Toronto - Apr. 12 2010 - Mayoral candidate, JP Pampena, who attend the TTC Union’s first town hall meeting in Downsview yesterday April 11, 2010 wishes to congratulate Bob Kinnear and his members on doing an excellent job listening and addressing concerns raised by riders at yesterday’s “Let’s Talk” public forum.
Although, attendance was less than anticipated, it was encouraging to see the TTC Union receptive to what riders had to express about their experience with Toronto’s transit system. Many issues ranging from inconsiderate passengers who take up the seats reserved for disabled persons to outdated technology and the need for increased overall funding were just a few of the issues expressed at this meeting.
Speaking to the first issue on the misuse of disabled seating on buses and met with applause from the audience, Mr. Pampena, who himself is visually impaired, offered the simple solution of putting a special symbol on TTC passes for easier identification of disabled persons who should have access to those seats.
According to Mr. Pampena, it was refreshing to hear endless apologies not only from the frontline workers on stage but also from the union brass who recognized that they needed and can do better for their customers. However, Mr. Pampena would like the union to prove their sincerity and offers his suggestion of a Customer Appreciation Day as a way to restore public sentiment and respect between the TTC workers and its riders. This one day would involve free TTC service to all its riders, the cost of which would be offset by having the 10,000 TTC members give up their wages for that one day.
“As to the lack of adequate funding emphasized by union boss, Mr. Kinnear, once again as I have been indicating all along, my solution would be to list the TTC on the Toronto Stock Exchange,” indicates Mr. Pampena. “This would give the public, riders and non-riders alike, a stake in our city’s transit system by allowing them the opportunity to invest in it.”
“This unique idea would not only easily raise the 2 billions dollars required to operate the system but more importantly could potentially generate a surplus of dollars which then could go into bringing the transit system into the 21st century with better technology and the funding to expand the service,” adds Mr. Pampena.