Action Plan to Address Lack of Empathy, Leadership in VIVA Service Breakdown

Public transit is a integral part of a healthy community. When circumstances create real barriers for people to use public transit, we need real leadership and empathy to stand up and create solutions for all residents.

We’re not seeing that today.

 

As a direct result of the lack of leadership and empathy amongst all government stakeholders, VIVA has discontinued direct service to York University on the VIVA Purple and Orange lines.

Public servants have had years to come to a solution. They could have integrated fares. They could have agreed on an extension for the existing academic year while fare integration is being negotiated. They could have come up with a fare sharing agreement between the YRT and TTC.

Instead, our representatives have decided to do nothing. We know that Markham residents are frustrated with traffic in our city, but our elected representatives are content to do nothing to help solve a problem that puts more cars on our roads.
The lack of leadership and empathy amongst regional councillors has led to a real negative impact to our community. Students, faculty, staff, and residents who depend on VIVA to get to school, work, and families are now forced to increase their travel times, some by up to 25%. This is a real problem. This means less time with their families. Less time to study. Less time to get their work done.

I commit to the following:

  1. Within 50 days of taking office, organize a special meeting with the leadership of YRT, TTC, York University student and staff groups to begin a real dialogue to resolving this problem. This meeting will be part of the public record for full accountability.
  2. Within 60 days of taking office, host a livestreamed public town hall for all riders affected. All students and staff will be invited to make public video deputations on how this service reduction has impacted them personally, and a video record will be sent directly to all Transportation and Rapid Transit Committees in York Region and Toronto
  3. Within 90 days of taking office, lay out a public and transparent plan for all residents to outline resolving this important issue
    This is an example of how some of our elected representatives are willing to not care and are comfortable in doing nothing knowing they will be re-elected time and time again.

The way residents are being treated today is completely unempathetic and unacceptable. I commit to open, transparent, and sustainable policies that are human-focused, and will work hard on a concrete game plan to improve public transit for all, starting with solving this bureaucratic mess between the YRT, TTC, and York University.

Do you think it’s time for collaborative leadership in government? If so, then I ask for your support in Markham Votes 2018!