Gerard Di Trolio
Humber College students returning for the winter semester have been hit with an increase in TTC fare prices.
The cost of post-secondary student Metropasses increased to $108 from $106. An adult Metropass also went up in price to $133.75 from the previous $128.50 while tokens have been increased by five cents to $2.70 from $2.65. The cash fare remains unchanged at $3.
Response from Humber College students was mixed.
“It’s frustrating: an increase in prices but no increase in service. The service is still garbage,” said Victoria Sultana, a fourth-year psychology student at the University of Guelph-Humber.
“Not really an issue. Still the cheapest method to get here,” said Matthew Owczarz, AGE a first-year law clerk student.
“Right now I use an adult Metropass. It’s unfair to the people who buy the adult pass,” said Norman Nguyen, a second-year Architectural Technology student. “I heard the Toronto government’s subsidy is getting worse. We have to pay because they don’t.”
The City of Toronto’s subsidy to the TTC is below that of other North American major cities.
The TTC covers 67 per cent of its operating costs through fares. This makes the TTC the least subsidized public transit system in a major North American city.
Public transit in both New York City and Chicago have fares cover only 55 per cent of their operating costs with the rest covered by subsidies from the state and municipal level.
The fare increase was tied to the rate of inflation, but there is still a $6-million shortfall in operating costs that will be dealt with through finding efficiencies throughout 2014, said Danny Nicholson, a media contact for the TTC.
Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation has given no significant sign of stepping in to help the TTC.
The portion of the provincial gas tax given to municipalities for transit has been made permanent, and the province of Ontario has provided money to expand subway and LRT lines, said Bob Nichols of the Ministry of Transportation.
The TTC has already been relying on this transfer since 2004 and an expanded transit system will put a further strain on the transit’s day-to-day operating costs.