The Ontario government is privatizing your public transit,
but there’s still time to stop them and Keep Transit Public!

How is this happening?

Metrolinx – the provincial transit planning organization – is working with the City of Toronto and the TTC to build several new LRT projects in the area. This is great and we applaud them.

What you may not realize is that your public transit company, The Toronto Transit Commission, will operate the new LRT, but a private company will maintain it. With its long, proud history of maintaining street rail, Toronto is best placed to keep those well-paid, union jobs in the public realm. Yet Metrolinx and the province are pursuing an aggressive agenda of privatization.

What gives?

Transit works best when it is publicly owned, operated and maintained. We’ve seen so many examples from around Canada and the world of what happens when private companies are left to maintain public transit. They try to squeeze profits any way they can by raising fares, reducing service and cutting corners on maintenance. Private transit has proven to be more costly and less safe.

In other Municipalities around the GTA, Like Waterloo, Hamilton, and Mississauga, Metrolinx has sought almost exclusively to hire a consortia of companies to Finance, Design, Build, Operate and Maintain. (FDBOM).

Because public transit companies don’t Finance, Design or Build, they are ineligible to compete in the tendering process, and are out of the running to Operate and Maintain new transit. This effectively means that only large groups of private companies may even bid on these projects. The current procurement process leaves the door open to all new transit in Ontario being entirely privatized.

However, IT’S NOT TOO LATE. If you take action now, we can pressure Metrolinx and the Provincial Liberal Government to make the TTC the default maintenance provider of any new transit projects that get built in our city.

What you can do:

1. Sign the Petition
Signing the petition will automatically send emails to all MPPs and confirmed candidates in Toronto, as well as Metrolinx, the Ministry of Transportation, Infrastructure Ontario, and Premier Wynne’s office.

2. Contact your local constituents directly!

Riding Party Name Email
Ectobicoke North Liberal Shafiq Qaadri
Ectobicoke North PC Doug Ford
Ectobicoke North NDP Mahamud Amin
Ectobicoke Centre Liberal Yvan Baker
Ectobicoke Centre PC Kinga Surma
Ectobicoke Centre NDP Erica Kelly
Ectobicoke-Lakeshore Liberal Peter Milczyn
Ectobicoke-Lakeshore PC Christine Hogarth
Ectobicoke-Lakeshore NDP Phil Trotter
Humber River-Blackcreek Liberal Deanna Srgo
Humber River-Blackcreek PC Cyma Musarat
Humber River-Blackcreek NDP Tom Rakocevic
York South-Weston Liberal Laura Albanese
York South-Weston PC Mark DeMontis
York South-Weston NDP Faisal Hassan
Parkdale-High Park Liberal Nadia Guerrerra
Parkdale-High Park PC Adam Pham
Parkdale-High Park NDP Bhutila Karpoche
York Centre Liberal Ramon Estaris
York Centre PC Roman Barber
York Centre NDP Andrea Vasquez Ramirez
Eglington-Lawrence Liberal Michael Colle
Eglington-Lawrence PC Robin Martin
Eglington-Lawrence NDP Robyn Vilde
Davenport Liberal Cristina Martins
Davenport PC Federico Sanchez
Davenport NDP Marit Stiles
Toronto-St. Paul’s Liberal Jess Spindler
Toronto-St. Paul’s PC Andrew Kirsch
Toronto-St. Paul’s NDP Jill Andrews
University-Rosedale Liberal Jo-Ann Davis
University-Rosedale PC Gillian Smith
University-Rosedale NDP Jessica Bell
Spadina-Fort York Liberal Han Dong
Spadina-Fort York PC Iris Yu @irisyu Twitter DM
Spadina-Fort York NDP Chris Glover
Willowdale Liberal David Zimmer
Willowdale PC Stan Cho
Willowdale NDP Saman Tabasinejad
Toronto Centre Liberal David Morris
Toronto Centre PC Meredith Cartwright
Toronto Centre NDP Suze Morrison
Toronto Danforth Liberal Li Koo
Toronto Danforth PC Patricia Kalligosfyris
Toronto Danforth NDP Peter Tabuns
Don Valley North Liberal Shelley Carroll
Don Valley North PC Vincent Ke
Don Valley North NDP Akil Sadikali
Don Valley West Liberal Kathleen Wynne
Don Valley West PC Jon Kieran
Don Valley West NDP Amara Possain
Don Valley East Liberal Michael Coteau
Don Valley East PC Denzil Minan-Wong
Don Valley East NDP Khalid Ahmed
Beaches East York Liberal Arthur Potts
Beaches East York PC Sarah Mallo
Beaches East York NDP Rima Berns-McGown
Scarborough-Agincourt Liberal Soo Wong
Scarborough-Agincourt PC Aris Babikian
Scarborough-Agincourt NDP Tasleem Riaz
Scarborough Centre Liberal Mazhar Shafiq
Scarborough Centre PC Christina Mitas
Scarborough Centre NDP Zeyd Bismilla
Scarborough-Southwest Liberal Lorenzo Benrnardetti
Scarborough-Southwest PC Gary Ellis
Scarborough-Southwest NDP Doly Begum
Scarborough North Liberal Chin Lee
Scarborough North PC Raymond Cho
Scarborough North NDP Dwayne Morgan
Scarborough- Rouge Park Liberal Sumi Shan
Scarborough- Rouge Park PC Vijay Thanigasalam
Scarborough- Rouge Park NDP Felicia Samuel
Scarborough-Guildwood Liberal Mitzie Hunter
Scarborough-Guildwood PC Roshan Nallaratam
Scarborough-Guildwood NDP Tom Packwood

