Children age 12 and under will be able to ride TTC subways, buses and streetcars free starting March 1, Toronto Mayor John Tory promised today.
However, fares for other riders will rise by 10 cents.
Tory, and TTC chair Josh Colle and CEO Andy Byford said only cash fares — $3 for an adult per ride — won't go up.
During his campaign for mayor before he was elected in October, Tory committed not to raise fares. However, he said Monday he needed to backtrack on that promise when he assessed the TTC's financial situation.
"Deliberate decisions were made under my predecessor to reduce service and increase crowding levels on the transit system," said Tory, blaming former mayor Rob Ford.
"To put it bluntly, we starved our transit system to the breaking point,"
Children aged two to 12 currently pay 75 cents a ride.
"This will provide real financial relief for families," said Tory about the plan to stop charging kids in that age group.
Metropasses will go from $133.75 to $141.50. The cost of seven tokens is currently $18.90, but the hike would see it rise to $19.60.
Tory said the fare increase would generate $43 million.
Tory also spoke of a $95-million investment from the city that will be used to restore bus lines and purchase 50 new buses, among other items.
The mayor also made a Vine video describing the fare increase.
All the above proposals are subject to approval in a budget process.
The mayor made the announcement at Joyce Public School, located near Lawrence Avenue West and Caledonia Road.
The new fare proposals come as the city begins the process of shaping its operating and capital budgets for the year.