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'Will Drake save us?': Toronto man vows to tag Drake on Instagram daily until rapper subsidizes transit

An avid Toronto transit user is calling on Drake through daily Instagram posts to subsidize the TTC. (Instagram/@drake_ttc_fund, AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) An avid Toronto transit user is calling on Drake through daily Instagram posts to subsidize the TTC. (Instagram/@drake_ttc_fund, AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
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Through daily Instagram posts, a long-time Toronto transit rider is calling on Drake to subsidize the TTC by releasing an album and donating the royalties, in perpetuity, to the commission.

Elliott Gallagher-Doucette, 27, says he has been a frequent rider of Toronto transit since the age of 12.

He told CTV News Toronto the idea sprung to his mind after his sister told him she had recently boarded a northbound train at St. George station that had blood on it. The experience left her feeling unsafe, he said. 

“I was reminded of the idea of why isn’t Drake my landlord, and thought – why isn’t Drake subsidizing the TTC?” Gallagher-Doucette said, recalling a conversation with friend about the rapper filling this type of role.

Since March 22, Gallagher-Doucette has posted daily Instagram reels and photos, addressing the Toronto rapper with, “Yo, Drake bro, I hope you’re having a good day,” in hopes of gaining the musician’s attention. towards his pleas.

Drake could subsidize the TTC by releasing an album and donating the royalties in perpetuity to the TTC, says Gallagher-Doucette. Whenever Torontonians stream the album, it would help fund public service, he said.

Transit advocacy groups like TTCriders and the Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA) have previously suggested the City could rely on commercial parking levies to generate revenue of up to an additional $575 million each year.

“Obviously, the idea of making an Instagram and posting on the daily, pleading to Drake to subsidize the TTC is, I guess, a satirization of what is, in fact, a very scary collapse of an integral public service,” Gallagher-Doucette said.

“In the face of that collapse, we have to beg the question, that since the custodians of our society have failed us – will Drake save us?”

THE TTC TODAY

Since 2019, violence on the transit network has increased by 60 per cent, and more than 70 per cent of Ontarians have reported feeling less safe on public transit than they did a year ago. Self-defense classes to protect oneself onboard transit are now being offered to Torontonians, following an apparent rise of violence across the transit system.

Last month, a 16-year-old was fatally stabbed at Keele Station in what police called an “unprovoked” attack – the latest in a string of violent and seemingly random attacks on transit.

As of Monday, April 3, TTC fares increased by 10 cents – a move the commission says, alongside the near $1-billion in municipal funding, “will help ensure the system is reliable, safe, an accessible for all Torontonians.”

The move to raise fares has been recently lambasted by TTCriders, who say the increase will drive away transit users, and reduce safety.

TTC riders said in a January release the fare hike asks Toronto’s lowest-income residents “to pay more to expand a discount for a small fraction of low-income people, rather than raising revenue from those who can afford it.”

DRAKE HAS INFLUENCED CHANGE BEFORE

In 2019, Drake called on the mayor of Pickering via Instagram to fix the Wi-Fi issues in the area so he could “cook up” and collaborate with music producer, Boi-1da.

The city responded through the social media platform through a series of tongue-in-cheek references to Drake’s various songs, apologizing for the Wi-Fi troubles and addressing how it is working on deploying more Wi-Fi access points “so in a couple of years, you’ll be able to go 0 to 100 Real Quick.”

By March 2022, the City of Pickering expanded pure fibre Internet in its rural areas and hamlets as a result of Drake calling out the city.

“To be called out by a superstar like Drake over social media is not an everyday occurrence. However, it did shine a light on the digital divide for many of our residents and businesses in our hamlets and rural areas,” former Pickering mayor, Dave Ryan, said in a news release.

At the time of publication, Drake had not responded to Gallagher-Doucette’s Instagram posts.

With files from Abby O’Brien and The Canadian Press 

Background

A day after this article's publication, Gallagher-Doucette announced he has stopped making videos to Drake, saying he has to "pump the brakes" after individuals attempted to hack the Instagram account.

"Drake, if you're reading this it's (not) too late to save the TTC," Gallagher-Doucette wrote in an Instagram post.

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