Ten cents may not sound like much, but by charging an extra dime for each transit fare, the TTC is expected to add about $26 million to its yearly revenue.
On Monday morning, it will begin doing just that. Presto fares will jump from $3 to $3.10 and up to $2.15 from $2.05 for students and seniors. Monthly passes will also cost about five dollars more, while weekly passes will be discontinued at the end of March.
Only cash fares will remain the same price at $3.25, which the TTC has been charging since its last cash fare increase in 2016, when the rate rose from $3.
The hike has been blasted by transit advocates, who argue that low-income customers, including students, don’t have the extra money to shell out.
Even TTC board chair Jaye Robinson said she wasn’t in favour of a fare increase before conceding that the city had no other choice. Critics argued that by raising property taxes, fares could remain the same. But Mayor John Tory and the majority of city council voted against any tax increases while approving the city’s budget.
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Ahead of the fare hike, some transit riders, like Donna Mainville, were willing to accept it.
“Transit’s important so for me, personally, I think that 10-cent increase, you have to pay the costs,” said Mainville.
But for those who have had to deal with delays or weekend service disruptions on the subway, paying more is a hard pill to swallow.
“I take the TTC every day, and like once a week I run into trouble with it,” said Mackenzie Sinclair, adding that she didn’t expect to see any improvement despite paying more for each trip.
Brandon Boucher said service disruptions are a pain, but he remains hopeful it will get better.
“You hope for the better service in the future, and I’m optimistic in that,” he said.
The fare hike comes amid increased concern from the city over the province’s plan to upload the city’s subways. The Doug Ford government has said that if it does upload Toronto’s subway, its revenues will still flow into city coffers.