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TTC chair Giambrone confirms: No hike


I’ve got several updates on transit fares and the top item is: No TTC price hike this year.

According to transit commission chair Adam Giambrone, “The mayor has said it; the budget committee, city councillors, the commission have all said it and I’m saying it. There is no fare increase.”

TTC riders are buying ever-greater numbers of passes. February monthly Metropass sales increased about 25 per cent over 2006, and even the weekly pass seems to be catching on.

One reason monthly cards are popular is the federal tax credit that took effect last July. For details on how to claim 15 per cent of the cost, visit www.transitpass.caor www.ttc.ca.

The TTC stopped issuing receipts for single Metropass sales in January 2007, and a Metro reader worried there is no way to prove the identity of the pass holder, for tax purposes.

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) states taxpayers should keep their expired passes, which must show (among other information) the “identity of the rider, either by name or unique identifier.”

The TTC’s Mike Anders says that after joint consultations between several large transit agencies and the CRA, the TTC’s “position” is that every Metropass has a printed number that qualifies as a unique identifier.

For GTA commuters who don’t use monthly passes, there is no sign the federal government plans to widen the range of fares eligible for tax credit.

Wednesday, February 28 is that last day to turn in old subway tokens before they become mere collectibles.

See www.ttc.cafor the four subway stations where exchanges can be made. Locals have been adequately warned of the demise of the old tokens, but occasional visitors to the city could be surprised. Since the former style was valid for over a half-century, a number of travellers probably kept tokens for future trips. As of Thursday there will be no way to exchange them, although the TTC indicates that if a tourist visited their Davisville headquarters, they might get a break. Giambrone said exchanges could be allowed on a “one-off basis.”

As for the new tokens, I know only one place to buy a plastic holder for them: The “Transit Stuff” store at Union subway station. Someone needs to create a line of fare-carrying merchandise — for both tokens and passes — and make them widely available.


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