Transit Fairness at York University

Since the York University subway station opened, York Region Transit (YRT) buses have stopped delivering Thornhill students right into campus, where the buses have always gone before. Instead, they get dropped off a subway station away, forcing them to pay a second fee every day (as much as $1000 per year). 

A:

As of September 2, York Region Transit buses are no longer allowed to bring their passengers into the centre of York University campus. This arbitrary and unfair decision by York Region Transit was made without the approval of Vaughan Council, and it is unacceptable.

We cannot accept arbitrary, bureaucratic decisions that have such dramatic financial impact – perhaps as much as $1000 per year – on Vaughan and York Region students struggling to pay for university.

We cannot accept that people from York Region travelling to campus will have their safety at risk as a result of this decision.

We cannot accept that the time to travel to campus will increase significantly.

We cannot accept that students, faculty and employees of York who have a disability are being put in a position of even greater disadvantage.

As Ward 5 Councillor, I have called on the YRT to immediately restore bus service to the centre of campus. I have also asked the TTC and YRT to conduct a review in consultation with impacted passengers of how they can provide the best and most economical service possible to York University. I will continue to advocate on this issue, and will push the Regional Councillors on Vaughan Council to bring this important issue to York Region Council.

There are a variety of possible options for a long-term solution to this issue – maintain the YRT buses into campus, provide a special York University pass to allow a transfer to the subway without cost or break down the two-fare wall completely. 

Transit is supposed to be a force in providing ease of movement in the GTA. What we are witnessing at York is the tip of the iceberg where jurisdictional protection for transit agencies seems to be more important than service to its passengers.

I have always been a proponent of extending a detailed network of rapid transit throughout the GTA. Now that we have the very first subway line outside of the Toronto boundary we see the same parochial territorial protectionism. If you are a user of rapid transit, your very last concern, municipal boundaries, is the first concern of transit authorities throughout the GTA – It’s time to move to a truly Greater Toronto Transit Authority where service for its passengers is paramount.

The ability to pay for university and the safety of Vaughan students is at risk – we need action now!