Election ’22: Which Mayoral and City Council candidates are ready to make transportation more sustainable?

October 21, 2022

Since 2016, we’ve seen skyrocketing numbers of Uber and Lyft vehicles on Toronto streets, after the City changed its regulations and turned key decisions about ground transportation over to ride-hailing giants.  We’ve seen emissions and congestion get worse as an over-supply of drivers circulate in search of passengers.  Driving empty more than half the time, they are seeing their earnings plummet.

But the impacts don’t end there: According to City data, about half of ride-hailing trips would otherwise have been on TTC.  In 2019, City data shows TTC lost about 31 million rides this way.  Unless the City takes back oversight over ride-hailing activities and takes appropriate action, Uber and Lyft will continue to contribute to the TTC’s ridership death spiral.

Luckily, there is consensus among candidates that the City needs to act.

TTC riders and RFTO sent out questionnaires to all Mayoral and Council candidates to find out what they would do to interrupt this vicious cycle, asking:

  1. Will you support policies that restore public transit and ensure it can attract riders out of cars and onto other sustainable modes such as transit, walking and biking?
  2. Will you support policies that help move people back onto public transit from private vehicles (personal or ride-hailing)?

Responses at a glance:

  • 76 mayoral and council candidates responded altogether;
  • 83% answered an unqualified “yes” in support of policies that would help move ride-hailing passengers back onto the TTC;
  • 6% supported policies that reduced car use in favour of sustainable modes of transportation, but did not speak to ride-hailing specifically;
  • 5% answered “No”;
  • Three out of five councillors on the TTC Board: Jaye Robinson, Cynthia Lai and Jennifer McKelvie, failed to respond to this or any other TTC Riders’ questions.

Find your own ward and see who is ready to take action on sustainable transportation, below!

WARD          WARD NAME                                                   CANDIDATE                                          RESPONSE

