TTC fare hikes could become annual occurrence
Next week the TTC will vote on a 10 cent fare hike that would go into effect on January 1st, but also on a proposition to implement in-principle scheduled increases of the same amount for an additional four years (PDF). In other words, by 2015 a ride on the Rocket could cost at an additional
50 40 cents compared to today's fare.
Or the City of Toronto could cough up more funding for public transit.
The staff recommendation for an anual fare increase between now and 2015 is based on budgetary projections in which City subsidies for the TTC will remain the same as what they are today. And they might. Given this year's 10 per cent budget cut and the general economic climate around City Hall — real or imagined — the TTC needs to have a plan in place to make sure that it can balance the books in coming years, and regular fare hikes is one way to do so.
Under a scenario in which the City funding remains consistent as ridership continues to increase, the burden to make up difference would fall to the riders (lest the province miraculously step in to help out). That might not happen, of course — additional subsidies could be made available in the coming years, but the TTC is preparing for the possibility that they won't. I suspect that's at least a little bit scary to its riders, especially given the struggle to provide adequate service levels as it is.
Photo by Mike Campbell in the blogTO Flickr pool
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