TTC riders hopping on a subway, streetcar, or bus can expect to pay 10 cents more per ride this year, Mayor John Tory announced at a press conference on Wednesday morning.
Although an implementation date was not announced, Tory specified that the fare increase will only apply to general ridership, with the price of senior fares and monthly passes remaining unchanged. The fare hike represents a 3.1% increase, which Tory noted is "well below inflation."
The Mayor simultaneously announced an additional $53M that has been allocated to the TTC budget this year. It's a 5.8% increase from the TTC's 2022 budget, which Tory says will "keep both riders and hardworking frontline TTC employees safe." In total, the 2023 city budget provides nearly $1B -- or, more exactly, $958.7M -- to the TTC.
The additional funding will go towards increasing service on routes where demand is high, as well as expanding the Fair Pass Transit Discount Program so that 50,000 more low-income residents are eligible for reduced fares. It will also allow the TTC to hire 10 additional Streets to Homes outreach workers and 50 more TTC special constables who Tory says will be in streetcars and on subway platforms "helping to keep an eye on things."
The TTC saw a number of random, violent attacks in 2022, three of which resulted in fatalities. The incidents spurred concern on the part of the public, and calls from the union representing TTC special constables, fare inspectors, and security for the transit agency to find viable solutions.
"The TTC has to be a safe place for everyone -- every rider and for every TTC employee -- and that safety has to be 24/7," Tory said at the press conference.
The TTC will target "hotspots" that have been identified by police and TTC incident tracking through an increase in police and constable presence, and providing more training to TTC employees.
When questioned about what de-escalation training the constables will receive, Tory said de-escalation training has already been increased and that he will be in discussion with the Chair of the TTC about more training taking place. He also noted that he and the TTC are considering employing a third category of intervention workers that are trained in mental health.