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Dig a little deeper for the TTC

Starting today, you’ll need another quarter for the subway

JEN GERSON
STAFF REPORTER

Bring an extra quarter if you’re taking the TTC today: The fares went up while you were asleep.

An adult cash fare is now $2.50. Kid fares are up a dime to 60 cents, and seniors and students will now pay $1.70, up 20 cents.

Buying in bulk is still the cheaper way to go, but don’t expect any change back when you hand over your folding money. Ten tokens or tickets are now an even $20 and five will go for $10, meaning each ticket will cost an extra dime.

Old tickets remain valid until the end of the month — so long as you also drop the extra dime in the fare box.

“It’s only 10 cents,” said Marilyn Bolton, a TTC spokesperson. “I think that the majority of people can afford that,” she said.

Extra buses are to be added in mostly suburban areas this year. The TTC will also be introducing a transferable weekly pass for $30.

“We had to find money to put together our budget. In the end we only have a few options,” Bolton said. “We were against cutting service, that only leaves fare increases…. We don’t have a lot of ways to raise money.”

The TTC needed to raise fares because it was facing increased inflation costs and a drop in the subsidy provided by the city of Toronto, said Vincent Rodo, general secretary of the TTC.

Of the commission’s $933 million operating budget, increased costs caused by inflation totalled approximately $30 million. Couple that with the city’s drop of $5.7 million in subsidies and the TTC’s goal to increase ridership by adding buses and subway cars. But the fare hike may cancel out the lure of better service for some potential riders.

“When you raise fares, you will drive away some riders,” Rodo said.

The drop-off in passengers is expected to cost up to $2 million in lost revenue, but the TTC is hoping to limit the damage by freezing the price of the Metropass. “That’s a big thing for us,” Rodo said, adding that otherwise lost fares would cost $3 million to $5 million.

Last year, a fare hike was averted with a $100 million bailout.




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