TTC CEO Andy Byford.
A ride on the Rocket is going to cost a nickel more starting on New Year's Day.
The TTC board voted in principle Thursday to raise the cost of non-cash fares by five cents.
The increase won't be made official until the TTC budget is finalized later this year, but if approved, starting January 1, 2013, the price of a token would go up from $2.60 to $2.65, and a Metropass would jump from $126 to $128.50. Cash fare would remain at $3.00.
The five-cent increase is slightly lower than the rate of inflation and follows a ten-cent increase at the start of this year.
"Ideally we wouldn't have to raise the fares," said TTC CEO Andy Byford. But the commission is under pressure because the Ford administration has decided not to freeze the subsidy the city gives the commission at its 2012 level.
In order to avoid service cuts while meeting rising ridership, the TTC can either find savings or increase revenues, Byford said.
"We are finding efficiencies, so I think it's only fair that we should look for some contribution from our customers, but we'll limit it to the absolute minimum."
The fare hike is expected to net the TTC an additional $18 million in revenues in 2013. But even accounting for the increase, the TTC is still $10 million short of balancing its books next year. Byford said he's working on ways to close that gap.
The TTC is budgeting for a record 528 million trips next year, up from an estimated 514 million in 2012.