TORONTO – It will cost a little bit more to use public transit in Toronto on March 1 – despite promises made by Mayor John Tory during the mayoral campaign.
The approved Toronto Transit Commission 10-cent fare hike comes into effect on Sunday.
Cash fares will remain the same but the price of a token will go up from $2.70 to $2.80.
The cost of a regular Metropass will go also up from $133.75 to $141.50.
“Well first I think we should call it the unfair increase,” Aaron Manton, a spokesperson for TTC Riders said in an interview.
“I think it’s bad for TTC riders, obviously we’re very disappointed with the city, especially mayor Tory who has flip-flopped on many of his transit promises already, so early in his term, and he’s already broken his promise of keeping fares from rising.”
Tory promised during the campaign not to raise fares for TTC riders but changed in mind in January, announcing fares would increase.
“I felt we needed urgently to make these investments in public transportation, in our city, for the sake of the economy, for the sake of families and for the sake in particular of those who don’t use a car, who don’t have a car, who rely on our system of public transportation to get around the city,” Tory said at a speech at the Economic Club of Canada in January.
The increase, in part, goes to paying the $7 million allotted to paying for the fares of children 12 years of age and under who will now be able to ride for free. The TTC said a Child Proof-of-Age Card is available for children who are “tall for their age.”
Tory said he wants to use the extra revenue to add new express bus routes, restore bus and streetcar routes that were cut in 2011 and add two more subway trains on Line 1 and 2 during morning and afternoon rush hour.
The fare increase was approved by the TTC earlier this month as part of its operating budget.
But Manton wants more money for the TTC; from the city and province in particular.
“We do have to pay for it, that’s true, but investing in transit helps the whole city. I think it’s unfair that transit riders bear the burden of that themselves,” he said. “We need the city and the province to commit to paying for more of our transit improvements and our service. Riders of the TTC pay more share of the fare than any other riders in North America.”
The TTC receives $0.81 per ride as a subsidy from the city – the lowest subsidy in North America. The province funds a portion of capital projects, like the Eglinton Crosstown or the Scarborough subsidy, but contributes nothing to daily operation.