The Toronto Transit Commission board has approved a proposed 10 cent fare increase as a part of its 2020 budget.
The proposed budget nows has to be approved by city council in February.
A similar 10-cent fare increase occurred in 2019. The TTC is dealing with a backlog of needed repairs and other projects that would cost multi-billions.
The approved increase would be the ninth price hike since 2009. It means that customers using their Presto card would pay $3.20 beginning in March 2020. Cash fares would stay at $3.25. The cost of a monthly Presto pass would also rise by $4.85 for an adult, making it $156.
The monthly metro pass for post-secondary students would increase by $5.70 per month to $117.45. According to staff estimates, the fare hikes across the board would create an extra $31.4 million in passenger revenues.
The TTC board-approved budget is 4.1-per cent higher than the 2019 $2.1 billion budget (in gross operating dollars) approved last year the for the conventional and Wheel Trans operations.
Prior to making the budget request, the TTC board discussed a five-year service plan involving the need to buy new streetcars and buses that would cost a total of $779.5 million ($745.5 million of which is unfunded).
That service plan includes the proposal for bus-only lanes in five corridors — Eglinton East, Dufferin, Jane, Steeles West and Finch East — costing $41.8 million over five years, the TTC says, and is inspired by the success of the King streetcar corridor.
Year after year we do #TTC fare increases reflexively.
The thing is that when we settled into this cycle robotic thoughtlessness decades ago, we did it alongside service cuts to balance the books. It didn’t work and we should be examining new approaches to the problem. https://t.co/DRWTlPbGcl
— Stephen Wickens (@StephenWickens1) December 14, 2019
The TTC, however, may miss some of the new targets due to a general lack of funds for the service plans.
Sixty new streetcars and a new storage facility are needed starting in 2022, says the TTC. That would cost nearly $500 million and would provide “more frequent and reliable service” on routes such as 501 Queen, 504 King and 511 Bathurst.
In addition, TTC staff is suggesting the hiring an additional 142 positions, that would include 50 new enforcement hires.