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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Stop paying fees to southern Ontario's busing company, ONTC drivers' union says

The union representing the ONTC's bus drivers is calling on the government to waive the estimated $500,000 in bus terminal user fees the agency pays the government each year. According to the union, this is an unfair practice since the ONTC is being forced to make cuts, including the closure of several of its bus stations in northern Ontario.

The ONTC has been paying fees to the government for decades (the convoluted leasing arrangement for the TEE trains comes to mind), but there is an interesting point in the debate over bus terminal fees. While the ONTC is forced to pay GO Transit for the use of the Yorkdale bus terminal (I assume there are fees for the Bay Street terminal too, but I don't know who collects them), I am not aware of GO charging itself any user fees. Advocates for a publicly-funded ONTC have been calling for a merger between Metrolinx and the ONTC for years as a way to cut costs. Such user fee agreements simply reinforce the separation.

In the end, it comes down to the sort of transportation system people want to have in Ontario. Do we want government-funded public transportation available to all Ontarians, regardless of where they live? Or do we want to starve outlying areas and force people to move to Toronto, where transit infrastructure is reaching breaking point?

>>>Stop paying fees to southern Ontario's busing company, ONTC drivers' union says - CBC News<<<

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