Toronto transit group gives John Tory low grade

A public transit advocacy group gives John Tory a low mark for largely ignoring a 28-question survey about his public transit plans in Toronto.

The TTCriders survey was sent to every mayoral candidate who ran in the October election. Candidates were asked to commit to a “yes,” “no,” or “other” descriptor in four key areas of interest: bus and tram lanes, fares, funding for the TTC; and a short-term solution for the closure of Scarborough RT in 2023.

The group said Tory’s campaign did not respond to the survey. Instead, they sent out a written statement and TTCriders used that response to determine where it stood compared to its competitors.

In the “Mayoral Transit Promises Tracker,” Tory got two out of 28 — the lowest score of any mayoral candidate who responded to the survey.

The two points were awarded for supporting greater investment in TTC operations and for promising to defend the expansion of Scarborough’s rapid transit network.

TTCriders posted his answers as “no” to the remaining 26 questions in the survey, as he did not specifically address them in his statement.

In a statement to CTV News Toronto, a spokesperson for Tory’s campaign said they were giving TTCriders a “comprehensive response” when it came to the $28 billion transit plan for the GTHA being led by the Ontario government, including the Scarborough subway expansion. , the Ontario Line, the Eglinton Crosstown West extension, and the Yonge North Subway extension.

“During his tenure, the mayor has invested in the TTC’s bus network, restoring 200 kilometers of bus routes that were cut before being elected and ensuring that the busiest routes were preserved during the pandemic,” said Jenessa Crognali. “He also led the City Council in approving RapidTO — which will roll out dedicated bus lanes where it makes sense and, where reserved bus lanes aren’t practical, will do everything possible to speed up the busiest routes.”

“Mayor Tory is the only municipal candidate who will ensure that these mega-transit projects are completed as quickly as possible, and he is the only one with a track record of investing in and protecting the TTC.”

Meanwhile, Gil Penalosa – widely regarded as Tory’s closest competitor – got a perfect score of 28 out of 28 for saying “yes” to every question from TTCriders.

This included promises to curb tariff hikes; extend off-peak and night shifts; work for more funding to expand Wheel-Trans; and support for additional routes to replace the Scarborough RT when it closes.

The next highest scoring candidates were Philip D’cruze and Ferin Yusuf Malek, who both received a 27 out of 28.

“The TTC needs a champion who will rebuild passenger traffic with bus and tramways, better service and lower fares,” TTCriders member Khasir Hean said in a statement.

“It’s not too late for candidates to improve their scores.”

Penalosa unveiled its transit plan on Wednesday, promising to build more than 60 kilometers of high-speed bus lanes across the city.

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