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Augimeri to replace Stintz as TTC chair

Coun. Maria Augimeri has been chosen to replace Karen Stintz as chair of the TTC.

City council heard nominations during their monthly meeting on Wednesday.

Augimeri narrowly beat out Josh Colle for the position with 23 votes over his 21.

Augimeri said that she will take the position but only until a new chair is chosen in December.

“This is a caretaker position,” she said. “I intend to run the next six, seven meetings as efficiently and well as I can.”

Tthe Ward 9 councillor says her first order of business will be to set up a meeting with the premier.

“We have to open up conversations immediately with Kathleen Wynne, who is a woman I truly respect,” Augimeri said. “I believe that she will hear us and that she will be eager to assist in any way possible.”

Augimeri blames the lack of support from upper level governments for the inability to have a better and faster transit system.

“Since the Harris years there has been virtually no operating subsidy from the provincial government, and there used to be a 50 per cent operating subsidy,” she explained.

Augimeri said that despite council’s focus on subways, she’s going to make sure something is done about overcrowding on buses.

“I’m very concerned about crowding. People feel like sardines,” she stated. “Hopefully if we can get the bus running better is a one up on what we’ve done for decades and that is centre on subways versus LRT and the sexier forms of transit and people ignore the buses and the streetcars so we want to put more emphasis on those.”

Stintz announced in December she would be resigning to prepare to run for mayor. Her resignation is effective Feb. 22.