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City

TTC May Raise Fares in Early 2010

Posted by Dennis Marciniak / November 4, 2009

TTC Fare IncreaseFacing another operating deficit, the TTC has predicted a $100 million shortfall for 2010. Nine city councillors are set to discuss the matter in a meeting now scheduled for Nov. 17. The remaining six-week period would give the commission just enough time to implement a fare hike for the New Year.

For every $0.25 increase in fare, the TTC raises roughly $45 million. TTC Chairman, Councillor Adam Giambrone, says that the current fare of $2.75 won't be increased to four or five dollars because that would "not [be] good for riders". But, I won't be surprised if I find myself throwing a Toonie, Loonie, and maybe even a quarter in the fare box in the near future.

With the TTC's recent problems with finances, it's no wonder rumors of a fare increase are circulating. Hoping to avoid the ridership losses experienced in the 1990s -- when the TTC raised prices and reduced service -- Giambrone has repeatedly stated that he's not prepared to cut service.

I think if Mayor Miller didn't announce a 'price freeze' effective until the end of the year, Toronto would have seen talks of a fare hike much sooner. In retrospect, his announcement actually prepared me for a hike sometime in early 2010 -- saying that user costs won't increase this year, almost definitely means they will the following year.

Interestingly enough, CP24 is premiering a new TV show on Thursday at 8PM entitled On The Rocket. The show will be broadcast live from a moving streetcar where passengers will ask Adam Giambrone questions and chat about transit related issues. Let's just hope for his sake (and ours!) that a fare announcement isn't made tomorrow night.

UPDATE: (4pm)

The TTC has just announced the following proposed fare hikes, to be considered at the November 17th meeting. If these hikes are approved, they will go into effect on Jan 3rd, 2010.
ttc fare hike 2010

Regular adult cash fare would jump just 9.09%, but the regular adult Metropass will see a significantly greater hike (of 15.6%). Maybe this will help them with their problem of the transferable Metropass being too attractive an option for its own good.

Discussion

89 Comments

notsurprised / November 4, 2009 at 02:33 pm
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Mississuaga transit already charges 3 dollars already, just a matter of time before TTC matches them.
fuckttc / November 4, 2009 at 02:38 pm
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if the ttc is doing this in lieu of making more money for this godforsaken tv show, i sincerely hope riders will be getting at least service up until 4am
conscious / November 4, 2009 at 02:46 pm
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"Councillor Adam Giambrone, says that the current fare of $2.75 won't be increased to four or five dollars because that would "not [be] good for riders".

No kidding, Adam. Nobody was even considering having a fare hike that high. That statement smacks of nothing more than a deflection tactic to make the inevitable $3 - $3.25 seem like less of a blow. You're paper thin, Giambrone.
ttcdisaster / November 4, 2009 at 03:13 pm
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Giambrone is a disaster. The TTC needs to be revolutionized and made efficient. I have no issues with fare hikes, I just don't want it thrown in the black hole of inefficiency.

Mark Dowling / November 4, 2009 at 03:18 pm
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"That statement smacks of nothing more than a deflection tactic to make the inevitable $3 - $3.25 seem like less of a blow."

He's been keeping tabs on how his boss does finesse. Remember "property tax increases in line with inflation"?

That said, TTC costs aren't going down - fuel is expensive and operators are getting pay increases. The reality is that that has to be paid for, and the province doesn't have money to give a bailout for the operating budget this time because Duncan's numbers are billions in the hole, not merely millions.
DS / November 4, 2009 at 03:20 pm
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The TTC needs to restructure itself so that its management is not just composed of a crew of appointed old boys who have had experience working with the commission for years and years, but actually consists of people with management experience and education on how to run a company and *gasp* maybe even turn a profit for once in thirty years. A strategy needs to be developed to bring the Commission out of its money leaking slump, and the commission has to stick to it. Floating rudderless for so many years and years and years, relying upon the government and its ridership's fares to keep the dinghy's leaks from sinking it is starting to take its toll.

We need someone unlike Giambrone (who admittedly has been great for PR) to take the reins and stop being a nice-guy freeloader and actually whip the system into shape, if we expect it to be a reliable and essential part of our city any longer. Having it fall into a state of frequency and coverage such as Mississauga Transit's system would be devistating for our city and its roads.

