Thursday, March 30, 2006

Moscoe and Miller Break Promise on Fare Hike: Big Surprise!

Well, as the city debates the budget and starts the battle of who gets to be Mayor, I'm feeling like the first casualty. I'm used to lies and more lies, but on some naive level, I thought that ideology still trumps greed.

The TTC is raising fares because the commissioners determined the TTC will be short $16.5 million (or 18.5, depending on which newspaper you read) without it. Howard Moscoe didn't want to do it. He feels our pain, so much so that he says it'll only be an extra $60 per year. No biggie. So we cut back on the calories for awhile...would be good for us getting-too-fat Canadians, don't you think? HOWEVER, Howard Moscoe promised that the fare hike will not go through if the province charges in on its white horse.

Well, the province charged in on its white horse, not only giving the city what it wanted, but also many, many millions more, on top of the extra $9 million the fare hike will net the TTC. So where is the fare hike reversal Moscoe promised?

David Miller, that bastion of NDP thought -- or is it Liberal? -- has espoused no hikes because he knows that with each hike, ridership goes down; when ridership goes down, car driving goes up; car driving goes up, pollution rises. That's his ideological no-no. But apparently not anymore. Miller flies in the direction of the easiest breeze. Unions want more money. He gives them more than asked for. Province won't give an inch, as in years past, he won't fight and hope they have a surplus like this year. TTC fare hike no longer needed, he won't stand up and call for a reversal; easier to be inert. Anyway, he couldn't care less about the extra drivers on the road. Nor even the poor saps on ODSP or the working poor, who with this hike, will now have to put their schedules into contortions to see if they can cut down on trips, or cut out trips altogether, or for the healthiest to get up early to walk the long distances usually done on the subway.

As Jane Pitfield points out, Miller has lied and raised property taxes -- unlike Mel Lastman. As Lastman was vilified about his style, he remembered the worst off of his constituents and kept to his promises to not hike property taxes. He fought for us in every arena.

So where is our white steed? Who will reverse the fare hike for us? Who will force Miller to take a stand and keep to his promises? I smell an election, and it can't come too soon.

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