Although students will still be receiving discount metropasses, the fare hike will increase the overall cost by $2, effective in the new year. PHOTO: FARNIA FEKRI

Rye students upset about TTC fare hike

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By Zoe Yve

A TTC token is set to cost five cents more come 2014.

The TTC board approved the increase Nov. 20 bringing the $2.65 token up to $2.70, but leaving the individual $3 fare untouched. Students are not free from the change and the monthly post-secondary metropass is set to go up $2 from $106 to $108.

Some students are irritated about the price hike.

“We are students, so it is too much to pay an extra $2 every [month],” said first-year industrial engineering student Ibrahim Tayyar. “It’s going to be raised again, more and more, so it’s not good for the students.”

The price hike was triggered because of a $6-million-shortage in subsidies this year. The TTC will only be receiving $428 million from the government to help cover its $1.5 billion operating budget.

“If they need to hike it up, [then they should] continue to provide better services, but I haven’t seen that happen,” said fourth-year radio and television arts student Trevor Coll.

Coll compared the TTC to the public transportation system in Montreal, where fare is significantly cheaper – a student metropass in Montreal is $77.

“The whole point of having a student price is so that students can afford it. We’re already paying so much for school,” said first-year professional communication student, Joyce Chan. “It’s a daily thing and it adds up.”

Brad Ross, excutive director and corporate communications for the TTC, said the cost of operating goes up as ridership increases.

“So next year, we are going to see a record ridership of 540 million trips, up from 528 million that we will see this year,” said Ross.

The fare hike is expected to bring in an extra $30 million to help cover the TTC’s operating budget.

Even with the fare increase, Ross said that the extra revenue will not cover all costs but hopes the city will pitch in.

“The TTC is a transit service and their number one priority is meeting the needs of riders,” said Ross.

Commuters say they have it the worst.

“They’ve been increasing for consecutive years but there’s nothing we can do about it,” said Simona Chang, a second-year business technology management student.

Chang is a Richmond Hill resident who travels to downtown Toronto five times a week. Chang also said she finds it difficult to manage the TTC’s price increase combined with other daily living expenses.

“How fair is it to not give exceptions for students for fare hikes?” said second-year engineering student, Bryan Chu. “The TTC sucks.”

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