Ryerson students swimming upstream against TTC fare hikes

Campaigners are urging commuters to sign an online petition to support a better transportation system. (Greg DeClara/ Ryersonian Staff)

Campaigners are urging commuters to sign an online petition to support a better transportation system. (Greg DeClara/ Ryersonian Staff)

There was something fishy at Yonge-Dundas Square Wednesday afternoon.

Thirteen Ryerson students dressed up as sardines and gathered outside Dundas subway station to raise awareness to improve public transportation in the city.

Meanwhile, the TTC approved a five-cent fare increase Wednesday afternoon, which will take the price of a single adult token to $2.70 from $2.65, effective Jan. 1, 2014.

Cash fare will not increase, however monthly Metropasses will cost $133.75, up from $128.50. This is in an effort to cover costs in the 2014  operating budget of about $1.5 billion.

“Every year there’s been a fare hike, but I haven’t seen any improvement. I don’t really know where that money is going to,” said campaigner Lilian Gessner who was standing outside Dundas station in her sardine outfit. “If you’ve ever been on the subway at rush hour, that’s what you feel like.”

The rally is part of the 32 Reasons to Invest campaign, which was launched this month by the Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance.

Video by Carly Thomas

Students rode the subway northbound from Dundas to Finch subway stations, making stops on the way to hand out pamphlets. They also encouraged commuters to sign an online petition, pledging support for a better transit system in Toronto.

“I’m a commuter myself and it sucks to get downtown,” said Valerie Caranci, another participant in the campaign. “So we’re just trying to raise awareness so that there’s faster times on the TTC, and people don’t waste time stuck in traffic jams when they should be spending time with their family or studying.”

Participants promoted the campaign on Twitter under the hashtag #Your32.

Check out photos from the campaign:

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