AV / November 4, 2009 at 03:21 pm
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When will the TTC grasp that there is SO MUCH under-utilized advertising space on our transit system? Have any of them ever been to London? So what if there are ads everywhere and it doesn't "look good"! If it lowers the cost to ride the train you could plaster the whole damn subway for all I care.
anyonebutadam / November 4, 2009 at 03:27 pm
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Won't be increased to four or five dollars? No kidding, what a used car salesman this guy is. If Giambrone can't do what needs to be done at the TTC, he should step aside and let someone competant tackle the job.
rob / November 4, 2009 at 03:37 pm
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And this clown wants to run for Mayor? Well, given our mayors recently, he seems like the perfect fit
Jerrious / November 4, 2009 at 03:38 pm
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The TTC charges way to much as it is. People who live in and around the city and chose not to own a car still subsidize public roads, traffic lights, highways, bridges ect through our taxes for people with cars. As Toronto shifts to be a green city and a world example, it should be encouraging its citizens to leave the car at home because it is cheeper and easier to ride the TTC. Right now that is not the case. They should be lowering cost to the rider, and increasing service, as well as shifting tax dollars from road transportation to the TTC to pay for it. At the very least a zone fair system for those that live and work in the core vs those traveling from the outskirts would help as well. It does not take much to look to other cities of the world that don't relay on highways to get its citizens around to see what works and what does not.

Well I'm at it.. The service through the core at rush hour is out paced by people walking! How about some dedicated street car lanes through the core (queen street). It works like a dream in the queens quay. The streetcars don't deal with traffic delays, and people again will be more inclined to take a streetcar over their car if its faster and cheeper. Not to mention drives don't have to dread getting stuck behind a streetcar on queen.

Thats my rant.
jameson / November 4, 2009 at 03:42 pm
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you can't have a profitable public transit system (or even one that is going to break even), without density, and since the downtown core is the only region that has willingly built apartment buildings for the last 30 years, the transit system suffers. this is an ongoing problem in the gta, don't blame it on the new guy, it takes a strong commitment to reaching density targets to properly public transit
Jonathan replying to a comment from AV / November 4, 2009 at 03:54 pm
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"When will the TTC grasp that there is SO MUCH under-utilized advertising space on our transit system? Have any of them ever been to London? So what if there are ads everywhere and it doesn't "look good"! If it lowers the cost to ride the train you could plaster the whole damn subway for all I care."

When will commenters grasp that NO ONE wants to advertise on the TTC. They can't even sell out the space they have. That's why there's so much underused space and ads for festivals everywhere that were over months ago.

Advertising revenue for this year was $13 million. Even if the amount of advertising magically increased TEN TIMES, it would still only equate to about a 10% of the TTC's operating budget or a drop in fares of a few cents. Advertising is not the answer.
ttcdisaster replying to a comment from jameson / November 4, 2009 at 04:25 pm
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Just because it isn't profitable, doesn't mean that it cant run at a smaller loss.

W. K. Lis / November 4, 2009 at 04:27 pm
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The TTC has the highest revenue recover from fares in North America, and the lowest subsidy.

If the TTC needs to increase fares, they better implement a 2 hour transfer and allow stopovers.
Ryan L. replying to a comment from Jonathan / November 4, 2009 at 04:46 pm
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You're assuming that there is one big solution that will solve the budget (other than increasing fares).

When I'm on the bus, I never see more than half of the ad space used anymore.

Even if properly promoting advertising opportunities and charging appropriately brings in a mere $100,000 that is $100,000 they didn't have before.
Josh / November 4, 2009 at 04:56 pm
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I know that TTC Spokesman Brad Ross hangs out here in BLOG TO, maybe he could explains to us transit users what is being done to cut costs in the TTC. would the TTC consider outsourcing or even automating some jobs?
$126 a month for a Metropass? really?
http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/721193--ttc-ponders-double-digit-fare-increase?bn=1
Jordan / November 4, 2009 at 04:58 pm
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The TTC is a joke, every system that is comparable has robots doing what we pay collectors for, what do you pay a robot for overtime? It's embarrassing and antiquated, $3.00+ to ride on busses, (some of which belong in museums), and no link to the airport, it's a joke, good thing our city is investing in better bike lanes and infrastructure, hahahaha, we're screwed!
Ryan L. replying to a comment from Josh / November 4, 2009 at 05:15 pm
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If Brad Ross is reading this, at $126, I -will- be seriously considering other options.
MDH / November 4, 2009 at 05:21 pm
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"But, I won't be surprised if I find myself throwing a Toonie, Loonie, and maybe even a quarter in the fare box in the near future."

