"Our shoes are worn": TROVEP-Montreal demonstration on public transportation fares

    MONTREAL, Sept. 20 /CNW Telbec/ - As part of the campaign for a "social
fare" for public transportation, the Table Régionale des Organismes
Volontaires d'Education Populaire (TROVEP) of Montreal is taking the occasion
of the "En ville sans ma voiture" event to organize a demonstration in front
of the office of the Transportation Ministry of Quebec. This demonstration,
under the theme "our shoes are worn", is meant to highlight the impact of
continual public transportation fare hikes on low-income people.
    Public transportation fares are endlessly on the rise. This adds to other
pressures on household budgets: from groceries to rent-hikes, to electricity
and heating. Everything is going up except incomes. Salaries are not rising at
the same rate as the cost of living; the minimum wage does not permit people
to lift themselves above the poverty line. Employment insurance rates have
been reduced, and welfare rates are still frighteningly low.
    Since 2001, the cost of the CAM (monthly STM pass) has risen more than
34%. In this context, poor people have to use public transportation sparingly.
In 1980, the cost of the CAM was equivalent to 12% of a weekly income (35
hours at minimum wage), while in 2006 it was at 24%. According to Aaron Lakoff
of TROVEP Montreal, "these continual public transportation fare hikes have
concrete consequences for low-income people. Many will walk for hours to see
their doctor, to look for work, to take classes, and many others will stay
confined at home or will cut other basic needs from their budget."
    "This demonstration does not seek to denounce the "En ville sans ma
voiture" event. Community organizations understand very well that the rise in
the number of cars is will have a negative impact on the quality of life of
all Montrealers" explains Jean-Yves Joannette of TROVEP Montreal. "However, we
deplore that the question of public transportation is always framed simply in
ecological terms. Public transportation is a means, if not the only, that
low-income people (those without cash and without cars) can use to get around
the city. This is why we are demanding a social fare for public
    The demonstration on September 20th seeks to remind the Transportation
Ministry that public transportation is also a public service which must be
accessible for all. The government of Quebec, as well as the City of Montreal
and the municipalities of the CMM, must invest in public transportation and
ensure its accessibility by reducing user fares. "We are asking for all fares
to be lowered immediately, and the introduction of a social fare for
low-income people", concludes Mr. Joannette.

For further information:

For further information: Jean-Yves Joannette, TROVEP Montreal, (514)
527-1112, (514) 998-0502; Aaron Lakoff, TROVEP Montreal, (514) 738-2036 x 406,
(514) 691-2036

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Table régionale des organismes volontaires d'éducation populaire de Montréal

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