Sign the Petition!

Keep Transit Publically owned and operated in Toronto

Dear honourable City Councillors, MPPs, and Madam Premier

**your signature**

3,424 signatures = 137% of goal

Share this with your friends:


Latest Signatures
3,424 Albert Chen Toronto, Ontario Dec 16, 2020
3,423 Kristy Davidson Toronto, ON Nov 24, 2020
3,422 Erin Kwon Toronto, Ontario Feb 17, 2020
3,421 Yunjung Park NORTH YORK, ON Feb 17, 2020
3,420 Nayoung Suh Maple, ON Feb 17, 2020
3,419 Cass Jan Jan 28, 2020
3,418 Alexander Lieflander Toronto, Ontario Dec 27, 2019
3,417 Lawrence Ahlborn Aug 14, 2019
3,416 Luisa Di Felice Vaughan, Ontario Jul 27, 2019
3,415 Richard Joaquin Jun 19, 2019
3,414 Edward Wieler OTTAWA, ON Apr 03, 2019
3,413 Marianna Spalierno Toronto Mar 28, 2019
3,412 Navjot Kaur Etobicoke , Ontario Mar 28, 2019
3,411 Diljot Singh Etobicoke , Ontario Mar 28, 2019
3,410 Amarjit Takk Brampton Mar 27, 2019
3,409 Satnam Singh Vadiaan Brampton, ON Mar 27, 2019
3,408 Charanjeet sahota Mar 27, 2019
3,407 Peter Sankey Mar 27, 2019
3,406 Mark Hindle Toronto, On. Mar 27, 2019
3,405 Abhimanyu Arora Mar 27, 2019
3,404 Jacob Martinez Mar 27, 2019
3,403 Nadar Chahal Toronto , Ontario Mar 27, 2019
3,402 Kelsey Rochette Toronto, Ontario Mar 27, 2019
3,401 Xheni Qamo Mar 27, 2019
3,400 Mellia Bloomer Toronto, ON Mar 27, 2019
3,399 Sajida Shahid TORONTO, Ontario Mar 27, 2019
3,398 Guralampreet Chahal Toronto, ON Mar 27, 2019
3,397 Nicole Favro Toronto, Ontario Mar 27, 2019
3,396 Katie Hooymayers toronto, ontario Mar 27, 2019
3,395 Maga Kitler Mar 27, 2019
3,394 Jessica Amponsah Toronto , Ontario Mar 27, 2019
3,393 Mary Van Puymbroeck Toronto, Canada - Ontario Mar 27, 2019
3,392 kitty dias Mar 27, 2019
3,391 Kirsten Miller Toronto, ON Mar 27, 2019
3,390 Paula Mejia Toronto , ON Mar 27, 2019
3,389 christine forbes toronto, ON Mar 27, 2019
3,388 Oskar Martynyuk Toronto, Ontario Mar 27, 2019
3,387 Louis Alexopoulos Toronto, ON Mar 16, 2019
3,386 Kamilah States Mar 09, 2019
3,385 Josiah Jones Etobicoke, Ontario Mar 05, 2019
3,384 hammad khan Scarborough, ON Mar 04, 2019
3,383 Ethan Newell Toronto, Ontario Mar 03, 2019
3,382 Stefania Raimondo Toronto, ON Mar 02, 2019
3,381 Andre Jason Lim Scarborough, Ontario Feb 27, 2019
3,380 Nicholai Ball Feb 27, 2019
3,379 Jason Glionna Toronto , Ontario Feb 25, 2019
3,378 Diana Hyun Feb 25, 2019
3,377 Miguel Domaoang Woodbridge, ON Feb 25, 2019
3,376 Tamanna Persaud Feb 24, 2019
3,375 Hriday Keshav TORONTO, ON Feb 24, 2019

