TTC Advises CNIB that TTC Board Rejected Cuts to Free Pass Program

11/24/2016

November 24, 2016, TORONTO – CNIB has received word from the TTC that the TTC Board has agreed to maintain the free pass program for people who are blind or partially sighted.

An email dated November 23, 2016 from the Office of the TTC Chair Josh Colle to Angela Bonfanti, Executive Director, CNIB GTA, stated:

"On November 21st, the TTC Board approved its budget for 2017…. The Chair was pleased that the board froze the price of cash fares, continued to provide free transit for children, and did not support service reductions or more dramatic fare increases. The Board also rejected a list of options to close the funding gap (currently $61 million) including any changes to the blind/war amp concession fare program. All of the potential options were not positive transit decisions, and were therefore rejected by the board."

CNIB welcomes this news and continues to extend its offer to the TTC to work together to identify solutions. "We must avoid any decision which results in people who are already marginalized being deprived of their independence and inclusion in society. TTC needs to work with stakeholders, like CNIB, to identify solutions that incorporate the needs of our clients."

The program provides free passes to approximately 3,000 people who are blind or partially sighted. Half of working-aged Canadians with vision loss struggle to make ends meet on annual incomes of $20,000 or less.

It is now up to City Council to identify the cuts needed to balance the TTC budget. CNIB is preparing to state its case to City Council when it meets to review the TTC budget.

About CNIB
CNIB is a registered charity, passionately providing community-based support, knowledge and a national voice to ensure Canadians who are blind or partially sighted have the confidence, skills and opportunities to fully participate in life. To learn more, visit www.cnib.ca/ontario or call the toll-free CNIB Contact Centre at 1-800-563-2642.

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For more information, please contact:
Kat Clarke
Specialist, Advocacy & Community Impact
CNIB
416-486-2500 ext. 7651
advocacy@cnib.ca

For media enquiries, please contact:
Shannon Simpson
Manager, Communications
CNIB
519-685-8420 ext. 5147
shannon.simpson@cnib.ca

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