Yesterday Mayor Rob Ford announced the proposed 2011 Toronto Budget which unfortunately for Toronto TTC riders included a 10-cent TTC fare hike (something that Ford is adamantly against).
But hey Torontonians, at least you can be happy to know that your City Manager, Joe Pennachetti, selected by your former Mayor David Miller and his leftist regime, feels smug enough to joke about your plight in being squeezed for yet another 10-cents per ride from Toronto's horribly incompetent TTC.
Here's the story from the Toronto Star:
James: Ford budget not the bloodbath many feared
Mayor Rob Ford’s first budget yesterday failed to ignite the firestorm predicted after he was elected last October on a promise to end city hall waste.
There was no caterwauling from councillors pointing to an end to arts and community grants; parks will be manicured or not as often as always and snow will be cleared with the same irregularity. Social service groups are not being targeted, and the streetcar order is going ahead.
The police are getting more money, though, maybe not as much as the chief demands. And taxpayers are getting a break — some breathing room — with a tax freeze.
But don’t cue the celebration. It’s not as simple as all that. It never is with the city’s budget.
For example, how is the lunch bucket crowd on the TTC being rewarded for “riding the rocket” in unprecedented numbers? With a fare hike, starting next month, amounting to 10 cents on the adult token.
Last year’s 25-cent fare hike did little to dampen the commuter penchant for public transit, surprising the transit pooh-bahs. So, the cattle herders are adding 10 cents this year, and if the city manager has his way, this will become an annual haul.
“Raise fares and they will come,” joked manager Joe Pennachetti yesterday, marveling at ridership numbers that reached 477 million, or 15 million above estimates. Despite the planned 10-cent hike, a record 488 million riders are projected to take the TTC this year.
What kind of scumbag jokes about raising the fares on Toronto's TTC ridership, saying that hey, we've done this over and over, year after year under former Mayor David Miller, and yet ridership still increases each time? "Raise fares and they will come!"
Is Pennachetti so ignorant that he does not realize that 99% of the riders who use the TTC do so because they have no other choice? And that this fare hike is the worst thing that could have happened to them, adding to the already heavy burden that a one-way ticket weighs on Torontonians? I mean, $3 for a ride on the TTC? What the hell is going on?
I'm actually not surprised by this attitude of Pennachetti's, as this is the direct result of having a Toronto tax-and-spend Mayor like David Miller running the show. And now after Miller's been tossed in the trash, this is the overall stench of what's remaining in Toronto's City Departments' Management. This is why City Departments like the Toronto Police, the TTC, the Toronto Public Library and Toronto Public Health continue to defy Mayor Ford's mandate and the wishes of Torontonians to slash City Department budgets by 5%.
Unfortunately for them, their management teams will be gutted by Ford if they don't wake up and realize that this is for real (SOURCE: Toronto Sun: Ford lays down the law). Something that David Miller and Toronto's Left never had -and will never have- the spine to do.
PS: Doesn't Pennanchetti's "raise fares and they will come" sound bitterly similar to the Toronto Maple Leafs' do worse every year and the fans will try harder to buy tickets?... I'm just saying.. Maybe it will take a drop in TTC ridership for them to actually realize that literally, the gravy train at the TTC must come to a complete stop?
http://www.flickr.com/photos/nayukim/3826773455/sizes/z/in/photostream/ by nayukim on flickr