Mayoral candidate Ana Bailao is promising to cancel millions of dollars of cell phone contracts with three major telecommunication companies until they allow reliable service on the TTC.

In a Thursday morning press release, Bailao promised to cancel about $30 million worth of City of Toronto contracts with Bell, Telus and Rogers and instead give that business “to companies that offer reliable mobile service on the TTC.”

Bailao cited safety concerns as the prime reason for this decision, saying “TTC riders shouldn’t have to hold their breath and wait for their train to go above ground to use TTC safety apps and text-a-tip lines.”

“Telecom companies don’t get to decide if there’s mobile service on the TTC, elected officials do,” she said.

Later, speaking to CP24, she added, "it's not acceptable that people have to wait until they get above ground to send a text to speak to their familes."

"I'm putting [Rogers, Bell and Telus] on notice that they're either part of the solution or they're not part of the business."

The announcement follows recent debate over why the TTC doesn’t already have reliable cell service on its subway system. So far, Freedom Mobile is the only cellular provider to opt-in to the TTC cellular service infrastructure, while Canada’s three largest carriers have refused to pay into the network.

Currently, transit users can make calls or answer text messages on the network at any subway station, as well as in the tunnels for the downtown U — stations between Spadina and Bloor-Yonge — as well as between Sheppard West and Vaughan Metropolitan Centre Stations.

Scarborough MPP Mitzie Hunter announced her intention to run for mayor on Thursday morning, and highlighted transit safety as a top concern for her campaign.

"Our TTC is vulnerable," she told CP24. "In the longer term, we have to do more." One suggestion she made for addressing violence on the TTC is pairing police officers with social workers, which might help address the multifaceted social concerns which can lead to public violence.

"We know there are safety concerns, and what I've said is that people need to be safe, but they also need to feel safe on our transit system. And there's a lot we can do."

With files from CTV Toronto