TTC monthly pass holders are asking for a refund
Over 1,000 Toronto commuters who paid for a TTC Monthly Pass in March are asking for some sort of compensation after finding themselves unable or unwilling to ride the red rocket amid a global pandemic.
"Many residents, specifically students/seniors/post-secondary students are not able to use their March Monthly Metropass due to the Covid-19 virus pandemic," reads an online petition created by Scarborough Transit Action.
"With the shutdown of workplaces, schools, businesses and public services, residents must remain at home to comply with the state of emergency declared by Premier Ford since March 17," it continues. "Most residents will not be using their passes for at least half of this month."
Addressed to Toronto Mayor John Tory, TTC CEO Rick Leary, several members of the TTC board and all Toronto city councillors, the petition calls upon the TTC to either refund half the cost of a March monthly pass ($156.00 for adults) or extend the pass, allowing riders to use it for a few weeks without additional cost once the pandemic is over.
"We should not have to pay while empty TTC vehicles are operating in the next few weeks," reads the petition. "With the loss of jobs and nowhere to go, more specifically, low-income and marginalized Metropass holders are at a devastating loss."
March #TTC Metropass holders are not able to use public transit due to the Covid-19 virus pandemic. Sign our petition for a refund or extension to April https://t.co/EJcdutDmpF pic.twitter.com/jIp6bWONtp— ScarbTransitAction (@TransitScarb) March 20, 2020
Ridership has dropped off a cliff, however, given the advice of public health officials for everyone to stay home whenever possible, as well as the high number of people who've lost jobs recently due to the widespread shutdown of non-essential businesses.
When asked about the Metropass refund petition, TTC spokesperson Stuart Green said that the organization is "aware that people are asking about this."
"We're looking into it," he said, but "no decisions have been made at this time."
The City of Toronto could not provide comment on the matter, as it has no authority over the TTC's fare payment system.
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