Who the hell is he kidding? I know he takes the TTC to work, but don't lie to us about paying for your rides. Seriously!
MDH replying to a comment from Ryan L. / November 4, 2009 at 05:23 pm
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The solution is for the TTC to relocate those bored special constables down to King and Dufferin Streets and tag the fare evaders that rush the back doors with five hundred dollar fines. :)
jameson / November 4, 2009 at 05:26 pm
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I think that there would've been an link to the airport if the residences didn't go into upheaval at the line being built? and is it so wrong to have that the ttc pays workers rather than machines do to fare collecting? i'd rather have more city jobs than jobs going to corporations making a profit off installing and maintaining machines (which are assumed to be cheap for reason?). hmm, i sort of remember an episode of the amazing race in tokyo, and they had human fare collectors there (and that might've even been a private owned subway line), while paying overtime is more of a union problem rather than something that a ttc official can fix.
The Guy replying to a comment from Ryan L. / November 4, 2009 at 05:32 pm
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I agree.

Brad Ross: $126 = $3024 for me & my wife for a year. Our car is cheaper than that. Sad but true.
Erica replying to a comment from MDH / November 4, 2009 at 05:34 pm
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"Who the hell is he kidding? I know he takes the TTC to work, but don't lie to us about paying for your rides. Seriously!"

MDH perhaps you should read for comprehension. The author of the article said that, not Giambrone.
k / November 4, 2009 at 05:42 pm
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Huge disappointment.
I think ill just walk.
Rebecca / November 4, 2009 at 06:33 pm
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I needed a kick in the ass like this. As of the beginning of the fare increase, I'm walking even in the dead of winter and saving up to get a car.

I would have no trouble with a fare hike if they were even considering a system overhaul to make things more effective, instead of patch jobs every few months, every few years. A little while back, there were reports of the TTC hiring something like 100+ new employees, most of which were management. If there's one thing I know from years in customer service and management, it's that even the biggest, most complicated business can be run well with half the number of managers that the business is probably using.

TTC, hire a business consultant (or team of consultants) to check where your money leaks are, to keep an eye on hiring, and then maybe I'll consider paying $126 a month on my pass. Transit in this city is a bloated dinosaur, and, although I'd like to think otherwise, will probably never update, streamline and become even partially automated (like the most successful transit systems in the world.)
Reality Check / November 4, 2009 at 06:37 pm
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Easy peasy - slash salaries 30%, slash payrolls 30%, eliminate all benefits and pensions, eliminate "Made in Ontario" rules, provide TTC with air rights over properties near new subway stations (with the height of air rights decreasing with distance from the station, decreasing at a greater rate along side streets than that of the avenues) that it can sell to developers, and set the TTC up as a private company with no funding from any level of government. You now have a viable transit system biased to develop subways with the money to pay for them.

The politicians need to be removed from control of the TTC and there needs to be a clause in all employment contracts requiring TTC staff to not live in the City of Toronto and to remain politically impartial like civil servants of yore.
darlene / November 4, 2009 at 06:45 pm
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seems like a pretty good racket..

we need to bring the concept of the collectivo to toronto. guy buys a mini van for $1000, charges $1 to take you up dufferin or down spadina or where ever.. i've seen 15 people squeeze into a 7 seater mini-van and i've certainly felt as squished on a bloor-danforth subway. he'll even drop you off between stops in the winter and smile at you. that's value.
laurie / November 4, 2009 at 06:59 pm
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15% increase on metropasses? i can BARELY afford it as is! i'm fed up paying for drivers who earn more than i do when the service is as awful as it is. there better be some BIG changes for a 15% increase.
karen replying to a comment from W. K. Lis / November 4, 2009 at 07:05 pm
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i agree about the need of a two-hour transfer! it's one of the things i miss the most about nyc's mta, it came in so handy.
conscious / November 4, 2009 at 07:07 pm
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The TTC has everyone by the balls. They know it, we know it. People will still get Metropasses regardless of the cost. TTC will still continue down the path of unapologetic announcements while passing the blame to the government. The workers will still go on strike and play the victims, brought on by years of browbeating by angry customers. The Commission will still appoint whomever they want to whatever positions they want with no say from the public. Rinse and repeat.

I'd say all of the preceding is just my opinion, but I feel like I'm quoting verbatim this morning's private TTC Board meeting before they broke huddle and lowered their latest financial boom.
Colin / November 4, 2009 at 07:08 pm
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I'll still buy the metropass when it's $126. I need it to get to work. Actually, I don't 'need' it, but it makes life a lot easier. I'll survive. $17 bucks in a month really isn't that much money. Am I happy about the fare hike? Of course not, but I'm not going to lose sleep over it.
conscious replying to a comment from Colin / November 4, 2009 at 07:12 pm
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Exactly.
Rebecca / November 4, 2009 at 07:20 pm
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$17 is a lot to people that are already stretching it pretty thin to get the pass in the first place.
Brad Ross / November 4, 2009 at 07:21 pm
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Here's how the Metropass is priced:

Currently, it is assumed a Metropass user will take at least 48.4 trips on the TTC in one month at a cost of $2.25 per trip (current cost of a token). That gets you to $109.

