So earlier this month I (along with many of you other U of T students) dished out a whopping $106 for my monthly TTC Metropass. As I sadly saw that money drift away never to be seen again, I had a thought: “If I went to school in another city would I be paying the same amount of money as I do here in Toronto?”. I know we all love to hate on the TTC (I think they charge far too much and provide a fairly poor standard of service), but when we actually take the time to compare the TTC rates to other cities does Toronto still suck all our money from us?
Obviously as the result of the economy most cities have to increase prices from time to time. Cities such as Dallas, and Boston saw fare increases range from 15% to 23% from 2010-2012, which is pretty high if you think of it. So where does that put the TTC in comparison to other cities here at the beginning of 2013? Well even with our somewhat more stable economy , Toronto still has the highest trip index among most North American cities.
“Now what is a Trip Index Shak, you may say!” Well I shall tell you dear random reader. It’s basically the amount of trips one needs to take in order to make up for the $106 you paid at the beginning of the month. Shockingly it takes one 48 trips in order to pay for itself, this basically evens out to having to travel there and back, from either school or work, 22 days out of the month, plus a few more times on the weekends. No other city has such a high index, not even New York’s (47). (Just check out the graph above)
Also what is with this business on transfers….. I mean what the heck is up with those things. I’ve been taking the TTC for years and years and I still am not entirely clear on how exactly I am supposed to use one. Is it useable in most places? Generally not, only in certain designated stops is one allowed to use a transfer to go from a subway to bus, or streetcar to subway, etc. I mean just look at how some of the other Canadian cities deal with transfers/stopovers. Edmonton, Calgary, and Vancouver use a 90-120 minute time allotment for stopovers in either direction on their lines. So for instance if you are running an errand you have the ability to use one fare there and back, provided that you simply don’t go over your time limit. GENIUS I SAY!
Toronto residents could also greatly benefit from having “downtown” fares much like Calgary does. Downtown fares in these cities provide lower rates due to the higher density population base in certain parts of the city; but of course we don’t have that either.
Seriously Toronto get your stuff together, our wallets are getting sucked dry here and our system isn’t all that great! I think I’ll give the TTC a call……. oh wait nvermind.
3 comments on “TTC? Why man why????”
If Toronto implemented a downtown fare only, the TTC would further maginalize many people of low socioeconomic status. People who tend to live in the downtown core have higher incomes and a vast amount of transit opportunities (TTC [streetcar or subway or bus], walk, bike, inexpensive cab ride. Those who live on the edge of the city and who have to travel a further distance tend to earn less, work in precarious employment and have less options. Let’s focus on an equitable solution.
You’re not sure how to use a transfer? Seriously?
If you need to take 2 or 3 buses/subways/streetcar/or a combination of the 3, use the transfer so you pay ONE fare for ONE trip. And the route has to be continuous.
How do you use one? If you’re travelling east/west and need to get on a north/south bus/streetcar, you get off cross the street and show them your transfer and get on.
When using a subway? If you have to leave the station (because the station doesn’t have a bus terminal inside the station), you go to the bus stop right outside the station, show your transfer and get on. Bus to subway? Same thing. Get off the bus, show the subway collector your transfer and get on the subway.
Fairly simple in my opinion. You get off and continue your trip. You don’t take a bus, Walk 4 blocks, then use your transfer. That doesn’t make sense.
As for the 2 hour window, they do have that on the 512 St. Clair bus line (because of the havoc caused by the construction had on storeowners, so they started it to encourage shoppers to continue shopping on St. Clair).
As for it being a GENIUS idea, if you look at it, it’s a STUPID idea for the TTC. You pay $3 to go somewhere, then $3 to come back. That’s $6 they made. With your stopover idea, you pay $3 to go somewhere and nothing to come back. They only make $3. If they can make twice as much, why would they ever decide to just give away half of their revenue. That makes ZERO business sense. If your neighbour pays you $40 to babysit her child on Friday night, and then asks if you can do it again on Saturday, would you say ‘Sure, it’s the same weekend so you don’t have to give me another $40’. No, you’d take the extra $40. Same idea.
If they do make the return on the same fare, you know what will happen, your taxes will go up. Way up. To cover the income that they lost.
If you want to compare how the TTC is more expensive than other transit systems, that’s fine, but don’t complain just because you don’t know how to use the simple transfer system or understand common sense business logic about maximizing income.
I love your blogs, Shak!