It’s about to become more expensive to take the bus

Students pile onto to the 191 Rocket. Riding the rocket is a daily activity for students at a commuter school. (Photo by Travis Kingdon)

Students pile onto to the 191 Rocket. Riding the rocket is a daily activity for students at a commuter school. (Photo by Travis Kingdon)

Travis Kingdon

Transporation Reporter

Students may have to reach a little deeper into their pockets at the bus stop come early March.

Despite his campaign promise, Toronto Mayor John Tory announced last week the cost to ride the TTC would rise by 10 cents per ride on March 1.

The hike would apply to the cost of tokens and all metro passes. The cash fare will remain the same.

This means the cost of one token would rise to $2.80 from $2.70.

metro passes will receive a proportional increase relative to the 10 cent hike. The monthly cost of an adult metro pass will rise to $141.50 from $133.75 if the budget is approved Monday.

If approved, the increase is expected to generate $48 million in revenue, which would be put towards improving the service on the TTC.

New vehicles, maintenance on the deteriorating infrastructure of the TTC and increasing service on key routes is where the money will be spent, said Tory.

Students will also feel the effects of the increase. The cost of the post-secondary metro pass would rise to $112 from $108.

The advocacy group TTC Riders is disappointed about the fare hike, explained Jessica Bell, Executive Director of the organization.

Students are already strapped for cash and this fare hike doesn’t help the situation, said Bell.

And the decision isn’t sitting well with some Humber students.

“This is why I voted for Doug Ford,” said Erik Virkus, an HVAC student at Humber College.

Some students are beginning to re-think their commute to school.

“I’m going to carpool as much as I can,” said David Barale, a first-year HVAC student.

Students who are reliant on the TTC however, are willing to take the hit so long as they see increased service.

Tasja Graf, a Film and TV production student, reluctantly accepted the fare increase.

“If the money’s going to go to making the ride smoother and the service working better then I’m ok with paying four dollars more a month,” said Graf.

Transit riders should not have to choose between fares and service, said Bell.

“We believe we shouldn’t have this false choice between increasing fares to get better service,” said Bell, who suggested reversing the corporate tax rates instead of putting the burden on riders.

“Riders pay a greater percentage of the TTC’s costs compared to other transit systems across North America. We have already paid our fair share,” said Bell.

Children under the age of 12 will also ride the TTC fare-free.

The TTC advocacy group approves of that decision.

“John Tory, well done,” said Bell. No fares for children will help out families and creates a new generation of transit riders, Bell explained.

Provided that Tory’s budget is approved the fare hike will begin March 1.  The decision on the budget is made Feb. 2.