TTC discusses fare hike

Options from no-increase to 25 cents per fare on the table

The Toronto Transit Commission’s budget committee discussed eight options for increasing fares during its monthly meeting on Tuesday afternoon.

In a preliminary report, Mike Roche, TTC head of finance, suggested eight options for raising fares in 2016:

  1. No fare increase
  2. $0.05 increase on tokens and tickets, $0.25 increase on cash fares
  3. $0.10 increase on tokens and tickets, $0.25 increase on cash fares
  4. Charge student/senior fares the same price as adults, with a $0.05 increase on all types of fares
  5. Charge student/senior fares the same price as adults, with a $0.10 increase on all types of fares
  6. $0.05 increase on all types of fares excluding Metropasses, $0.25 increase on cash fares
  7. $0.05 increase on Metropasses only
  8. $0.25 increase on cash fares only
TTC streetcar drives along Gerrard Street East

In the report, Roche said  fare increases are needed to cover “inflationary cost increases” and “added services.”

None of these options will generate the revenue needed to close the TTC’s funding gap. How the remainder of the revenue will be obtained remains unclear.

The report also contained the TTC Customer Satisfaction Survey which found low-income riders use Metropasses and tokens more than cash. Roche wrote, based on this data, this customer group is not “disproportionately” impacted by a cash fare increase.

Roche predicts option two would generate $24 million while option three would bring in $36 million in revenue.

In options four and five, Roche suggests eliminating student and senior fares, and having everyone pay the same price with a $0.05 or $0.10 increase to the standard fair. He says this simplifies the fare structure and is consistent with all other GTHA transit systems. This option would generate up to $41 million.

In all cases the Metropass increase would be calculated pro-rata, meaning this fare increase would be  based on the average number of trips taken by riders every month. The total possible increase of a Metropass was not indicated in this report. In the past few years, Metropass users have seen their prices go up to nearly the equivalent of buying tokens for a month.

The next TTC Budget Committee meeting is scheduled for Oct. 14.