What staff is recommending is increasing that trip rate by two, to 50.4 at $2.50 per trip, getting you to $126.

If you use the federal tax credit available, the effective trip rate is actually 42.4, at least from an economic stand point.

Anything over 42 trips, therefore, is effectively a free trip assuming you would otherwise purchase tokens. Add to that the transferability of the pass and the option to join the Metropass Discount Plan (MDP), makes the Metropass a pretty good deal.

Brad Ross
Pete Forde / November 4, 2009 at 07:24 pm
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Sign me up for $4/token if it means I don't have to listen to you people spout conspiracy theories. You're simply not happy with any permutation of what they can do with their budget, and you have no regard for the fact that Toronto has the highest fare recovery of any system in North America.

Honestly, if you can't make up $20 extra a month, perhaps you should stop buying cigarettes or finish high school. Seriously, you're uptight about $20? Driving a car is suddenly cheaper? That's hilarious.
cocoa / November 4, 2009 at 07:30 pm
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There's a shortfall and no money coming from above, so the fare increases are necessary, fine. My concern is that the annual deficits that the TTC faces are unending. Nothing is being done to address their systemic and structural nature, so we face continued fare increases (beyond inflation) with no end in sight.

Is my perception of this correct? Are there any practical steps* that can be done to fix this? Should Torontonians accept a lower level of service in exchange for more stable fares?

*practical steps do not include anything reality check or jack suggest.
Nicole / November 4, 2009 at 07:38 pm
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Without a two-hour transfer, this is ridiculous. And I use a Metropass, so it wouldn't even help me any.

Meanwhile, I haven't been on a streetcar home in days and days that hasn't been short turned with a wait for the next one. Where are those College line buses again?
Ryan L. replying to a comment from Pete Forde / November 4, 2009 at 08:10 pm
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A car costs more but you get more from it. For some people that added value more than makes up for the higher cost. For some people, it is harder to warrant buying a car when the TTC is much cheaper. For others, myself included (who has an hour and a half commute each way for a 20 minute drive) you're stuck somewhere in the middle.

While the TTC would certainly still be cheaper, the problem is that the service in many people's eyes is most definitely not worth the extra 15%.

It really is an asshole move on the TTC's part. They understand that metropass holders only ride the TTC due to necessity. They commute and have to get to work and have no choice but to bite the bullet and pay the extra 15%
Colinmedley@gmail.com / November 4, 2009 at 08:10 pm
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I like Montreal's transit system. If you don't pay the exact fare, you ain't allowed on the bus because the machine actually counts your change. Obviously those machines are expensive to install on every bus and streetcar, but perhaps starting with the major routes would be a good idea?
N replying to a comment from Brad Ross / November 4, 2009 at 08:14 pm
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The problem is that some people do not make 42 trips a month. Some months (February, vacation) it is not worthwhile to purchase a pass. This month for example has exactly 21 working days. People who do not take transit extra are not exactly making any of those free trips. The metropass is expensive.
How about cancelling the tranferrable option and making the metropass cheaper - say half a month - 30 trips?
Or cancelling metropass entirely and relying on tokens? And cancelling all other payment options.
Laura / November 4, 2009 at 08:26 pm
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Maybe I'm naive, but I don't understand why the ridership is consistently expected to foot the lion's share of the bill for the TTC budget shortfall. There have to be subsidies or taxes/funds coming from businesses in the core to cover some of it, since most of us are coming into the core for work. The government should also pony up more money for the transit system that essentially has the city running and that cripples a goodly percentage of the city when they strike. It really sucks being held hostage by the transit system!

I agree with cutting costs from within the TTC first too. All businesses are letting people go and cutting costs in this economy; how is the TTC doing this, if at all? And if not, why not?

I also can't see how a two hour transfer will help, being as short turning streetcars and split routes make for an extended wait to get home most nights anyway.
jeff / November 4, 2009 at 08:38 pm
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Unfortunately the one thing TTC would never consider, unlike most other cash strapped businesses, is a WAGE FREEZE.

Or at least the elimination of the COLA that is in addition to any wage increase.

