It’s about to get more expensive to ride the TTC
At its monthly meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 21, the transit agency’s board of commissioners voted to approve the 2013 operating, capital and Wheel-Trans budgets and also approved an increase in the price of all fares, excluding cash, to take effect starting Jan. 1, 2013.
As a result of the increase, tokens will go up by five cents to $2.65, while a monthly Metropass will rise to $128.50, an increase of $2.50. Cash fares would remain at $3 per ride.
TTC chair Karen Stintz said the fare increase was at the level of inflation and necessary for balancing the 2013 operating budget.
“We don’t want to raise fares if we don’t have to, there’s no question,” said Stintz to reporters following the conclusion of the meeting at Toronto City Hall.
“We understand the impact. Those who rely on the system most are most affected by fare increases.”
She also said a similar inflationary fare hike was in store for 2014.
“If ridership continues to grow and our costs continue to grow there will likely be an inflationary fare increase next year,” she said.
Stintz said the TTC had already approached City Manager Joe Pennachetti regarding an increase in the subsidy it receives from the city for its operations.
“Those discussions are underway and I expect that next year we will see an increase to our subsidy,” she said.
But that came as little solace to Franz Hartmann of the TTCriders advocacy group who pointed out that at 87-cents per rider, Toronto has the lowest amount of subsidy for transit than anywhere else in North America despite record ridership.
“Essentially what the board has done is to penalize people for using public transit,” said Hartmann following the decision.
Hartmann, who made a co-presentation to the TTC board opposing the fare hike, said he understood the TTC’s burden in ensuring its budgets remain balanced, but said it was unfair to rely on ridership to meet the fiscal imbalance.
“Transit riders keep on being penalized for doing the right thing,” said Hartmann. “Everyone else who benefits from transit is not paying any more.”
The decision was expected following a decision by the board to agree in principle to a fare increase back at the Sept. 27 meeting. Formal approval for the increase was required to ensure the increases could take effect at the beginning of next year.