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Toronto, June 27 (Canadian-Media): According to a report to be submitted to the transit agency’s board on Wednesday, Metrolinx planned to raise GO Transit fares by about 3 percent -- after freezing prices at the start of the year -- for trips costing more than $5.65 but there will not be any change for rides costing $5.65 or cheaper, media reports said.
The increase in fare of for GO Transit and the Union Pearson Express, if approved, said the report, would take effect Sept. 2.
GO, which continues to add trips during peak and off-peak periods is in the midst of a major service expansion and plans to quadruple, by 2025, the number of weekly trips on the rail network from 1,500 to 6,000 as part of its regional express rail program.
“No one likes to pay more,” said agency spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins.
“We understand that … But they do want to pay more for good service and expanded service.”
She described the increase as “modest.”
The report estimates that an additional $8.5 million revenue generated by increase in fare would enable Metrolinx --- the provincial agency in charge of transit planning in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area – to cater to the needs of our growing customer base, help in expansion of services, and financial sustainability of the corporation would be ensured.
There was a GO fares hike, between 2013 and 2016, roughly 5 percent per year, with the changes coming into effect each February.
In 2017, there was no fare increase.
“The proposed September 2017 fare increase is consistent with the approach to…fund new service improvements and offset annual escalation of operating costs…increase on a per-rider basis,” said the report.
Atkins said she was not sure if there would be another fare increase in February 2018.
The cost of a Union Pearson Express ride between Union and the airport would go up 35 cents per trip, and 25 cents if using Presto.
If approved, the increase would mark the first time the provincial agency has raised fares for the Union Pearson Express.
Under the new fare structure, the cost of a trip between Union Station and Barrie would increase from $13.55 to $13.95, or $12.03 to $12.35 for Presto card users.
The cost of a ride on the Union Pearson Express, between Union and the airport, would go from $12.00 to $12.35, or from $9.00 to $9.25 if using Presto.
If approved, the increase would mark Metrolinx's first time increase in fares for the Union Pearson Express.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)