TTC to cancel recommended fare hike, Stintz says
The city of Toronto will not be raising TTC fares as recommended in Monday's budget announcement, TTC chair Karen Stintz said Tuesday.
"Luckily, we were able to find what we needed so we won't have to have a 10-cent fare increase," she said.
In the budget announcement, the TTC's staff had recommended a fare hike that would boost revenue by about $24 million.
Stintz said the money has been found elsewhere in the city budget and the TTC's budget. The city will supply $16 million out of general revenues and the TTC will find $8 million in "efficiencies" over the next 12 months, she said.
The city manager and the mayor's office worked on the issue. Their proposed solution will be taken to the Toronto Transit Commission on Wednesday, she said.
Stintz said Monday that while neither she nor Mayor Rob Ford wanted to approve the increase, it appeared to be a necessity. Ford said Monday his staff had been working around the clock to find another way.
Adrienne Batra, Ford's spokesperson, told reporters: "The mayor was very clear yesterday. He was not happy about this fare hike."
The mayor is "very, very happy" that the fare hike could be avoided, she said.
The hike had been scheduled to take effect on Feb. 1. It would not have affected cash fares, which were to remain at $3 for adults. The other fare hikes would have changed as follows:
- the cost of a token would have increased to $2.60 from $2.50
- weekly passes would have jumped to $37.25 from $36, a hike of $1.25
- monthly passes would have increase to $126, up from the current $121, a hike of $5
- senior and student prices for weekly and monthly passes would have increased by the same dollar amounts as their full counterparts
- day passes would have increased to $10.50, a 50-cent hike
The fare hikes were to be accompanied by reductions on 48 bus routes -- a move designed to save $7 million annually when enacted in late March.
Stintz said the "reallocation" of those routes is still on the table.
Council will be reviewing the budget recommendations over the next six weeks and will approve a final version on Feb. 23.
Besides the operating budget, the TTC said its 10-year capital budget requirement is about $8 billion. About $900 million is needed in 2011 to replace buses and carry out station modernization projects at Pape and Dufferin subway stations.
"Without additional, committed, long-term funding, there is a $2.3 billion capital budget shortfall over the next 10 years starting in 2012," it warned.
Details of the TTC's capital spending plans will come Wednesday.
With files from CTV Toronto's Alicia Markson