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Toronto Transit Commission meets December 14

Toronto transit riders can expect the Toronto Transit Commission to approve raising TTC fares when it meets this Wednesday, December 14 at 10 a.m. — the question is, by how much.

Although TTC staff are recommending that the cost of tokens rise by ten cents, Sunday, January 1, 2012, at least one commissioner, Councillor Peter Milczyn, plans to move that the commission approve raising fares by another nickel, so the token price jumps by 15 cents in the new year.

The councillors will debate whether passengers will tolerate as great a hike in fares at one go — and whether they can afford it. Staff are proposing both increasing the fares and decreasing rush-hour service along 52 routes, so that the TTC can meet the City of Toronto’s goal of decreasing the budgets of all agencies, boards, commissions and departments (the “ABC and Ds”) by ten per cent. If the commission approves Milczyn’s motion, though, it may be able to avoid cutting service on all or most of the routes it proposed to decrease in January.

The staff report also recommends that that commissioners approve, in principle, regularly increasing fares. Passengers should also expect fares to increase every year at least until 2015, as the TTC struggles to keep even in the face of more and more riders wanting to travel by transit, while fewer government funds are available to support the service.

The meeting takes place in Committee Room 3, second floor, Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen Street West.

Among several other items, the commission will discuss staff reports recommending

  • the Commission approve the TTC’s 2012 operating budget, approve increasing fares January 1, 2012 and approve, in principal, regularly increasing fares every year over the next four years. (You can read the report here. (.pdf))
  • authorize staff to issue a request for proposals to three companies to develop a wireless network in the subway. (You can read the report here. (.pdf))
  • approve a change in the Commission’s procedures to allow both members of the public and politicians to serve on the board. (You can read the report here. (.pdf))
  • approve renewing the lease of Ontario Power Generation lands near Finch, Islington and Kipling Stations for commuter parking lots. (You can read the report here. (.pdf))
  • recommending that the TTC cancel service along the 146 Downtown / Humber Bay express route. (The Commission deferred considering this item at its last meeting.)(You can read the report here. (.pdf))

The commissioners will also review Chief General Manager Gary Webster’s report on TTC operations for the period ending October 29, 2011. (You can read his report here. (.pdf)) The report shows that the number of people riding the TTC continues to climb, higher than TTC staff predicted. Steve Munro analyzes the data in Webster’s report here.

You can read the agenda for the meeting here.

Toronto Transit Commission meetings are public meetings — anyone may attend. If you wish to speak to the Commission about an item on its agenda, e-mail the Co-ordinator — Secretariat Services at: before noon, Tuesday, December 13.

You can find out more about making a deputation — or presentation — to the commission here.

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