Protesters take over the TTC in fight against Doug Ford's subway upload
Notice anything weird on or around the subway line this morning, Toronto commuters? Like, say, a terrifying 12-foot-tall Doug Ford puppet hovering around Wellesley Station?
Don't be alarmed—it's all part of a planned protest against the province's intended takeover of Toronto's subway system.
Hundreds of members of the local public transit advocacy group TTCriders took to 35 stations across the city on Friday morning with banners, information packets and, yes, some thoroughly creepy props to raise awareness about what they call "Premier Doug Ford's plan to steal the subway."
I’m heading out to Sufferin Dufferin station this morning to join @TTCriders City-wide Day of Action. The action takes place at 35 subway stations reaching more than 35,000 transit riders to let the province know that this is #OurSubway! #DavenportTO #topoli pic.twitter.com/vsGxVcnPzN— Marit Stiles (@maritstiles) February 22, 2019
"Breaking apart the TTC and handing over the subway to developers and the private sector will mean higher fares and less accountability," reads an invitation to this morning's mass protest and Day of Action.
"If the province is serious about fixing overcrowding, delays, and unaffordable fares—and it should be—proper funding for the TTC is the answer."
This isn't the first we've heard from TTCriders or allied groups since Ontario's PC government announced plans to "upload" the subway system into their care and control.
Hundreds of advocates, academics, politicians and concerned citizens have spoken out against the proposed takeover since Ford was elected in June, warning that such a move could prove disastrous (and perhaps with good reason).
Proud to stand with @ttcriders this morning against any potential theft of #oursubway! Speaking to tansit riders at Eglinton station the message was clear. We’re not going to let Ford privatize our transit. Torontonians want public, affordable, and reliable transit! #onpoli pic.twitter.com/AsvHfp7HsS— Dr. Jill Andrew (@JILLSLASTWORD) February 22, 2019
The City of Toronto has agreed to start discussing the matter with Ford's camp, but nothing is yet set in stone.
Our brothers, wearing the t-shirts loud and proud now at Bloor-Yonge to tell thousands of riders that @fordnation can’t take away what is ours. @ttcriders #oursubway #KeepTransitPublic pic.twitter.com/swqO5wreec— ATU Local 113 (@ATUlocal113) February 22, 2019
This morning's was one the largest protests staged against the move to date, however, with tens of thousands of flyers distributed within a matter of hours.
"The province's plan to steal the subway will be a disaster for TTC riders," says TTCriders executive board member Kingsley Kwok, who distributed flyers at Wellesley Station.
"The TTC is the least-funded transit system in North America. It needs proper funding, not more chaos and delays."
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