Metrolinx board approves 3% fare hike starting this fall

The just-approved fare increases mean taking the express train from Union Station to Pearson International Airport will cost 35 cents more.

Upcoming price increase for single-ticket adult fares greater than $5.65

The just-approved fare increases mean taking GO Transit or the UP Express will cost more starting this September. (CBC)

Starting this fall, commuters on GO Transit and the UP Express will be paying more for their trips.

At a Wednesday meeting, the Metrolinx board of directors approved a three per cent hike for single-ticket adult fares greater than $5.65 — an increase that will also apply to student and senior fares and group rates.

The just-approved fare increases mean taking the express train from Union Station to Pearson International Airport will cost 35 cents more. Similarly, a Go train trip from Union to Oakville currently costs $8.65 for a one-way adult ticket, but it will jump to $8.90 this fall.

Fares for short-distance trips and loyalty discounts for the Presto card fare, however, won't change.

Chief financial officer Robert Siddall said the new services launched by Metrolinx in the last two years are the main reasons behind the increase.

Robert Siddall, chief financial officer for Metrolinx, shared details about the proposed fare increases at Wednesday's board of directors meeting. (Martin Trainor/CBC News)

"All those new services have additional operating costs, and what we're putting forward today is what we think is a reasonable fare increase to cover those new services," he told CBC Toronto.

According to a Metrolinx report, infrastructure completed during the last two years includes the Gormley Go station on the Richmond Hill line, Mississauga Transitway's Winston Churchill station, a new storage and maintenance facility at Shirley Avenue in Kitchener, Ont., over 1,000 parking spaces across the transit network, and new station facilities like heated shelters for waiting riders and pedestrian tunnels.

Fare increase expected to generate $8.5M in revenue

In the report, Metrolinx also said the fare increase is "not expected to have a material impact on ridership" and would generate roughly $8.5 million in additional revenue for the 2017-2018 year.

Still, word of the impending fare hike prompted blowback online.

The increase comes after fares were frozen earlier this year following regular hikes of about five per cent per year each February from 2013 to 2016.

It comes into effect on Sept. 2.