Coping with TTC token shortages and the coming fare hike

TTC riders must continue adapting to a token shortage until the Jan. 3fare hike takes effect. In recent weeks, token users have had to dealwith purchase limits, often waiting in lineups to buy a maximum five ofthe two-tone coins.

 

TTC riders must continue adapting to a token shortage until the Jan. 3 fare hike takes effect. In recent weeks, token users have had to deal with purchase limits, often waiting in lineups to buy a maximum five of the two-tone coins.

 

Now, token sales are being suspended in favour of temporary tickets. There won’t be a limit on the tickets, but they have a Jan. 31 expiry date. (For details, see today’s news section of Metro and ttc.ca.)

 

The challenge for riders is to make it to the new year with a minimum of difficulty. TTC spokesperson Brad Ross tells In Transit that collectors will sell their remaining supplies of tokens, and tickets are to be available by this afternoon.

 

Boarding buses and streetcars won’t be an issue — after all, the TTC issued tickets for decades — but subway stations could prove trickier. Paper tickets won’t work in turnstiles — students and seniors know this too well — so there could be more crowding at collector booths. Ross says officials will assess lineups in the coming days and may open extra “crash gates;” the temporary entrances often used in rush hour.

Meanwhile, passholders have been able to steer around the lineups. If I didn’t already subscribe to the Metropass Discount Plan, I would seriously consider buying a December card to avoid the token/ticket situation. If you don’t expect to be around the whole month, you can lend out the Metropass — or use weekly passes.

The TTC day pass is another hassle-avoiding option, and the ones currently on sale don’t have an expiry — they are valid beyond the January fare hike date.

If you were hoping to lock in a Metropass subscription at the current rate, sorry. The first month available is January, for the new price. The 100,000 TTC riders who already receive their pass by mail will continue to enjoy the same monthly charge until the anniversary date of their subscription.

Most of these details are at ttc.ca already — see Fares & Passes — and I trust special info about the tickets will be online very soon.