John Tory, Doug Ford and Olivia Chow have pledged not to hike TTC fares next year despite the fact the TTC commission approved a 10 cent fare increase for 2015 in principle two years ago.
“Given that there have been a number of fare increases in recent years? and the high cost of living in the city in general, TTC riders need a break,” Tory said in a statement provided to the Toronto Sun. “I would freeze fares for at least the first year of my administration.”
Ford endorsed the idea of a fare freeze during a debate at George Brown College last week.
“I will freeze the TTC fares, especially the first year,” he pledged.
Chow campaign spokesman Jamey Heath confirmed Chow also supports a freeze on fares.
“She supported the fare freeze Karen Stintz proposed this year, using the TTC’s end-of-year surplus,” Heath said. “If there’s another surplus next year, she would be very open to doing the same thing.”
TTC officials stressed a decision on fare increases would be up to the commission.
“We are still working on the budget and depending upon the level of operating funding we get from the City, if there’s a shortfall and a fare increase is needed to cover it, that will be presented to the Board in either December or January,” said TTC spokesman Susan Sperling.
In 2012, TTC commissioners approved a 10-cent fare increase in principle for 2013, 2014 and 2015.
A 10 cent fare hike brings in an extra $35 million to $40 million for the TTC.
Despite that vote, this year the TTC fares were only increased by 5 cents.
“For 2015, the 10 cent increased approved in principle still stands,” Sperling said. “The actual increase if there is one would be confirmed by the TTC board in December or January when the 2015 TTC operating budget gets approved.”