Such is the real problem with union run orgs. And their social scientists still led by Miller.
Zach / November 4, 2009 at 09:05 pm
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How about a congestion charge with the money going straight to the TTC?

Tax cars to pay for the better way.

I also like the idea of letting the TTC build offices or condos above stations and keep the money. Can someone explain to me why that can't happen?
Kyle / November 4, 2009 at 09:44 pm
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Not worth it. Maybe it would be if your not waiting for a bus for 30 minutes when it's suppose to be there in 5 - 10 minutes then 4 come all at once. Not to mention the subway closes before any bar does meaning you're resorting to the horrible Blue Night Service. Miss a bus/streetcar by 30 seconds, you're waiting half an hour. And you bet it'll be over crowded. $126 for that kind of service? Especially in an economic crisis?
Dave / November 4, 2009 at 09:50 pm
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Absolute nonsense. The Metropass should be a cheaper option, to make it more attractive to use public transport. This increase would make it cheaper to use tokens over the year based on average usage i.e. not using when on vacation, most weekends etc.

Perhaps they should just revoke the transferability of the Metropass. I'm not sure why they introduced that in the first place, as it is one of the major reasons revenue is down!

A congestion charge is overdue for Toronto as well. It has worked well in London and other cities. Stop pandering to people who drive - especially the 905ers who don't even pay city taxes. "War on the car"? Bring it on!
Christien / November 4, 2009 at 10:19 pm
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Mississauga $3.00 Cash Fare, $107.00 Monthly
York Region $3.25 Cash Fare, $105.00 Monthly (1 Zone)
Durham Region $2.90, $97.00 Monthly
Vancouver $2.50 Cash, $73 Monthly (1 Zone)
Montreal $ 2.75 Cash,
Calgary $2.50 Cash, $83.00 Monthly
Chicago $2.25 Cash, $86 Monthly
New York $2.25 Cash, $89 Monthly
Los Angeles $1.25 Cash, $62 Monthly
Detroit $2 Cash, $66 Monthly
Houston $1.25 Cash ($1.35 in 2010) No Monthly
Phoenix $1.75 Cash, $2.75 Express, $55.00 Month, $88 Express
Philadelphia $2.00 Cash, $78.00
laurie / November 4, 2009 at 10:29 pm
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my big problem here is that i am paying quite a bit more money for the same, awful service. if it didn't take me almost an hour and a half to do my 12k commute to work, maybe i wouldn't mind paying more.

and to mr. forde, the guy who made the comment about going to school or not smoking, i do not smoke and have two university degrees. $17 a month extra is still a lot for me.

...but i don't think i would mind it if the system actually worked.
Emma / November 4, 2009 at 10:53 pm
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To Laurie's point, Mr. Forde, I find your assumption ridiculous. I've been out of school for 3 years (B.comm), have never smoked and work harder than most people I know. $17 a month is a big deal. If it's not such a big deal to you, maybe you could subsidize us? We are in tight economic time and your comment shows just how far removed you are from a lot of TTC riders.
mr. hood / November 4, 2009 at 10:55 pm
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perhaps an automated entry system is a good idea.. and we wouldnt have to lose ALL the jobs by cutting out collector booths.. but turn them into maintenance jobs, that repair machines, or elevators, or escalators, or clean or patch broken parts of stations, rather than leaving them for months on end out of service..

also for the blue night service, make it every 15 minutes in winter months when the temperature goes below 0..
extending the subway hours until 3am is a great way to get people to "arrive alive"

upgrades to systems cost money so im ok with a fare hike. But i agree with new management, a new direction for customer service, and smarter dollar spend rather than throwing money into a burning fire.

Begbie / November 4, 2009 at 11:06 pm
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What's really sad is the tax credit was implemented to provide those who are making the green choice (i.e. taking transit) to be provided with a rebate for doing so. And now the TTC is using it as an excuse to raise prices.

And we're all fully aware that by making the metropass transferrable was your perfect excuse to raise fares later on...now really.

You've lost one metropass buyer here.
Nadia / November 4, 2009 at 11:36 pm
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"Maybe I'm naive, but I don't understand why the ridership is consistently expected to foot the lion's share of the bill for the TTC budget shortfall. There have to be subsidies or taxes/funds coming from businesses in the core to cover some of it, since most of us are coming into the core for work. The government should also pony up more money for the transit system that essentially has the city running and that cripples a goodly percentage of the city when they strike."

