The new Toronto Transit Commission board met for the first time on Tuesday but the shocking lack of members who regularly use transit has one advocate off the rails.
Of the seven board members only two say they regularly use transit – TTC chair Josh Colle and Coun. Joe Mihevc.
“How can you manage something that you don’t use?” long time transit advocate Steve Munro asked.
Both deputy mayor Denzil Minnan-Wong and Coun. Shelly Carol admitted that they don’t use transit on a regular basis.
Coun. Vincent Crisanti said that although he’s not a frequent user of the TTC, he makes it a point to speak with riders.
“I stand at the bus stops and speak with them,” explained Crisanti. “I am at their doorstep. I talk to them. I know the issues. ”
Munro says this lack of transit use by board members is a massive problem.
“You kind of scratch your head and wonder if the people sitting around this table have a feel for what’s going on out there in the street,” he said.
Munro said he believes it would be worth while to initiate a mandate that all councillors who sit on the board, ride the TTC.
Minnan-Wong said that although he wasn’t sure how that mandate would be regulated, he admitted that it was a point to keep in mind.
“We all should make an effort to be on it more and probably on areas that aren’t our common routes,” said Colle.
During the meeting TTC ceo Andy Byford give his big state of transit report — which include billion dollar budget shortfalls that could lead to serious issues for riders in the years to come. Transit Critic Steve Munro believes there’s one way to get this commission on track.
Some of the reasons the new TTC board members gave for not riding transit included, traffic delays and long commute times.
Mayor John Tory, who appointed the board, was unavailable for comment.