Students come up short in proposed fare hike

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By Michael Deruyter

Proposed TTC fare hikes might have students paying more for their monthly Metropasses.

As of Jan. 3, 2010, the price of a monthly Metropass sold on campus could rise to $111 from $96. Cash fares are set to rise to $3 from $2.75.

“We have to increase fares because of higher operational costs due to the purchase of new vehicles and the expansion of our services,” said Danny Nicholson, supervisor of corporate communications for the TTC.

The 15 per cent increase will help the TTC raise $62 million in an effort to combat the $100 million shortfall budgeted for next year.

The TTC is set to lose about $22 million this year, despite the popularity of the service which carries 471 million people a year. Nicholson admits that one of the reasons for the shortfall is because of the popularity of Metropasses.

He said the TTC has lost money on the passes since they were made transferable in 2006. Metropasses account for about 40 per cent of the TTC’s $836 million fare revenue.

The Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) sells between 4,000 and 9,000 discount metropasses to students every month, according to Toby Whitfield, RSU vicepresident of finance and services.

In November, 8,600 discount metropasses were sold on campus.

“We are very concerned about the fare increase,” said Whitfield.

“Students already have trouble making ends meet so we know it would have a big impact.”

He added the RSU is working with the University of Toronto and York on a petition against the increase.

On Nov. 17, Whitfield is scheduled to speak to the TTC about the burden the increase would put on students.

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