Toronto transit hikes an unfair burden to low-income patients

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  1. Zayna Khayat

    Yesterday we helped facilitate a co-design session for more integrated community care – with patients, families, carers, agencies and health professionals from the Toronto Central LHIN. A big insight for me came from the head of a community based mental health/addictions service provider who also shared that the phasing out of tokens by Presto will have a massive impact on the clients they serve. Tokens are a lifeline to get access to needed services, and a presto card can not directly substitute for the utility, ease and simplicity of tokens. Really made me think about how these populations do not get a voice when these types of decisions are being made or new technologies rolled out.

    • Ross

      This is why I don’t trust things like Presto myself (man living on ODSP who’s decided to use this), especially considering I have to pay $60.00 if I want to travel for a month. I’ve tried to hammer into people’s heads that this system isn’t good for the less fortunate, and when I did (at places like Blog TO and Torontoist), I got shot down and dissed instead. Not all cities should be having these, and Toronto is one of these cities; we have a lot of less fortunate people that can’t afford them.

  2. Tom Closson

    I agree with this position. Providing a free Metropass to people on social assistance is a good idea. It would not impact TTC revenues significantly and yet it would enable those on social assistance to participate more equitably in society socially and to help them obtain employment . Social assistance programs have clear eligibility requirements so the TTC could just piggyback on an existing system at no additional administrative cost. This change would make me a little prouder to live in Toronto.

  3. Kevin

    While I endorse the thrust of this piece; its concern and its intent. I am not certain of its prescription.

    I always wonder why the solution to low income is everything but higher income?

    If someone is very low in income due to unemployment, underemployment, or low wages or some combination thereof; surely the answer is to fix their income.

    The alternative is a low, or no-cost rate for everything in society we think is necessary. Its not merely transit, but drugs, dental, medical devices, rent, housing, food, clothes, childcare etc etc.

    I’m not opposed to some of those things being free or low-cost.

    But addressing each and everyone via subsidy is impractical.

    Why not lobby for a higher minimum wage, and more generous social assistance?

    Its not that simple of course; nothing ever is, but is is surely more effective than going item by item and program by program looking for a concession price.

    • Neville Ross

      Fixing said low income could be done by giving people a guaranteed annual income or giving them a MAXIMUM wage of $20.25-those are the best solutions for what ails all of us. Unfortunately, the Establishment will never countenance that.

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