The 905 councils need to pay up, too.
Anonymous / November 4, 2009 at 11:38 pm
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3$ per tocken is ridiculous. in plus of the fact that the ttc closes at 2am sharp. last winter I had to take a taxi when there was mountains of snow because when the streetcar got to the subway station it was closed. wtf is that? and the ttc driver told us it would be working. so I agree with the person who said it should close at 4am. also how does ads only make up 5% of their revenue? what kind of bullshit is that? obviously it's way more than that. next thing you know it'll be 5$ for a token it's not that different from 3$ anyway. and the streetcars better not be short turning in the winter for that price.

also maybe the ttc should be doing surveys to see what the riders want and actually have a better site that looks like they actually put some work into it because their current site really sucks. like I have to use google maps for everything because the actual site makes you download stuff that I don't want to. also it should be made better for tourism and tourist. it should be more clear where all the attractions are and how to get there by TTC or public transport.

and maybe the ppl who run the TTC should be looking at what they're doing in other cities. and about the advertisement. how could you not want to advertise on the TTC? maybe they should be making it more effective where there's listings, and also maybe the TTC isn't actively trying to promote advertising on the TTC maybe it should be on the front page of the TTC website so that right when you go there you'd be like "oh ok I think I'll advertise there" even 40$ per advertising is better than nothing because it's they get like 100 40$ advertisements all over Toronto then that's 4000$ they should be helping smaller corporations to get big. and maybe they could make it look better? and the graphic design on their official site is pretty terrible. I really hate going there because it's so hard to do anything on that site. but anyways TTC needs to get better and stop raising fares because they need to think a little bit more about the people using the TTC. we matter too.
Ray / November 5, 2009 at 12:15 am
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Why isn't there a pay by distance rate like on the Tokyo subway instead of a $3.00 flat rate? TTC could charge less than a $1 for short trips and $3+ for longer trips. Might encourage people to use the subway more.
RJ P. / November 5, 2009 at 12:54 am
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As a current MDP subscriber and someone who lives within the city of Toronto limits (pre-mega-city), the increase to $116 will make me re-think purchasing a MDP.

Anything over $100 for an MDP will probably make me use a car vs. taking the TTC.

20 work-days per month @ $6 per day does not offset the increased MDP cost ($116 x 12) when one considers the months with holidays or vacation or days off. I would likely buy tokens and drive more often (vs. considering making full use of the MDP when it is only $100).

Currently the MDP is a good value. Any increase in price will make it not worth the subscription commitment and reduce the months that I actually buy a pass. I will buy tokens and have less frequent travel on the TTC (vs. buying a pass and using it exclusively for commuting).

Increasing the price will only further encourage me to find other ways of commuting. I discourage any increase the price of the MDP.
RJ P. / November 5, 2009 at 01:01 am
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Further I would like to request the TTC to do the following before raising my MDP cost:


1) Make every station/subway entrance gate automated and accept BOTH MetroPass cards and tokens.


2) Automate the toll sales at subway stations via machines and pass/token dispensers (no need for collector booths).


3) Eliminate the "fare watchers" who sit idle and barely count or "collect" fares as people drop (or don't) tokens into boxes).


How can the TTC reasonably ask riders to pay more when people are paid high salaries to make change and watch coins be put into a box?
Jeff / November 5, 2009 at 01:22 am
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So in summary:
1. Make it easier for people to ride - pay by visa and debt, flexible fare structure (see London's oyster card system.. or any other major city on the planet)
2. Sell more ad space (jameson - this is far from impossible)
3. Cut labour costs and increase efficiency by replacing some low-skilled workers with machines (can anyone seriously argue with this?) - ultimately will boost ridership and increase TTC employment over time
4. Bring in private sector mgmt and consultants (maybe restructure the commission as a public private partnership)

Until then I'll walk whenever possible.
Xyt replying to a comment from Pete Forde / November 5, 2009 at 07:56 am
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Some of us are trying to complete our undergrads or masters. $20 is alot of money to us.
Peter K / November 5, 2009 at 08:24 am
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Congratulations Councillor Giambrone. You've now made it cheaper for me to drive into work every day than take the TTC. Now I officially have ZERO incentive to use transit.

Does that make you and your overpaid union buddies feel good?
DS replying to a comment from RJ P. / November 5, 2009 at 08:54 am
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Just to comment on the "Fare Watchers" term - Usually the people sitting idle and catatonic are on light duty after an injury or illness.

Anna / November 5, 2009 at 09:05 am
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If you want to see a good example of TTC waste, look no further than Sheppard Station. There's an attendant at the booth in the South West entrance that sits there all day long drawing dragons. Yep, that's all she does. She doesn't sell tickets, there's an automatic machine for that. Apparently it's an information only booth.

Does Sheppard need an information only booth?

