Sell By Distance or Sell By Volume? The Silver Lining of a Fare Increase

Effective on April Fool’s Day, TTC fares will go up again.  You all know my position:  if we have to choose between fare increases and service cuts, fares should take the hit.  Having said this, let’s look at the way the fare structure has subtly changed over the past two years.

For all practical purposes, the price of monthly and weekly passes is frozen because the proportional change in cost is much lower than that of tickets, tokens and the cash fare.  This brings us to a philosophical divide:

Should we reward people who ride the TTC a lot (counted by number of boardings) with cheaper fares because they buy passes, or should we reward people who travel short distances with cheaper fares based by distance or zones?

All transit systems reward frequent users with cheaper fares, and one can argue that passes make it possible to take many short trips without incurring the extra cost of a token for each one.  The flip side of this is that someone who rides a lot, but not enough to make a pass worthwhile, is hit by the fare increases while pass users are almost immune. Continue reading