ttc fire

Uber and Lyft post ridiculous prices as fire shuts down TTC subway line

Another snowy Monday morning, another mass TTC meltdown, another display of free market capitalism at its most vicious.

Thousands of Toronto commuters are struggling today with a difficult decision in the wake of a fire that shut down subway service on Line 2 between Keele and Ossington Stations: Be incredibly late for work or pay an exorbitant amount of money to hop into an Uber or Lyft.

With shuttle buses packed to the brim and, in some cases, nowhere to be found, displaced TTC passengers have been firing up their ride-sharing apps of choice in search of a better way.

Clear evidence of this can be seen in the fares quoted right now by Uber and Lyft, both of which famously apply "surge pricing" to their rates based on demand.

If a quote of nearly $90 for one regular Uber X ride from Bloor and Jane to the financial district is any indication, demand is astronomical in Toronto this morning — as one might expect when a major subway line goes out of service at rush hour.

And it's not just rides along the affected portion of Line 2 that are seeing the impact of surge pricing.

People all over the city are seeing sky-high rates, which have no doubt been bolstered even further by poor road and winter weather conditions.

The rates are so exorbitantly high — as in more than $100 for a ride that usually costs less than $20 — some people are finding humour in the situation.

Others have resigned themselves to being late, because really, what else can you do if you're not in a place to shell out that kind of cash on a single one-way cab ride?

As of 9:30 a.m., service was still shut down on the TTC's Line 2 between Keele and Ossington due to fire.

TTC spokesperson Stuart Green says the fire was caused by a "wooden cover board" contacting the subway system's third rail.

"Situation complicated when a non-TTC person on board a trapped train improperly opened a door, letting smoke in," wrote Green on Twitter Monday morning. "GO protocol in effect from Dundas West and Kipling. 50-plus shuttle buses on scene."

Lead photo by

Sannah Choi


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