Yes, we all know by now not to believe everything a politician says – especially during a campaign race. But it’s rare that an election winner will so quickly go back on one of the major promises they ran their campaign on.
John Tory won the mayoral race in November, and all throughout his campaign he focused on issues surrounding the TTC and public transit in Toronto.
We all know the TTC has a myriad of issues – and no one has been happy about the rising price that has went hand in hand with reduced service. Tory’s promise of a fare freeze for 2015 was something voters could definitely get behind.
Then this happened:
“It was not until the transition period after the election that I was fully able to comprehend and see put in front of me all of the facts as to the scope and the extent of the transit cutbacks imposed by the previous administration,” he said when making the announcement.
Cash fares will stay at $3.00 a ride, but tokens are going up 10 cents to $2.80 a ride (a whopping 6.6% discount), and Metropasses will go up to a staggering $141.50 a month – you’ll need to ride it 51 times to get your money’s worth.
The fare hike is intended to help raise the $43 million needed to make service improvements such as restoring the all day, every day bus service Ford cut in 2011, adding two additional subway trains during rush hour, expanding the Blue Night Network, and securing a 10-minute or better streetcar service on main routes.
While most public transportation systems rely on provincial or government funding, the province stopped subsidizing TTC operating funds back in 1996, so raising the fare is one of the only ways to help the service break even.
All other public transit systems in Canada service less people than the TTC, but receive more public money per ride than Toronto’s system.
The real solution isn’t in raising the fare for patrons, but in reinstating the former provincial funding the TTC used to receive.
Oh, but there is some good news (if you’re a parent): kids will soon get to ride free. Yes, fares are going up, but if you decided to have a kid, you get a break.
The rest of us? Not so much.
TTC image from: istock.com/stacey_newman