TTC chair will avoid increase as transit ridership, costs swell
Toronto’s transit system is doing so well it’s losing more money than ever.
A combination of more riders and high sales of transferable transit passes are putting the system in a $6.7-million-a-year squeeze, chief general manager Gary Webster told the city’s budget committee yesterday. And Councillor Adam Giambrone, who chairs the TTC, says far worse problems loom for next year.
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Higher labour and fuel costs, plus planned service increases to cope with the rising passenger volume, in fact, mean the TTC needs a $100-million operating budget increase next year, Giambrone said in an interview. That would push up the operating budget nine per cent, to about $1.2 billion.
Despite the looming problems, Giambrone said he’s not advocating a fare increase.
At the time, last year’s 10 cent per ticket fare hike was expected to net the TTC $9 million.
“We’ve been told not to consider a fare increase, which is good from a transit perspective,” Giambrone said. “We don’t want to consider a fare increase. Until we hear otherwise we’ll make the assumption that there is no fare increase.”
The TTC carried 445 million riders in 2006; it’s projecting 462 million riders this year, and up to 476 million riders next year.
Webster said the TTC also needs to hire 54 more drivers to ease overcrowding.