News / Toronto

Toronto transit group dubs Stephen Harper a 'transit troll'

For his efforts to improve transit service in Toronto, TTC CEO Andy Byford has been crowned this year's transit champion by the TTCRiders advocacy group.

"We launched these awards because we want to recognize the leaders in our city who have worked tirelessly to ensure service is improved and transit becomes more affordable," said TTCRiders chair Brenda Thompson.

"Andy put together a report that went to the TTC commission last August looking at ten minutes or better service, expanding the bus network, increasing night-time service and introducing two-hour transfer fares.

"All of those things are a big boost."

On the other side of the tracks, TTCRiders voters picked Prime Minister Stephen Harper as 2014's "transit troll."

"The votes came in and he was a clear winner. It wasn't even close," Thompson said. "I think people recognize there were lots of missed opportunities for him to support transit service across Canada."

Thompson singled out the lack of a national transit plan and the federal government's unwillingness to fund transit projects in Toronto as reasons why Harper received the ignominious award.

"Toronto's been left out in the cold when it comes to federal funding," she said. "And when there is funding, there's always strings attached."

More than 300 TTCRiders supporters took part in the poll. The results were announced Thursday night.

Other nominees for transit champion included Sheryl Lindsay of the Fair Fare Coalition, Ward 21 Coun. Joe Mihevc and Steve Munro, a local transit writer and activist.

Former councillor Doug Ford, Ward 7 Coun. Giorgio Mammoliti and Premier Kathleen Wynne were all nominated as transit trolls.

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