Quick Facts:
What you Need to Know


Doug Ford and his Conservative Government are privatizing your public transit. If you don’t act now, all new transit in Ontario will be built with Public-Private Partnerships (P3s) with a private company operating and maintaining your transit.

We all know how the privatization of Hydro went. Higher rates and we’re still holding the bag with the debt. Let’s not make the same mistake again.

And we have transit-specific examples from across Canada and around the world. It's consistently a bad deal for riders, a bad deal for municipalities, and a bad deal for workers.


How did we get here? An ideology of selling public assets for short term gain, leaving the public with a legacy of pain.

Metrolinx, the provincial arm’s length transit planning organization, is only accepting bids from companies that can supply ALL components of the new transit builds.

The components of a bid are: Finance, Design, Build, Operate and Maintain. (FDBOM)

Because public transit companies don't Finance, Design or Build, they are ineligible to compete in the tendering process, and are out of the running to Operate and Maintain these projects. This effectively means that only large consortia of private companies may even bid on the project. The current procurement process leaves the door open to all new transit being entirely privatized.


Why have more than one transit operator in your city? That doesn’t make any sense.

Public infrastructure is big money. Privatizing transit infrastructure is a shell game, allowing governments to keep debt off the books, but taxpayers end up paying anyway. At a time of record low interest rates, no private company will be able to borrow at the same rates as the government and we will all have to pay those higher rates in our taxes and our transit fares for decades to come.

The proof is in the pudding. Take a look at the London Underground and British Rail privatization train wreck. The infrastructure was privatized and it was such a failure that the government had to bail them out and take it over again.


When Metrolinx builds a new transit project, they first release a Request for Qualifications, in which interested companies put their names in the hat. Metrolinx reviews these applicants for their qualifications and then releases a shortlist of companies that are allowed to bid.

Next, Metrolinx will put out a formal Request for Proposals to the shortlisted companies.

The issue is that any interested party has to commit to financing, designing, building, operating, and maintaining the project. Your local transit agency isn’t in much of a position to be able to finance, design or build such a project, but should be in the running to operate and maintain it. This is would be a step towards to keeping this new transit project publically owned and operated.

However, it’s not too late. Metrolinx's procurement policy is driven by privatization ideology fed down the chain from the provincial Liberal government. In many cases, it's not too late.

In Hamilton, our campaign drew over 6000 signatures to our petition, calling on Hamiton City Council to request that the local transit company, HSR, operate and maintain the new LRT line. Flooded with calls and emails, council votes 10-2 in favour of our motion!

It's never too late to demand quality public services.

Let’s keep our transit jobs local. Let’s keep transit owned by all of us and not by private companies.


How Metrolinx decides who gets to operate and maintain transit will affect everyone living in the GTHA and Niagara regions. If the public raises its voice demanding that transit operation and maintenance be publicly owned, it can happen. If awareness remains low, it’s possible that the Liberal government will award your transit to an international private company driven by a profit motive.


Transit privatization is happening all over Ontario with almost no awareness in the general public.

With your help, we can stop the privatization train wreck.

Campaign FAQ

Why is the operation and maintenance of new transit up for bidding?

The Ontario Provincial Government, through its transit agency, Metrolinx, has decided that it doesn’t want the people of Ontario to operate and maintain their new transit. Instead, it would rather ask big private companies to come in and run the core of your city's transit system. They hope that private companies from elsewhere will be able to understand the transit needs of your city better than the people who have operated transit there for decades and longer.

What is a Public-Private Partnership (P3)?