In my line of work, people who don't pull there own weight are out of a job pretty quickly, and after being hit hard by the recession, we've had to reduce jobs AND accept reduced pay just to keep the company going. Charging our clients more was never an option.

The TTC needs to trim the fat, not raise fares.
Matt / November 5, 2009 at 09:05 am
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Completely ridiculous, especially since you can't backtrack or make a stop on a trip. The TTC isn't designed to get around town, unfortunately, it's designed to commute. So at least give me an hour or 90 minutes to move around in any direction I want on a fare, so I can pick something up on the way home without having to pay two fares. (Six dollars!)
Justin replying to a comment from DS / November 5, 2009 at 09:20 am
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Yes because the duties of sitting in the booth and being the dispensing robot are so taxing to those coming off their "illness or injury" time where they sat at home collecting our dollars for what? Chronic frowning syndrome? As someone who rides this dreadful system everyday I can tell you that none of these workers are on "heavy" duty so the need for "light" duty is downright laughable.

VC replying to a comment from Justin / November 5, 2009 at 09:32 am
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I think its fair to say that after years of sitting in the collector booths, some of the TTC staff are dutifully heavy!
Alabaster / November 5, 2009 at 10:01 am
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This is a little ridiculous! The more fares rise the more people who are on strict budgets (like my self) will have to walk to school which is already a fifty minute commute on the TTC. When does public transit loose it's ability to serve the public?
Kenn / November 5, 2009 at 10:07 am
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If Mississauga can charge $3 cash fare, with all the attractions that Hazelville boasts, I'm prepared to match fares even if I use the TTC a little less.
MelS replying to a comment from Jonathan / November 5, 2009 at 10:39 am
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Hey Johnathan, advertising is part of an answer. Every little bit counts! of course it can't subsidize the black hole that is the TTC, we need to take every opportunity we have to squeeze some cash, be it merely 10% who cares! it's something. Pennies add up.

And @Pete Forde: who the hell are you? judging by your comment you obviously don't take the TTC anyways. Look through your BMW windows and realize we are not all as fortunate as you are to be a souless yes man with a huge bankroll.

Just being out of school myself (university) where i had to pay my own way using osap=massive debt; it's difficult to afford the metropass already. Raising the fare when it's already way too high makes no sense. It should've stayed 100$ flat for the metropass, 2.25$ for adult fare frankly service has not improved. You want to save money? automate the toll booths! Stop buying sports cars for the supervisors! make them use the TTC to get where they need to, i don't think they need to race around to verify scheduals.

As someone stated earlier Giambrone = Used Car Salesman! couldn't stop myself chuckling after reading that.
V / November 5, 2009 at 10:42 am
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So apparently comments get censored on this blog. And I didn't say anything really offensive.

After reading some of the previous comments I see some people wondering why we are freaking out over $20 more per month. Well here's why: with $126 I can cover 2 or 3 other monthly bills. I can also make a payment to my credit card or student loan. Sure it may not seem much but $1500/yr is a lot of money for a lot of people, especially when we don't see that we get enough value for the money.

So I am going to buy a bike with the amount of money I will be spending on 1 bus pass, or a really fancy one with 2 bus passes.
Ratpick / November 5, 2009 at 11:05 am
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I hope Giambrone's broadcast will be interrupted by a short-turn -- in the rain ... without apology ... without a streetcar following ... and without a clean shelter to wait in.

Oh, and one more thing, Brad Ross: Please have the TTC stop referring to us as customers. It's patronizing. "Customers" implies that we have choice, and that the provider will suffer if it provides bad service. We all know that ain't so. We aren't your "customers" any more than we're "customers" of Canada Revenue Agency.






Bardo / November 5, 2009 at 11:20 am
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What's $17-20? Nothing? Aside from whether people can "make due" with such a "slight" fare increase, look at the context - hike after hike = people are getting nickled and dimed to death.

And what's the REAL problem with the fare increase? It won't result in improvements to sub-par service, so there's simply no value for money.

The TTC as an organization has been abused by gov't AND unions for years, and acts like a trauma victim, by turns passive and aggressive.

Aside from looking at how other transit agencies in the developed world DO things, how about looking at how other transit agencies have turned their own crises and dysfunctions around?

CDN in NYC / November 5, 2009 at 11:22 am
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Switch to a swipe-card system like we have in New York. Have one attendant on duty to answer questions, or in case of an emergency. Eliminate tokens altogether and you could retire a good portion of TTC staff.

