Update: At the TTC meeting on June 18, the Caribana pass was approved at a cost of $18, the price of two Day passes. Sanity prevails.
At this week’s TTC meeting, a report recommends that a special two-day Caribana pass be issued for August 2 and 3. Great stuff! Give the tourists a souvenir. Simplify ticketing.
But wait. The price will be $20, or $2 more than the cost of two Day Passes “to offset the cost of production”. Are we really supposed to believe that it will cost $100,000 to produce the 50,000 passes the TTC expects to sell?
I have no objection to event-based transit passes for conventions and other gatherings, and the idea is certainly not new in Toronto. Tourists are found money for the TTC, and the last thing we need is to put them in a situation where they pay more for their “special” pass.
Collecting fares is part of the business of running the TTC. Selling special passes simplifies TTC operations because visitors only need to buy one pass. These can be sold through hotels, not just a handful of downtown subway stations. Pass holders enter vehicles quickly rather than pulling together odd amounts of cash. Service runs more smoothly, and all door loading is possible at major stops. That quality of service is worth something, if only fewer delays and short turns.
Doesn’t this count for anything at the TTC? Maybe the lesson they need is that of basic market forces — have a pile of unsold, overpriced passes on August 4.
The two-day pass should be sold at a discount relative to individual Day Passes. Show our visitors that we welcome them on the TTC.