London

London Transit raises fares by up to 17 per cent

London Transit riders are being hit with a double-digit fare hike, the first in almost a decade. LTC blames, in part, a loss of funding from the province.

The increases are blamed on a loss of provincial funding

London Transit Bus (Dave Chidley/CBC)

London Transit riders are being hit with a double-digit fare hike – the first in almost in a decade, in part, because of a loss of funding from the province.

The London Transit Commission approved the new rate structure at a meeting Wednesday night. The price of tickets and bus passes will rise 17 per cent cent, while cash fares will increase by 9 per cent.

The new prices break down this way:

  • Cash fare rises to $3.00 for adults
  • Tickets will cost $2.25 each when purchased in a strip of five
  • An unlimited monthly bus pass will jump to $95.00
  • The pass for low income earners rises to $61.00

The new rates take effect January 1, 2020.

LTC general manager Kelly Paleczny says it's the first fare hike since 2008. She says bus service wasn't good enough to warrant an increase until now.

"It was all based on the fact that we didn't believe that we were delivering a quality service. But over the last five years we've made significant changes to the service."

Paleczny says the improvements include higher-frequency service, extended service throughout the week, including service until 1 a.m. Monday through Saturday. "We've done a lot of things that customers have been asking for for a long time."

Transit officials say the fares are also rising because of a loss of funding from Queen's Park. The Ford government has cancelled a plan to double gas-tax funding.

Paleczny says she doesn't anticipate a drop in ridership because of the fare hikes, but it's something she will be watching closely.