METROPASS PRICE SPIKES BY $9

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By Adrian Morrow

Associate News Editor

The price of a Metropass will rise to $96 for Ryerson students in November, the largest increase since 2003.

Last Thursday, the TTC announced the price of an adult Metropass would rise $9.25 to $109 with an equivalent increase in discount passes, such as the ones sold in the Student Campus Centre at Ryerson.

Prior to this, prices at Ryerson have only gone up 75 cents since 2003.

The Ryerson Students’ Union is still trying to cut a better deal. The RSU, along with other student unions, has been negotiating with the TTC for better prices for five months.

The TTC is offering students a $60 pass, which would be paid for out of students’ fees. To accept the deal, students would have to hold a referendum.

RSU president Nora Loreto thinks they can do better. “There’s quite a student population that would benefit from it,” she said.

“We need to figure out the terms first and go through the negotiations before holding a referendum.”

Chris Drew, the RSU’s VP Finance and Services, who is responsible for the sale of Metropasses, said the student union is targeting the provincial government to get fares lowered.

“A lot of the price is tied to the provincial and federal government, because the TTC is broke,” he said.

“I want to see all political parties consider [making transit more affordable].”

Mike Anders, the TTC’s market research director, agreed the provincial and federal governments have a role to play in keeping transit prices low.

“The next time there’s a fare increase, the government should recognize that riders have done their part, and the federal and provincial governments should step up and make their contributions as well,” he said.

Anders said the TTC takes low-income earners, including students, into consideration when reviewing fares and is working to strike a deal with the GTA’s eight colleges and universities.

Currently, the University of Toronto Scarborough is the only one to accept the $60 pass.

Emna Dhahak, spokesperson for the provincial Transportation Ministry, said that the province gave the TTC $261 million in 2007, but leaves it up to the commission to decide whether to spend it on a subsidized pass.

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