1  Etobicoke North Courtney, Alistair No
1  Etobicoke North Narang, Dev Yes
2  Etobicoke Center Holyday, Stephen No response from incumbent
2  Etobicoke Center Yanuziello, Thomas Yes
3  Etobicoke-Lakeshore Bonnie Hu Yes
3  Etobicoke Lakeshore Grimes, Mark No response from incumbent
3  Etobicoke Lakeshore Morley, Amber Yes
3  Etobicoke-Lakeshore Valle, Marco Yes
4  Parkdale-High Park Agrell, Siri Yes
4  Parkdale-High Park Gorham, Andrew Yes
4  Parkdale-High Park Lhamo, Chemi Yes
4  Parkdale-High Park Perks, Gord Yes
4  Parkdale-High Park Yuen, Steve 1. Yes; 2. No response
5  York South – Weston Nunziata, Frances Yes
5  York South – Weston Padovani, Chiara Yes
5  York South – Weston Takang, Gabriel Yes
6  York Centre Pasternak, James No response from incumbent
6  York Centre Arkin, Mike Yes
7  Humber River Black Creek Anthony Perruzza No response from incumbent
8  Eglinton-Lawrence Colle, Mike No response from incumbent
8  Eglinton-Lawrence Davidovits, Philip 1. Yes; 2. No response
8  Eglinton-Lawrence Sambasivam, Evan No
8  Eglinton-Lawrence Weston, Wendy 1. Yes; 2. No response
9  Davenport Alejandra Bravo Yes
9  Davenport Fogel, Simon Yes
9  Davenport Gonzales, Grant Yes
9  Davenport Jamal, Shaker Yes
9  Davenport Spencer, Allie 1. Yes; 2. No response
10  Spadina-Fort York Andrei Zodian Yes
10  Spadina-Fort York April Engelberg Yes
10  Spadina-Fort York Ausma Malik Yes
10  Spadina-Fort York Igor Samardzic Yes
11  University-Rosedale Adam Golding Yes
11  University-Rosedale Axel Arvizu Yes
11  University-Rosedale Buxton Potts, Robin Yes
11  University-Rosedale Di Pasquale, Norm Yes
11  University-Rosedale Layman, Andrew No
11  University-Rosedale Saxe, Dianne Yes
11  University-Rosedale Therrien, Pierre Yes
12  Toronto-St. Paul’s Matlow, Josh Yes
13  Toronto Centre Avila, Miguel No
13  Toronto Centre Johnson, Colin Yes
13  Toronto Centre Moise, Chris Yes
13  Toronto Centre Ward, Nicki Yes
14  Toronto Danforth Fletcher, Paula Yes
14  Toronto Danforth Wali Abro Yes
15  Don Valley West Ricci, David Yes
15  Don Valley West Robinson, Jaye No response from incumbent
15  Don Valley West Sharp, Sheena Yes
16  Don Valley East Mahovlich, Colin Yes
17  Don Valley North Daryl Christoff Yes
17  Don Valley North Shelley Carroll Yes
18  Willowdale O’Brien Fehr, Markus Yes
19  Beaches-East York Bradford, Brad Yes
19  Beaches-East York Marra, Frank Yes
19  Beaches-East York Smith, Adam Yes
19  Beaches-East York Thompson, Steven Yes
19  Beaches-East York Worden, Jennie Yes
20  Scarborough Southwest Gary Crawford No response from incumbent
20  Scarborough Southwest Kevin Rupasinghe Yes
20  Scarborough Southwest Malik Ahmad Yes
20  Scarborough Southwest Philip Mills Yes
21  Scarborough Centre Hansie Daniel Yes
21  Scarborough Centre Kiri Vadivelu Yes
21  Scarborough Centre Michael Thompson No response from incumbent
22  Scarborough Agincourt Nick Mantas No response from incumbent
22  Scarborough Agincourt Serge Khatchadourian Yes
23  Scarborough North Cynthia Lai No response from incumbent
23  Scarborough North Jamaal Myers Yes
23  Scarborough North Virginia Jones ?
24  Scarborough Guildwood Habiba Desai 1. Yes; 2. No response
24  Scarborough Guildwood Paul Ainslie Yes
25  Scarborough-Rouge Park Ashan Fernando No
25  Scarborough-Rouge Park Jennifer McKelvie No response from incumbent
25  Scarborough-Rouge Park Kanakaratnam, Jacinta Yes
Mayor Chloe-Marie Brown 1. Qualified Yes  2. No response
Mayor Climenhaga, Sarah Yes
Mayor D’Cruze, Phillip Yes
Mayor Gamk, Isabella Yes
Mayor Hatton, Robert Qualified Yes
Mayor Hossain, Soaad Yes
Mayor Letonja, John Yes
Mayor Malek, Ferin Yes
Mayor Penalosa, Gil Yes
Mayor Punwasi, Stephen Yes
Mayor Tory, John 1. Qualified Yes; 2. No response
Mayor Yan, Jack Yes

We list candidates who responded to either the TTC Riders’ or RFTO survey, and also recorded non-responses by incumbents

Qualified yes:

Candidate Brown: “We need to rebuild public trust in transit by improving the safety and accessibility of platforms before we can convince them to leave private transit.”

Candidate Hatton: It seems ride sharing is here for good as part of the mix. Just as cars came on the scene a hundred years ago, and new electric bikes, scooters etc are now here, all detract from transit use – as do bike lanes.  There must be a set of rules for all types of road users. But also, transit has to compete, and to be planned and built with awareness of the alternatives.

Candidate Tory: (excerpt) Yes, the Mayor supports policies that restore public transit and attract residents to sustainable modes of transportation. The Mayor is committed to continuing to protect and champion the historic, fully-funded $28-billion transit plan he secured for Toronto that is agreed to by all levels of government, with funding and shovels already in the ground. This plan will deliver the Ontario Line, Scarborough Subway Extension, Yonge North Extension, and Eglinton Crosstown West Extension. …dditionally, last year the Mayor supported a motion which directed the city staff to study the impact of ride-hailing services on public transit, which builds on the City’s 2019 report “The Transportation Impacts of Vehicle-for-Hire in the City of Toronto.”

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