Students urge Toronto to reconsider public transit service cuts, fare hikes

18 January 2023 / by Daniel Centeno

Some Toronto students are calling on the city to invest more in affordable public transit and scrap the 10 cent fare increase.

In the latest budget subcommittee meeting this week, the city indicated that TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) riders should expect the fare hike as well as longer wait times until increased ridership returns. 

According to the city, ridership has yet to return to pre-COVID-19 numbers and said it must work within its current means. 

Students from elementary schools, colleges and universities offered deputations to the TTC services board asking to reconsider the cuts. 

They said they are some of the many individuals that rely on public transit. With the fare hike, they will deal with a larger financial burden, especially with the TTC fair pass discount transit program not expanded. 

The fair pass provides individuals who qualify a 33 per cent discount on single fares and 21 per cent on monthly passes. 

At the moment, the fair pass is eligible for individuals ages 20 to 61, and must receiving assistance through Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), Ontario Works (OW), Toronto Child Care Fee Subsidy, or Rent-Geared-to-Income Subsidy; and, have a PRESTO card. To be financially eligible for the discount, the applicant’s family income must meet the program’s definition of low-income. 

Budget subcommittee meetings continue this week, with meetings held in the downtown core, North York and Scarborough. 

Other topics discussed during these meetings include Toronto’s approach to investing in social services for the city’s unhoused. 

Warming centres, which were a major part of the city’s extensive winter plan for 2023, continue to be opened periodically despite the frequent cold weather alerts.  

More details to come. 

Listen to CJRU’s coverage of Toronto’s budget subcommittee meeting: