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The struggling state of the economy today coupled with the difficulty of securing and keeping employment make affording day-to-day life necessities a cumbersome task for many Canadians. Now Torontonians can add increased bus fare to the list of arduous things to afford.
Early today, the Toronto Transit Commission, the city’s public transport authority, announced a 25-cent fare hike that will be implemented in the new year. As Jonathan Jenkins reports in the Toronto Sun, the hike is designed to help the TTC dig its way out of its $100 million operating budget deficit. Jenkins writes, however, that the hike itself will not completely solve the problem.
Says TTC deputy chairman and city councillor Joe Mihevc: “I really regret the 25 cents…We know some people can’t afford it and if there was another way we would have chosen it.”
While this additional stress on the wallet – one that is impossible for many Torontonians to avoid as they depend on the TTC for transportation – will impact all riders, post-secondary students were given somewhat of a break in being granted the right to pay a student fare along with high school pupils regardless of age or course load. That student fare, however, will jump from $1.85 to $2.00 in January.
According to Wikipedia.org, the TTC is the third most heavily-used urban mass transit system in North America, after the New York Transit Authority and the Mexico City Metro. Meanwhile, the Toronto Sun reports that Toronto’s transit riders pay the highest fares in the world. An adult fare of $2.75 (which will become $3.00 in 2010) is a full 50 cents more expensive than the adult fare a New Yorker pays to take public transportation.
The Sun also reports that Toronto’s monthly “Metropass” is the most expensive way to take public transportation in Canada. The current price of $109.00 is set to increase to $126.00. Meanwhile, citizens of Montreal pay only $68.50 for their monthly pass from the Montreal Metro.
As always, the TTC does offer a more “cost-efficient” method to “ride the rocket”. The cost for adult fare tokens will go from $2.25 to $2.50 each, saving riders 50 cents a ride if these are purchased. A weekly pass is also available for $32.25, which will jump to $36.00 in January.
The TTC has long advertised that it is “The Better Way” to get around the city. Torontonians, faced with another fare hike, are now likely thinking a new slogan is in order.