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Wanna go for a hike?

It's official - TTC fares are once again on the way up. And by the looks of today's release, the prognostications of yesterday were positively dreamy-eyed.

Cash fare is up a whopping, and unreasonable, 25 cents, while tokens go up ten cents and Metropasses are hit for an additional dollar. All of this goes towards covering what the TTC claims is a $16M-plus budgetary shortfall for 2006.

Naturally, the Metro and 24 Hours - being our favourite fodder for the subway floor on these February mornings - headlined the deal; Metro shrieked about the "skyrocketing" prices, while 24 Hours seemed to be apologizing for the TTC with a modest headline about how the TTC was "forced" to raise prices.

What's needed here is some kind of measurability. The TTC has raised prices again and again, without any clear demonstration of what they've achieved in terms of service improvements - usually because they were trying to cover a shortfall rather than actually raise the bar for their system.

If Stephen Harper can (or claims to be able to be able to) bring accountability to Ottawa, howsabout my 25 cents bringing accountability to Transit Control? At the end of 2006, let's see a published report on where the money went. Let's see some actual statistics on ride times and reliability of service, rather than just the usual ballpark figures about how many people passed through the turnstyles.

Above all, let's see some measurable improvement in the system itself - and no, the Star Trek computer voice announcing bus stops doesn't count. Give us something we can lean on when out-of-towners (and our own citizens) kvetch about exorbitant fares and unreliable service. Surely there's a better way?


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