Get ready to spare a dime in the new year, TTC riders.
Transit commissioners voted Wednesday to hike fares 10 cents starting Jan. 1.
The vote was 7-1 for the 10-cent hike, Councillor Maria Augimeri was the lone vote against.
With the increase, TTC tokens will cost 10 cents more, rising to $2.60, while Metropasses will cost $5 more a month. The TTC’s cash fare will stay at $3.
A 10 cent fare hike for 2013, '14 and '15 was also approved in principle.
Commissioners also approved TTC chairman Karen Stintz’s plan to stop around half of the January cuts to TTC service on the busiest bus and streetcar routes and push off the remaining cuts until February. That move will cost the TTC an extra $3.3 million next year and force the transit authority to find around $45 million in capital funds to buy new buses.
Wednesday’s vote came after the TTC listened to several hours of deputations where dozens of speakers urged them not to hike fares and to avoid any cuts to service.
Edward Lantz, a member of the activist group [Toronto] ACORN, brought bags of coal to the meeting and delivered them to commissioners.
“Most of our members are low and moderate income people across the city having a difficult time with not only making ends meet but also getting to and from two jobs that they might be performing just to put food on the table,” he said.
“With the proposed increase of 10 cents that is really going to put a strain on their budgets.”
Jennifer Foulds blasted commissioners telling them they were failing Toronto residents.
“You guys really suck at your job,” Foulds told councillors. “Cutting services is stupid, stupid thinking, we’ve done that, study after study shows that raising the fare cuts transit ridership."
Amalgamated Transit Union Local 113 president Bob Kinnear urged commissioners to “stop the war on transit and don’t vote for this stupid budget.”
“I know most of you have already made up your mind on this because you bought into this now embarrassing slogan of ‘Stop the gravy train’, well at least have the guts to get on the TTC tomorrow morning and take a look around for any gravy,” Kinnear said.
“Have the guts to tell the passengers that you’re squeezed up against that you’re a commissioner who has just voted to raise their fares and cut their service.”
Original article available at: http://www.torontosun.com/2011/12/14/ttc-approves-fare-hike