TTC fare increase puts pressure on student wallets

by | Mar 11, 2020 | Campus News, City News, News

Beatriz Balderrama Baleeiro, New Reporter

Torontonians don’t seem to be looking forward to spring so much anymore.

Since March 1, public transit users have started to feel their wallet a bit lighter after the TTC’s 10-cent fare increase.

The Toronto Transit Commission website says that the adult cash fare continues the same at $3.25, the adult PRESTO fare increased to $3.20.

Monthly and 12-month passes adult and youth/senior were also affected by the increase, the adult monthly pass now increased to $156 for the regular monthly pass and to $201.90 including the downtown express.

The fares for a 12-month pass increased to $143 and $188.90 including downtown express service. Youth, post-secondary and senior monthly and 12-month passes are also included in the fare increase, but more changes are coming.

“Students commuting on GO Transit and TTC are facing another fare increase on April 1, when the provincial government plans to end the $1.50 co-fare discount for trips using GO and TTC,” said Shelagh Pizey-Allen, the Executive Director of TTCriders, a transit advocacy organization.

“The TTC is increasing fares because our elected officials have not provided enough operating funding to the TTC,” Pizey-Allen said. “TTC is the least-subsidized major transit system in North America, which means it is overly reliant on fares.”

The Commission also says programs like these and other fare options will be reviewed as part of its Five-Year Fare Policy and 10-Year Collection Strategy. Additionally, the TTC has announced that from April 1, PRESTO card customers who transfer between GO Transit, UP Express and the TTC will have to pay the full fare for each transit agency.

“As a student, I don’t personally enjoy it because I’m broke, and I didn’t want the prices to increase,” said Arnold Samson, a student at University of Guelph-Humber.

“But as a resident of Toronto, I’m also angry because the raise in fare costs was justified under being used as improvements for the system, but I haven’t seen any.”

“There are constant delays, especially because I use Line 2 a lot as well as buses, it can make it difficult if there are no improvements,” Samson said.

The TTC’s audit department report says it lost more than $73.5 million from fare evasion in 2019, which accounts for approximately 5.7 per cent of riders not paying their fares, and is considered the biggest justification for the increase.