Editorial Archive

Proposed fare increase well within rate of inflation

10/5/12 6:00 AM

Last week, TTC Commissioners (our Board of Directors) debated the TTC’s preliminary budget for 2013. As you have likely heard by now, this includes a five-cent fare increase to take effect Jan.  1 (2013).

Let me explain why a modest fare increase, which is well within the rate of inflation, is necessary.

The TTC has four primary influences on its budget:
>Subsidy from the City of Toronto.
>Service levels.
>Costs to run the TTC, other than direct service.
>Revenue from fares and other sources, such as advertising.

Today, a budget gap of $10 million, after a five-cent fare increase has been factored in, remains. I will continue to look for efficiencies inside the TTC to help close this gap. Last year, we found $50 million in permanent savings, as well as eliminated more than 200 management and administrative positions inside the TTC.

Next year, we will be carrying ever-increasing numbers of riders, with 528 million rides expected – an all-time record. While this is excellent news, the economics are such that each ride costs more than the revenue it brings in, so an operating subsidy from the City is always required. 

While subsidy levels will not rise in 2013, the TTC has committed to not cut routes or service next year. In fact, we added service this fall to meet ever-growing customer numbers. And we are adding more service in 2013 to accommodate the record ridership expected.

As I said, we have worked to restrict a fare increase to the rate of inflation. Cash and Child fares will remain untouched, but we propose that the monthly Adult Metropass go to $128.50 from $126 and tokens to $2.65 from $2.60.

As we move towards a more modern TTC, I will continue to lobby for more equitable and predictable funding from all levels of government that recognizes the importance of keeping Toronto moving.

More on all of this later this fall. For now, I wish you all a safe weekend and a very Happy Thanksgiving!

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