Striker Wednesday November 11, 2009, 0 comments

I won’t be riding transit on Friday. I won’t be alone in this, as organizers try to put together a ‘rider’s strike’ to protest… well, to protest something. But I won’t be doing it for the same reasons as everyone else.

Ostensibly this protest is aimed at planned transit fare hikes. I find this pretty funny, really. Canadians it seems can only be got off their sofas and out from behind their televisions when someone pinches their wallet. And barely, at that. Organizers of the strike are not very optimistic about participation.

In my opinion, protesting fare hikes is ridiculous. Sure, I don’t like the increase any more than anyone else, and I do recognize the extreme impact it can and will have on lower income families that rely on transit to get to work, take their kids to school, and put food on their tables.

Frankly, the fare increase is a major problem. The increase will reduce ridership, which will, domino-effect style, cause even more problems with TTC finances. I don’t think anyone disagrees with this.

The reason I won’t be taking transit this Friday, and the reason I think it’s ridiculous, is because I will be protesting the ridiculous knee-jerk response by the TTC to ‘token hoarding’ in the run-up to the fare increase. They are reducing the number of tokens people can buy in order to ensure that people won’t collect vast sums of tokens at the older, lower rate.

Seriously, how many tokens are the average person going to hoard? Hundreds? Thousands? I doubt it. Maybe twenty or maybe even fifty, hardly a reason to get the TTC’s collective panties in a bunch over. And it is this response, more than anything, that brought the fare increase home to most people, I’d wager.

So why are they doing it? Why are they taking all this hatred and vitriol on themselves when they should be out banging the drums and raising mobs of protesters against the real problem?

And lets face it, the real problem is the way funding from Provincial and Federal levels of government happens. Or fails to happen, in the case of the TTC. Sure, there’s lots of other problems, like payroll and decades of poor planning, but the fact remains that the TTC is one of the least, if not the least subsidized transit systems on the continent.

This protest completely fails to address the real problem. It’d be like the poll-tax protests in the UK in the 1980s targeting the Post Office because that’s who delivered the poll-tax bill, instead of targeting the government. I wonder how effective that would have been.

This protest would be better served if everyone bought a token (and that’s likely all they’d be able to buy, just one token), got on the subway to Queen’s Park station, and picketed Parliament to demand of our Provincial government fair and appropriate funding for Ontario’s largest transit system.

Or maybe everyone should be targeting Parliament Hill, and demanding of our Federal government fair and appropriate funding for Canada’s largest transit system.

Maybe that’d be a protest worth going to.


Comments

Commenting has ended for this post, but I'd still love to hear from you.

The website of Adrian Lebar

A Rain of Frogs is written, designed and built by Adrian Lebar, a twenty(!) year veteran of web design and development. He is currently managing web and mobile development teams at Canada’s largest and most beloved classifieds site, Kijiji!

He is a father, sailor, snowboarder, skier, cyclist, writer, artist, graphic designer, classically trained musician and afraid of heights.

Adrian is not currently available for freelance and contract work. Learn more.

A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked. The inverse proposition also appears to be true: A complex system designed from scratch never works and cannot be made to work.”
- John Gall

Twitter

  • Why do I live in a world where designers still start with desktop layouts for web apps?!? I first came across the i… t.co/mD0yQ3LNoj Friday August 16, 2019
  • I have some fond memories of this... also some not so fond memories... t.co/7mzAv0YI1s Saturday July 20, 2019
  • @stephenaevans Good catch. Thx! Sunday July 7, 2019
  • Nice day for a #CollisionConf! t.co/UrEnOC2G99 Tuesday May 21, 2019
  • @JS_Cheerleader @eduardsi Build senior developers! Saturday May 4, 2019
  • This is now literally my worst nightmare. t.co/Aujkr1HGZI Wednesday April 10, 2019
  • @stephenaevans FB, what an amazing high tech company. đŸ™„ Thursday March 21, 2019