TTC report recommends 2017 fare increases for tokens, Presto and Metropasses
Joshua Freeman, CP24.com
Published Thursday, November 17, 2016 1:55PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, November 17, 2016 3:16PM EST
It could cost a little more to ride the TTC starting in January.
A staff report that will go before the TTC board for approval Monday is recommending that the token/ Presto card fare go up by 10 cents to a round $3 from the current $2.90.
The cost of a monthly Metropass is also slated for an increase, with a recommendation that it go up to $146.25 from the current price of 141.50. Weekly passes would also go up by $1.50 to $43.75
The general cash fare of $3.25 would remain untouched. However the cash fare for seniors and students would go up by 10 cents to $2.10.
The move comes as the TTC aims to shrink a $231 million budget shortfall. The commission estimates that the proposed fare increase would bring in an extra $27 million. According to the report, the fare increase, along with a host of other measures, would reduce the shortfall to $61 million.
The TTCRiders group was quick to pounce on the proposed increases, releasing a statement saying the budget puts the TTC “on a race to the bottom.” It noted that TTC riders have seen six fare increases since 2010 and that the system has the priciest monthly pass of any transit system in Canada.
In a news release issued Thursday, Mayor John Tory said the city has tried to keep costs down by asking the TTC to find 2.6 per cent in efficiencies for the coming year.
“Every day, millions of people rely on our city’s transit system. The TTC is vital to people’s daily commute, to our economy and our success as a city,” Tory said. “But Toronto is facing serious budget constraints, which require us to look seriously at our spending across the board.”
TTC Chair Josh Colle also released a statement Thursday, noting that the TTC was able to find the budget reductions without cutting service for riders.
Colle said the TTC’s tighter financial situation for 2017 is due to provincially mandated changes related to Presto, costs associated with making the TTC more accessible, and the opening of the Toronto-York Spadina subway extension.
“At the end of the day, the city will spend more on transit this coming year than it did in 2016. But we know it’s not enough,” Colle said. “And so, as the budget committee considers the options available to reduce the TTC’s operating gap, I am confident they will find the appropriate balance between restraining city spending and making sure the commission maintains and improves transit service for our daily riders.”
Tory said that over the long-term, a “larger fix” is required to relieve pressure on the TTC’s budget. He said that he plans to lead a discussion soon with Budget Chair Gary Crawford to try and come up with long-term budget solutions.
The TTC last raised fares in January. Both cash and token/Presto fares went up, though the TTC froze the 2016 cost of monthly Metropasses.