Mayoral candidate Rob Ford wants to end the TTC/CNIB metropass program, which Ford sees as just another "perk" of being blind in Toronto.
In recent debates and speeches Rob Ford said he would cut the wasteful 21,000 free metropasses the City distributes annually, which includes 3700 metropasses for blind Torontonians. Carol Goar at the Star wrote this article which clarifies where all those wasteful passes go.
The CNIB metropass program offers a year long pass to registered clients living in the GTA. Hundreds of people show up at the CNIB in early January to receive the new pass. I volunteered with the CNIB and helped to distribute the passes. In every single case the old pass was collected, the clients CNIB card number was written on the new pass and the clients name and client number along with the new pass serial number were documented. If a client had moved out of the GTA they were denied the pass. The process is tedious but necessary to ensure the integrity of the program and is required by the TTC. I personally repeated this process over 1000 times, first at the CNIB and then at a local seniors community. Due to the nature of blindness many clients are seniors, although it does affect both young and old, rich and poor, although more of the latter.
Rob Ford is too narrow minded to consider the difficulties faced by others in this city.
Having participated in the distribution of the passes I have seen the power these passes give to the blind of Toronto. I have also felt this power. As a blind Torontonian the metropass gives me access to the city I would otherwise not have. I cannot get a drivers license. I am very thankful to the City of Toronto, the Toronto Transit Commission, and the Canadian National Institute for the Blind.
I have made attempts to contact Mr. Ford, but as of yet my calls have not been returned.