On the option block TTC officials grapple with what’s a fare deal
The Toronto Transit Commission is mulling several scenarios that could jack up fares in 2016.
But before you panic or buy a skateboard, note that all the current rates could stay the same if the city just gives the TTC the money it needs to cover next year’s estimated budget shortfall of $99 million on an operating budget of $1.8 billion.
In a preliminary staff report submitted Monday to the city’s budget committee, the TTC laid out eight options:
1. No fare increase
Cash fares haven’t risen since 2010, when the adult rate went from $2.75 to $3 and the senior/student rate rose to $2 from $1.85. There’s a certain convenience in the current rates being payable in toonies and loonies.
However, no fare increase would mean the city has to give the TTC the money it needs to make up the budget shortfall. 2. Increase all fare media (tickets, tokens, Metropass) by five cents and cash fares by 25 cents
This move would hike an adult Metropass from $141.50 to $144 when the five-cent increase is applied on a pro-rated basis, through a formula that estimates the number of trips taken times the price of a single ride. (This formula also applies to hikes in scenarios No. 2 to No. 7.)
The TTC estimates this could increase revenues by more than $24 million — but could also result in a loss of two million riders per year.
Any increase to token or Metropass costs is likely to hit hard for those who need public transit the most, since customers with lower incomes tend to use those methods over cash. 3. Increase all fare media by 10 cents and cash fares by 25 cents
This option could generate more than $36 million in extra revenue, but it threatens to cut ridership by three million. 4. Increase all fare media by five cents and create a single cash fare of $3.25 for adult and senior/student categories
This could generate more than $29 million in extra revenue and simplify fare structure. It could also cut ridership by three to four million. 5. Increase all fare media by 10 cents and create a single cash fare of $3.25 for adult and senior/student categories
This could bring in $36 million to $41 million in extra revenue, but drop ridership by four to five million. 6. Increase all fare media (excluding Metropass) by five cents, and increase cash fares by 25 cents
This could increase revenues by more than $10 million. 7. Increase cost of Metropass by five cents per ride
This could raise more than $10 million. 8. Increase all cash fares by 25 cents
This could raise more than $6 million.
The Toronto Transit Commission has released a list of possible fare increases it could use to offset a projected budget shortfall next year.