TTC staff recommend hiking fares, hiring more enforcement officers

Dec 14 2019, 3:50 pm

Staff with the Toronto Transit Commission are suggesting to hike fares by 10 cents, and  make it harder to evade paying by hiring more enforcement officers to patrol streetcar routes.

In a proposed 2020 budget released Friday, TTC staff ask the board to approve a 10-cent increase to Presto fares. If approved, customers tapping their Presto card would pay $3.20 starting March 2020.

Cash fares would remain at $3.25.

The cost of a monthly Presto pass would also increase by $4.85 for an adult, bringing it to $156.

Post-secondary students face an even bigger jump. Their monthly metro passes would increase by $5.70 per month to $117.45.

The fare hikes would generate an extra $31.4 million in passenger revenues, according to staff. Ontario’s NDP transit critic, Jessica Bell, blamed the Doug Ford’s Conservative government for playing a part in the fare hike.

She claimed that voting down a bill to have the province contribute more to transit funding “paved the way” for the fare increase.

TTC staff also proposed hiring an additional 142 positions, including 50 new enforcement hires in their Revenue Protection Initiative.

Toronto Mayor John Tory issued a statement saying he “welcomes” the hiring of more personnel to crack down on fare evasion.

“It is totally unacceptable for people to ride the TTC without paying their fare — it’s theft,” he said.

He added he’s pleased to see TTC address the problem, particularly on streetcars.

Staff also included some novel items in the proposed 2020 TTC budget, such as funding to implement an anti-racism strategy.

According to a statement from TTC CEO Rick Leary, the budget also includes funding for 128,000 hours of new service. That includes more frequent service on routes such as the 29/929 Dufferin, 35 Jane, 39/939 Finch East, 86/986 Scarborough, and 37/937 Islington.