Transpo ride most expensive in Canada?

Get your nickels and dimes ready.

A proposed fare hike will likely make Ottawa the most expensive city in Canada to pay cash for a bus ride.

OC Transpo currently charges $3.25.

The hike means a regular adult trip increases a nickel to $3.30 with cash and $3.00 using a ticket.

The Presto smart card, to be rolled out this summer, will make the ride cheaper, at $2.65.

Across the country, cash fares for adults range from $2.50 in Victoria, BC, to $2.45 in Winnipeg, to $3.25 in Halifax.

Transit systems in Edmonton, Toronto, and Montreal all charge $3.00 cash.

Tranpo’s 2012-2013 fare table, released earlier this week, has some OC Transpo riders disgruntled and taking their frustrations to Twitter.

“I’ve seen #OCtranspo fares double since I was a teenager. I’m 22,” wrote @JohnnyNovak.

“Are you kidding me #OCTranspo-huge fare hike again?! at this point it’d be cheaper to buy a goddamn car,” wrote @tashaalyna.

Details of the fare increase come on the heels of a new collective agreement, giving a 8.25% raise over four years to drivers, dispatchers and mechanics, leaving some riders sour.

But the fare hikes, averaging 2.5 per cent, have been in the works for months.

And not everyone will be paying more.

Along with a break for seniors, rural riders — who pay more than urban dwellers — using express service could pocket substantial savings.

A rural express cash fare is $5.25, compared to $4.25 for regular express riders.

The report recommends lowering prices for rural express monthly passes, tickets, and cash fare to the normal express routes, and also eliminating the ECOPASS program this fall with the implementation of Presto.

With ridership expected to increase, the changes would bring in new revenue.

Fare revenue in 2012 is expected to meet the budgeted amount of $174.25 million.

If given the green light by council, the new fares kick in July 1 — the same day as the soft launch for the Presto smart card.

“That’s not an accident,” said transit commission chairwoman Diane Deans.

Deans said she’s sensing confusion from some riders, fielding questions such as how to transfer using the smart card.

At this point, “People are just looking for information,” said Deans.

“They want to understand what we’re doing. We obviously have some education to do.”

The report goes to the transit commission on Apr. 23.



Fare fury top Tweets:

-Another #octranspo fare hike… For crappy service… That’s it, I’m riding my #ottbike again next winter too. It’s actually faster! (@djshaunnet)

-Look at the bright spot folks: now you’ll be paying more for #OCTranspo to continue to be late/too early/off route #Oops #Ottawa (@Stevemus_Prime)

-So seniors and rural customers are getting #OCTranspo fares slashed, and if you switch to no-wasteful-paper-tickets it’s a 5-cent “hike”? (@snobiwan)


Transit fares across Canada (adults):

Victoria $2.50

Winnipeg $2.45

Edmonton, Toronto and Montreal $3

Halifax $3.25

Ottawa $3.30 (with proposed 2012 increase)

— Kelly Roche


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