A Winnipeg city committee has accepted a recommendation to increase transit fares by between two and three per cent on Jan. 1, 2009.

A report filed with the city's standing policy committee on infrastructure renewal and public works recommended the fares be increased to allow Winnipeg Transit to deal with increased salaries, wages and benefits, rising fuel costs and transfers to the bus replacement reserve fund.

The cost of diesel fuel, for example, has increased 54 per cent since 2006, the report notes. Transit director Dave Wardrop says every time the cost of diesel increases by a dime, the service's annual fuel cost goes up $1.5 million.

Full city council must also approve the increase before it goes ahead; councillors will consider the matter at a meeting later this month. If approved, the move would see:

  • Full and handi-transit cash fares increase five cents to $2.30.
  • Reduced and senior cash fares increase five cents to $1.80.
  • Full and handi-transit tickets increase a nickel each, while reduced and senior tickets increase three cents each.
  • All forms of full, reduced and handi-transit weekday, weekly and monthly passes increase the proportionate equivalent of a five cent full cash fare increase.
  • Seniors tickets and passes are increase such that those fares remain at half the equivalent full fare.

The fare increase is estimated to produce $1.4 million in additional passenger revenue for 2009.