Toronto mayoral candidate, Ana Bailão, took her campaign right outside of Queen’s Park subway station in an attempt to talk to transit riders.
Despite Bailão and her team’s determination, the reactions from passersby was lukewarm at best. People nodded at their attempts or engage in small talk for a short moment before walking off.
Even though there was a lack of meaningful conversations, many walked away with campaign flyers in their hands.
An excited tourist went up to the mayoral candidate asking for a photo, wishing her luck in the upcoming election.
Although most were seemingly uninterested, one person did stop to pepper her with numerous questions about the campaign and her proposed plans.
They discussed Bailão’s transit and public safety plans for more than 10 minutes. She said reversing the cuts to service on the TTC is necessary to increase safety and ridership.
“What we need to focus on right now is fixing the services and attracting the residents back to the TTC,” she said.
Bringing more staff into the TTC is one of the ways she proposes will help residents feel safe.
“Supervisors, constables, even cleaners to get the stations cleaner,” Bailão said. “What we need is eyes and ears and the support for whenever a situation is happening to get the appropriate, either the police or mental health support outreach worker, at the station.”
Bailão said people are already paying more and receiving less for transit services.
“We need to restore the services,” she said. “People need to know that they’re gonna get to go home on time, something that is reliable so that they take the TTC.”
Bailão said her proposed plans include getting cell carrier service to people using the TTC.
“We need WIFI with all carriers,” she said. “I know that now we have Rogers committed to it. But the fight is not over. We need to make sure that we have all carriers.”
Bailão’s proposed transit plan to create safer and reliable TTC services is similar to other mayoral candidates.
Olivia Chow, another Toronto mayoral candidate, said she is committed to reversing the TTC service cuts and creating faster and more reliable service.
A Mainstream Research survey reported Chow is in the lead at 30.3 per cent followed by Bailão at 20.6 per cent. The survey was conducted on May 16 and May 17, 2023, with a sample of 1,125 adults and a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 per cent.
“They need to feel safe and they need to feel like they have a system that is reliable,” Bailão said. “That’s my priority.”