The War on Metropasses (2)

The TTC’s November Commission meeting has been moved up from the planned November 25th date to the 17th, and an item sure to be on the agenda will be a fare increase for 2010.

There are two questions:

  • How big an increase will the TTC need?
  • How evenly will the increase be applied to different fare types?

As I already reported, TTC management has been up to its usual tricks of blaming heavy use of Metropasses for its financial woes.  For months, they have been preparing us (and priming Commissioners) to tell us how we are losing too much money on passes, and their value, relative to tokens, must go up.

We have heard this song for years, but through a period when lowering pass pricing was an integral part of the Ridership Growth Strategy, it was ignored.  Now, the TTC wants more money, and Metropass holders are convenient, dedicated transit users who can be counted on to cough up almost any increase.

What would, what should a fare increase look like? Continue reading

The War On Metropasses (1)

The National Post reports that the TTC is going to spend $1.5-million to install fare validation equipment in stations and vehicles.

The devices will be similar to the metropass slide readers currently in use at subway stations and will be mounted on top of fare boxes. If a fake pass or token is swiped or dropped in, the devices will beep and a screen will tell operators that a counterfeit has been detected, said TTC Chair Adam Giambrone. The machines will spit fake tokens, he said.  [Full article]

The TTC never rests in finding new ways to slow down service.  One huge advantage of the Metropass is that one simply waves it in the general direction of an operator.  They may nod or say “thanks” or just go about their business, but people can pile onto a vehicle.  Imagine if each pass holder has to swipe their card on entry.  Pay-as-you-enter slows TTC service enough, but Metropass validation?

What will they do for all door-loading at busy stops?  What will they do once streetcars board at all doors and fare handling is self-service?

By the way, the project cost according to the Capital Budget (page 1,179) is $5.368-million, of which a smaller amount is budgeted for 2010.

The TTC may save money on counterfeits, but how much will they lose in service delays?  Do they even care?

If the TTC is looking for cuts in their Capital Budget, this is a prime example.