Commuters could face another fare hike as the transit commission gets set to vote on a proposed five-cent fee increase on Thursday.

“We do have to do this,” TTC Chair Karen Stintz told CP24 on Wednesday. “We’ve been told by the city that the subsidy we receive from the city will be flat this year and with growing ridership and all the other expenses that we are facing, we do need to have a moderate inflationary fare increase.”

For riders this translates to approximately $30 in extra costs per year.

For the TTC these additional fees will account for $18 million of the $30 million shortfall it will get hit with next year.

Some Toronto councillors have argued that the fare increase is not necessary since the TTC is running a surplus. However Stintz said the surplus cannot be used to manage next year’s budget.

“The city has been clear that we cannot keep our surplus, they’re going to take it,” said Stintz. “Unless the city were to increase our subsidy, we really have to raise fares because its $18 million dollars and we need that to help with our shortfall.”

The preliminary budget will be presented on Thursday. If the commission accepts the fare increase, Stintz said a plan to compensate for the funding gap will be worked out.

In order to cut down on costs the TTC will be also be outsourcing certain jobs to a private operator, said Stintz.

The TTC has already outsourced garbage collection and the cleaning of the subway stations, which according to Stintz has resulted in a 30 per cent savings on those jobs.

Any current vacancies will be outsourced while anyone currently employed by the TTC will keep their jobs, even if the commission votes to contract out their work, said Stintz.

Even with a shortfall, the TTC will aim not to cut service but rather extend service as ridership grows. 

They are also hoping to implement a number of initiatives to improve the rider experience. According to Stintz, the TTC’s improved cleanliness and customer service and the installation of new subways, streetcars, buses and a new fare card system are among these initiatives.

“There is a general consensus on the commission that we do need to raise fares and there’s also a sensitivity that any fare increase be moderate and inflationary based,” said Stintz.