The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) has approved a five-cent hike in tokens and a $5.25 bump in the price of an adult Metropass effective Jan 1, 2014.
The price of a single adult token will go from $2.65 to $2.70 and the Metropass will spike from $128.50 to $133.75.
Cash fares will remain frozen at $3.00 — the same level its been at since 2010.
TTC CEO Andy Byford said he didn’t want to raise fares and resisted even bigger hikes, but had to find revenue for the cash-strapped system that will see ridership swell over the next few years.
“The last thing we really wanted to do today was to raise fares,” he said. “I don’t think it’s fair to keep asking riders to contribute even more. We’ve limited it to the rate of inflation.
“There was a push initially for me to raise the fares by 10-cents, I resisted that. I don’t think that’s fair on TTC users.”
Both Byford and TTC Chair Karen Stintz said the TTC is in desperate need of provincial and federal funding.
“There’s no provincial support (and) there’s no federal support for our operating budget,” Stintz complained. “We need to start thinking about how we we’re going to start getting some federal and provincial commitment.”
Byford added: “We have to get the province to come back to the table on both capital and operating expenditure. We really are scraping the barrel in Toronto now in terms of transit funding.”
The city of Toronto has agreed to increasing subsidy to the TTC in 2014 – going from $411 million to $428 million. That represents 79 cents per rider – a level that the TTC says is the lowest level of subsidy of any transit system in North America.
Still, some TTC Commissioners voted against the hikes.
Coun. Maria Augimeri was one of them.
“A fare increase has to be equal to some sort of service level increase. It’s not,” she said.
But Stintz said improvements were coming.
“We will be rolling out new streetcars and buses with more capacity to help ease crowding,” she said. “Riders will see an improvement in service out of this budget.”
The fare hikes are expected to bring in $31 million in revenue for the TTC.