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Mississauga plans hike in bus fares

Mike Funston

Mississauga Transit plans to hold the line on cash fares but wants an across-the-board increase of $1 on the cost of ticket books and weekly passes in 2003.

If approved by Mississauga council by year’s end, the increase would go into effect on Jan. 13.

A book of 10 tickets would then rise to $11.50 for children, $16.50 for high school students, $18 for adults and $11.50 for seniors.

Weekly passes would go to $17.50 for high school students and $19 for adults. Annual passes for senior citizens would increase by $10 to $150 and for semi-annual passes by $5 to $85.

The cash fare for adults, children, students and seniors would stay at $2.25. Pre-school children would continue to ride for free.

The additional revenue is needed to reduce overcrowding on existing bus routes, to provide service to new residential and industrial areas and to cover rising labour, maintenance and fuel costs, according to a report released yesterday by transportation commissioner Martin Powell.

“Serious capacity problems exist on many of the busiest routes. … The worst corridors are Hurontario, Tomken, Dundas and Eglinton,” Powell said.

Buses filled to capacity on those routes must leave passengers behind at bus stops an average of 80 times a week, he said.

Mississauga already has ordered 44 new buses to replace aging vehicles and to handle the proposed service improvements. Another 41 employees will be hired.

New routes proposed include a second in the mammoth Churchill Meadows subdivision in northwest Mississauga and one to service new development along McLaughlin Rd.

Students will get a direct connection from the Square One transit terminal to Erindale College on Mississauga Rd., and a route will be started to serve a growing industrial area at Kennedy Rd. and Courtney Park Dr.

Transit officials are also reviewing the feasibility of introducing GO shuttle services in the Clarkson and Port Credit communities after the successful introduction of such a service in Cooksville. Anyone with a GO Transit pass can use the shuttle for 50 cents.

After a decade-long freeze on service levels, Mississauga Transit embarked on an expansion plan in 2000 that has resulted in a two-year increase of 1.5 million passengers.