- Karen StintzChair, TTC Commission
Reduce Transit Fares for Individuals with an Intellectual Disability
For adults with an intellectual disability, quality of life is an ongoing struggle. Approximately 3% of Toronto’s population has an intellectual disability. That’s about 80,000 people in our community. Most receive a monthly stipend from the province of about $1058.00 per month, or just over $12,000 per year. With that, they need to cover rent, clothing, food, and transportation. Too often, it’s transportation fees that are cut from their monthly budgets.
Not being able to afford transit means the person may not be able to work, visit family or friends or participate in the community.
Toronto lags behind other Canadian cities in making public transit accessible and affordable. Other cities in Canada: Calgary, Ottawa, Montreal, Oshawa, Vancouver, Windsor and Kingston all have a reduced fare for people with an intellectual disability. These cities found a way to do it, Toronto should too.
In Toronto, seniors, high school and university students already receive reduced fare rates, but people with intellectual disabilities are expected to pay full transit fares.
People with an intellectual disability should receive a reduced transit fare. If you agree, please sign this petition.
- Chair, TTC Commission
I support the TTC Board giving people with an intellectual disability the privilege of paying a reduced transit fare. Like seniors and students, they are on a fixed income. Providing a reduced fare, similar to students and seniors, would allow many people with an intellectual disability increased opportunities to participate in their community as transit will become an affordable option.
People with an intellectual disability should have every opportunity to live a good life, free of poverty, and included in their community. Critical to their quality of life is the ability to travel around the city. As most do not have the ability to drive, the TTC is their primary mode of transportation.
However, most can’t afford to use it. Many people with an intellectual disability receive financial support from the provincial government, but on just over $1,000 per month, they have to pay rent, buy food, cover all personal costs like clothing and travel to and from their place of work or day activity. For those who have a competitive job, 50% of their income is clawed back. As you can imagine, most live well below the poverty line. Ever-increasing TTC fares can have a profound impact on their quality of life, to the point where some can’t afford to get to work.
Reduced fare rates for people with an intellectual disability would put Toronto on an equal footing with other major cities across Canada that provide reduced rates to people on government assistance.
Toronto needs to catch up. The TTC should allow people with an intellectual disability to pay the same transit fares as seniors and students. It can make a huge difference in the quality of people’s lives.
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