TTC HIKE SPARES RYESAC PASSES

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By Julia Belluz

Despite a planned Toronto Transit Commission fee hike March 6, the price of RyeSAC’s discounted Metropass will stay the same.

The student union’s pass will remain at $87 because the TTC decided not to raise the price of the regular Metropass. RyeSAC’s vice president Finance and Services Derek Isber warned if the transit system increases costs in the future, RyeSAC will follow suit.

“Our prices are set by the TTC. When they raise their fees, we have to raise ours,” said Isber.

But students who buy tokens to get to school aren’t so lucky. Akeisha Sookram’s tiny, black leather change purse is going to be empty when the fares increase for the first time in two years. “I just have this weird thing that every time I buy tokens, I pay with a $20 bill and I would save the dollar (in change) in case I’m somewhere and I’m dying for a drink,” said the second year Social Work student.

While tokens bought in quantities of five or 10 will cost only 10 cents more, cash fares are increasing by 25 cents. Marilyn Bolton, a TTC representative, likens the freeze of the Metropass price to a sort of preferred customers program.

“I suspect it was because they want to give a better deal to the people who use the system the most,” she said, adding “it’s like frequent flyer points– the more you buy, the better the deal.”

Sookram is considering joining the monthly average of almost 3,600 Ryerson community members who buy RyeSAC’s transit passes. Extra revenue generated from the fee increase will be put toward improving or replacing outdated equipment.

The TTC plans to buy more buses to boost ridership in suburbs, add a weekly pass to purchasing options, institute a smart card service that would make transferring between municipalities easier, as well as enable family members or partners to share Metropasses.

Jessica Lawrence, a fourth year ECE student, buys tokens 10 at a time for her commute from North York. “The extra dollar really is not going to make it or break it,” she said. “But it’s just one more cost that students have to deal with.”

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