P3s come in many forms, but put simply, they are deals where the government signs a contract with a private company or consortium to build and operate a piece of infrastructure or a service on the government’s behalf. In exchange, the government promises them a healthy guaranteed profit over the decades to follow.

Why is our transit even being considered for privatization? Isn’t transit a public service?

The great promise of public-private partnerships is reduced risk, because the private partner promises to deliver the project for a fixed price and to pay penalties if they fall behind schedule. It sounds great in theory. In practice, when private projects’ costs increase, the private partners often simply walk away if they aren’t going to make any money on the deal anymore.

That’s exactly what happened with the London Underground P3. Then the public is left to clean up the mess. Likewise, even though they may promise to pay penalties if they’re late, when the time comes they will threaten to walk away from these deals and throw the project into chaos if the government forces them to actually pay them. These companies spend millions on lawyers who know exactly how to draw up a contract that’s “heads we win, tails you lose.” Look at the TTC, which is finding it impossible to cancel its contract for streetcars with Bombardier even though the deliveries are years late.


What has happened when transit has been privatized in other areas?

The British government decided to privatize its rail infrastructure and the result was a disaster. The privatized infrastructure company, Railtrack, cut back dramatically on maintenance to keep its profits flowing. The number of delays and accidents soared.

Eventually, the problems got so bad that they went bankrupt and the government was forced to renationalize the system. In London, the government signed a deal with two private consortia to modernize their subway, the historic London Underground.

The private companies promised a fantastic deal in their bids, but unsurprisingly they couldn’t keep their promises. As the companies realized that they weren’t going to make any money because they had under-bid and they experienced delays and cost overruns, they just walked away.

Once again, the public was left to pick up the pieces.

When everything goes great, private companies will still demand a healthy profit that comes out of taxpayers’ or riders’ pockets. When things go badly, the private companies walk away and leave the public holding the bag.

Does service improve?

Privatization does nothing to improve service. In fact, the private partner may have a strong incentive to cut back on service levels in order to increase its profits. Worse, if the city decides that it wants to improve transit service in the future, it could require renegotiating the contract. In that case, the private partner will no doubt demand a hefty subsidy.

Keeping transit public, by contrast, means that service levels are entirely up to the community and not a private company.

Does it result in better jobs?

Private transit operators consistently have higher worker turnover than public agencies. This means that workers can’t build up the skill and experience they acquire over a long career, making transit less efficient and less safe.

Is it safer?

When Britain privatized its rail infrastructure, its accident rates soared. Any private company is going to be tempted to cut back on maintenance to maintain its quarterly profits. It might not cause a problem in the short term but in the long term, it makes a transit system less safe.

Does it cost less?

In most cases, no. But even when it does, cost reductions always have to come from somewhere, whether it's skimping on maintenance, running trains less often, or paying workers less than a living wage. On top of that, private companies need to include their profits, which means an added cost that doesn't exist when transit is publicly operated. Companies often offer very low bids and promise the world to win a contract. But as soon as they run into trouble meeting their promises, they drop the contract and leave the public holding the bag.

The auditor general has said that paying a private consortium to borrow money rather than borrowing it directly has cost the Waterloo Region LRT, which is the prototype for others in the area, an extra $48 million.

You’re just a union worried about losing members, right?

We are transit workers because we believe in the service we provide to citizens. At the heart of it, we benefit when transit service is good for riders. When the frequency of trains gets cut, when safety is compromised, and when the transit agency can't retain its most experienced operators, riders suffer just as much as workers.

We are also concerned about protecting good, living-wage paying jobs in our city. When a private company comes in, they automatically try to cut wages and benefits in order to make a profit.

We believe that everyone in Ontario deserves the opportunity to earn a living wage and provide for their families.

What can I do to help?

Join the movement to Keep Transit Public!

In Hamilton, our campaign gathered over 6000 signatures for our petition. We flooded Hamilton City Councillors with emails and phone calls and the pressure worked. In August, Council passed a motion demanding that Hamilton's new LRT line be run by its existing transit company, the HSR.

The battle isn't over yet. Metrolinx and the province have yet to respond and are months late putting an RFP out.

It's clear we're having an impact.

Now we expand the fight to Toronto, Brampton, Mississauga, St. Catharines and the Niagara Region - all areas with Metrolinx transit projects in various states of progress.

Sign the petition, join us on social media, and join us out in the streets, talking to the public about why we should Keep Transit Public.