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.