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TTC approves 5-cent fare hike, another increase expected

The Toronto Transit Commission has officially approved a five-cent fare hike for next year – and the price to ride the rocket is expected to go up again in 2014.

The increase, which kicks in Jan. 1, will add five cents to the cost of a token, $1 to the cost of a weekly pass, and $2.50 to the cost of a regular Metropass. Cash fares will remain unchanged.

The TTC approved the increase in principle back in September. The commission formally signed off on the hike Wednesday when it passed its 2013 operating, capital and TTC budgets.

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The fare increase is expected to add $18-million to the TTC's coffers in 2013, a year in which the TTC is expecting to host a record-busting 528 million rides.

Fares went up by 10 cents last year.

The city froze its subsidy to the agency at the 2012 level of $411-million, something TTC Chair Karen Stintz said the transit agency would not be able to swallow for the 2014 budget.

"The TTC has done its part," Ms. Stintz said, pointing out the agency has managed costs, outsourced services and cut routes.

"But there does come a point when you're not just holding the line, but you're actually starving the system," she added. "We're at that point right now and so next year we need to start thinking about increasing our subsidy."

However, Ms. Stintz said that even if the city agrees to increase the subsidy to the TTC in 2014, the agency will still have to raise fares, likely by five cents, to keep pace with rising costs.

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Health reporter

Kelly Grant is a health reporter with The Globe and Mail. More

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