TORONTO — The Ontario NDP Transit critic, University— Rosedale MPP Jessica Bell, made a statement in response to Doug Ford making municipal transit funding contingent on the privatization of certain bus routes:
"Municipalities and regional transit agencies are reeling from the pandemic, yet Ford's conditions could take decision-making powers from the local authorities that understand their regions' needs best. Doug Ford says he won’t fund transit unless they sell bus routes to private companies like Uber. That might work for well-connected Tory lobbyists, but it doesn’t work for riders.
Municipalities that have experimented with replacing public buses with privatized cars in the past have seen service cut, fares go up, congestion increase and ridership decline. A far better way to bolster ridership on quiet routes is to lower fares, increase service and invest in dedicated bus lanes to speed up travel time.
Transit agencies need dedicated, long-term funding from the province, not a Premier that bullies them into accepting his agenda to privatize routes at the expense of municipalities and riders."
Media contact: Jodie Shupac, 416-806-9147