The cost of riding the “rocket” is poised to increase as TTC board members debate a proposed fare hike at a special meeting Wednesday.
In addition to the token increase, board members are being asked to approve one of two options to offset “inflationary increases” in costs: an increase in cash fares, which have been frozen since 2010, or a one-trip increase in the price of a Metropass.
If the board opts for a cash fare increase, those fares would jump by 25 cents for adults ($3 to $3.25), 15 cents for seniors and students ($2 to $2.15) and five cents for children (75 cents to 80 cents). The cost of a regular adult Metropass would jump to $131 from $128.50. That scenario would boost revenue by $8 million, but ridership would drop by two million, the staff report warns.
If the board chooses the second option, cash fares would stay frozen and the cost of a regular adult Metropass would go up by $5.25 a month (from $128.50 to $133.75 – the equivalent of 49.5 tokens). That increase would pump an additional $8 million into the TTC’s coffers and there would be no change in ridership, the report says.
Toronto’s public transit system is expected to take on 12 million more riders in 2014. The TTC is expecting 540 million riders next year, an increase of 2.3 per cent compared with 2013.
The ridership and fare increases are expected to boost revenue by $36.5 million, but the day-to-day costs of operating the system are likely to jump by almost $60 million due to increased service, higher maintenance and energy costs, wage increases and the hiring of more employees, the report says.
Even though the city is offering a $428.1 million subsidy – $17 million more than 2013 – the TTC is anticipating a $6 million shortfall.
The report says the TTC is the least subsidized transit system on a per rider basis in all of North America.