METROLINX’S USE OF PAID INFLUENCERS TO PROMOTE ONTARIO LINE RUFFLES FEATHERS

Provincial transit agency Metrolinx says it’s hired 11 social media personalities to promote its projects. Six have posted about the Ontario Line, while four promote GO Transit expansion, and one the Hurontario LRT.

An Instagram post by social media "influencer" Marlie Cohen promotes the Ontario Line. The photo and message are part of a controversial campaign by Metrolinx to pay online personalities to market transit projects. Instagram

Metrolinx is drawing fire for paying social media “influencers” to promote the Ontario Line, a contentious transit project that has faced opposition from local residents who don’t have thousands of Instagram followers.

In recent weeks, posts have popped up on Instagram from Toronto-area social media personalities extolling the virtues of the provincial government’s plan for the Ontario Line, which would connect Exhibition Place to the Ontario Science Centre and cost an estimated $11 billion to build.

Provincial transit agency Metrolinx says it’s hired 11 social media personalities to promote its projects. Six have posted about the Ontario Line, while four promote GO Transit expansion, and one the Hurontario LRT.

All six of the people promoting the Ontario Line either didn’t return the Star’s request for comment Sunday, or declined to answer questions.

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