You could go one step further and have a "swipe when you enter" and "swipe when you exit" system, and set up fare zones of $1.00, $2.00, $3.00 measured for distance. A trip from Ossington to College should not cost as much as one from Finch to King.
K B / November 5, 2009 at 11:26 am
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@blogTO @blogTO definately not sure why the TTC has such problems with their budgets and mismanagement of funds. Where is the sense in the TTC asking the government for more subsidy when the governments major source of revenue is tax dollars? does this not inherently mean more taxes for the people of Toronto or decreased services in other areas? Do we really need less research and development in the health care sector and technology sector and subpar education in order to facilitate a $4.62 pay raise for unionized workers who don't like dealing with the public? Whenever I ask for clarification regarding directions or even when I'm purchasing tokens the agents are either a- never in their booth or b- rather uninformed with the geography of Toronto! I asked a TTC agent how to get to Brookfield Place from King station and he told me to go to Union station. Not entirelt incorrect but the walk was a mere two minutes ( I took it upon myself to look at the vicinity map which of course was not ideally located in thestation) which was about the same amount of time it would have taken on the train. If the TTC wants cash perhaps it would be best for them to buy some lottery tickets and leave my cash alone!
rowdyroddypiper replying to a comment from rob / November 5, 2009 at 12:25 pm
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The political ambitions of big-egoed Archeology graduates knows no bounds. God help us from another sactimonious NDPer.
Chris / November 5, 2009 at 12:54 pm
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It's coming to a point where taking a cab is actually the money saver.

Wages aren't increasing, but the "TTC tax" is going up.
Mark / November 5, 2009 at 01:20 pm
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maybe they shouldn't pay their fare collectors $100k a year . . . just a thought.
Steve / November 5, 2009 at 03:31 pm
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Some of us who live in the city do have options. I already ride my bike to work 6 months of the year. Raise the cost of a metropass to $126 and I'll push it to 8 months a year. For the other four months, I will buy tokens for my commute instead of a metropass and use my car instead on weekends. How does that help revenues?

As to revenues lost due to a transferable metropass, why not scrap it? I lent my pass once and borrowed someone else's twice in all this time. And I can't borrow my daughter's student pass. I don't get much benefit from this. Reduce the price accordingly.
Nicole / November 5, 2009 at 04:45 pm
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Not sure why my comment was deleted, but... There is a Riders' Strike being worked on for Friday, Nov. 13th. More information at http://ttcriders.blogspot.com or at the Facebook event linked above. Also, follow @ttcriders on Twitter.
Randy replying to a comment from Chris / November 5, 2009 at 05:09 pm
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Actually, it often is cheaper for two or three people to pile into a cab. A lot of teenagers do it (much to the horror of cabbies), but hey, a buck's a buck (or three...)
thinkagain replying to a comment from Pete Forde / November 5, 2009 at 05:46 pm
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"Driving a car is suddenly cheaper? That's hilarious."

How is that hilarious? You are assuming that people's time is worth nothing. For me commuting by TTC will never be cheaper than driving my car.

20 km commute each way (40 km total per day)
30 minutes by car vs 1.5 hours by TTC each way (1hr per day vs 3)

This translates to 2 extra hours of my time I could spend working.

Assuming I'm one of those high school drop-outs that you seem to have so much disdain for (I am not, but let's assume so for the sake of argument) - that translates to $17 in lost wages (assuming an hourly rate of $8.50)

Total cost of taking TTC = $17 of my time + $5 fare = $22

Driving my car, let's assume costs me $0.40/km for gas and maintenance. Add to that another $4/day for insurance.

Total cost of taking car = $20

In actuality, I earn considerably more than $8.50/hour, so this makes driving my car even more compelling. Add in carpooling to reduce gas costs - why would I ever consider taking the slow, crowded, unreliable TTC?
wolfmanharv / November 6, 2009 at 01:55 am
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riders strike november 13th http://ttcriders.blogspot.com/
annoyous / November 10, 2009 at 09:36 pm
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this is getting totally ridiculous. its not like their making the ttc services better or more quickly. they need to stop raising the prices, its not like everyone is working some people barely make the regular fees for it. the ttc workers go on strike and get more money then usual, and now this common. i mean their rude they have no manners they dont even help woman with their with their strollers on the bus
jahshawn.n.b / January 24, 2011 at 02:45 pm
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this is a troubling price some people take the bus any and every where do es any body know what the money can go to..... maybe a homeless man or a treat for ur kids but now urkids get what air just because some stupid extra change they can kiss it iam walking form here on in i say sould take 25 cents away
jahshawn.n.b / January 24, 2011 at 02:47 pm
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form the price we pay know
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