GTA

TTC proposing 10 cent fare hike that would go into effect in April

The cost of riding the TTC could soon go up by 10 cents, though the fare would remain frozen for those paying with cash.

The TTC has released its proposed budget for 2019 and included in it is a plan to increase the cost of tokens and Presto card fare taps by about three per cent to $3.10.

The budget also calls for a similar increase in the cost of an adult monthly pass, though cash fares would remain frozen at $3.25 per trip.

TTC staff say that the fare hike, which would go into effect on April 1, will generate an additional $25.6 million in annual revenue. They say that the money will help offset the costs of the two-hour transfer window that was reduced last year ($20.5 million) as well as an estimated $13.5 million in capacity improvement initiatives undertaken in 2018, including the introduction of new express bus service on seven routes and improvements in the frequency of service on dozens of existing bus routes.

“The recommended 2019 Operating Budget ensures the TTC is able to build on its 2018 service accomplishments, including the capacity to deliver 100 per cent of all planned service. Among other actions to achieve this, an additional 5 subway trains, 87 buses and 56 streetcars/buses were put into service during the year,” Chief Financial Officer Dan Wright says in a report accompanying the budget.

TTC staff say that there was a total shortfall of $96.4 million in their budget for 2019.

While the fare increase will cover some of that, they are also asking the city to increase its subsidy by $22 million in 2019. A further $45.5 million in savings will then be realized through expenditure reductions that staff say will have no impact on service.

Though the budget still needs to be approved by the TTC board and city council as hole, Mayor John Tory has previously expressed support for inflationary-based fare hikes.

“People should expect that we will examine each year the prospect of an inflationary-type increase because the TTC itself faces expanded costs,” Tory said following a news conference on Thursday. “I think it is business like way of dealing with this that is sensitive at the same time.”

Tory has already said that he will champion an extra $162 million being added to the TTC’s capital budget in 2019 in order to speed up work on the relief subway line, though he has not yet commented on the subsidy request made as part of their operating budget.

The TTC last increased fares in 2017 when the cost of tokens and Presto card taps also went up by 10 cents.

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