Action Keele, a local community group, has been organizing to improve service on one of the worst bus routes in the city—the 41 Keele route. The group maintains that this situation is not the drivers’ fault and instead, that working class and immigrant neighbourhoods, like those served by the 41, tend to be ignored by City Hall.
After months of research, planning, collecting over 100 surveys of 41 Keele riders, and doing a ride-along with a supportive 41 bus driver, Action Keele officially launched its campaign on December 12, 2018. Since then, the group has collected over 700 signatures on its petition, which has the following as their main demand: Put the 41 Keele bus on the 10-minute network.
“This will mean more reliable service, less overcrowding, and less stress for drivers and passengers on the buses that workers depend on every day,” says Jordan Haus, co-chair of Action Keele. The bus drivers union, ATU local 113, seems to agree. In April, the union formally endorsed Action Keele’s campaign and its demand.
When they reach 1000 signatures on their petition, Action Keele will deliver the petition to the Mayor’s Office and the TTC Board, and pressure them to make the much-needed changes to the 41 route.
As they continue to push for better public transit, Action Keele is gearing up to connect with the over two-dozen public schools along the bus route. In light of the recent funding cuts to education made by the Doug Ford government, members of the group fear that these already-underfunded schools will see even further deterioration.
“There are at least seven schools on the Keele route, by our count, which the Toronto District School Board considers to be under-capacity. With the cuts imposed by Ford, many of these schools are at risk of being sold off to private developers. We can’t let that happen,” warns Umair Muhammad, member of Action Keele.
Whether it is a local bus or a neighbourhood school, there are countless families on and around Keele street whose daily lives are impacted by the condition of public transit and of public education. Action Keele is organizing to bring those families together to collectively build better public services for us all.
If you would like to find out more about Action Keele, or get involved in their transit and education-related organizing, you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.