bus routes. These routes are used by many lower-income working class people, and particularly people of colour.

People who have no other way to get to and from precarious jobs on odd shifts—often late at night. It also dramatically reduces their opportunity to visit friends, relatives and enjoy leisure activities.

Most of the late-night and weekend hours now on the chopping block were added in 2008, when the former city administration expanded bus hours to allow people to deal with the subway’s restricted 6:00 AM to 1:00 AM schedule.

People must organize to resist these unequal and oppressive attacks on the rights of working people to mobility in their home city.