News / Ottawa

OC Transpo fares to rise in city budget

Proposed budget continues hikes for transit riders

An OC Transpo bus route 96 picks up passengers at the Parliament station on Slater Street.

File / Metro

An OC Transpo bus route 96 picks up passengers at the Parliament station on Slater Street.

Transit users will likely pay more to get around Ottawa next year, as the city’s new draft budget confirmed across-the-board fare hikes.

The budget, which still has to be approved by council, hikes the cash fare for transit users to $3.50 from $3.40. Presto users will pay more as well, with the cost rising from $3.35 to $3.45. Adult monthly passes will rise to $116.50 from $113.75.  

Transit commissioner and city Coun. Stephen Blais said the city committed to a regular, predictable hike and this just plays out in the budget.

“A predictable stable change in the price to reflect the fact that costs change and services is increases is exactly what Ottawa residents have asked for,” he said.

The city is expanding the EquiPass program as part of this budget, offering a reduced single fare for people on low incomes. The fare, which will work through Presto for people who register, will be $1.75—half the regular cash fare.

Trevor Haché, vice-president of the Healthy Transportation Coalition said the EquiFare is a great move for the city that will help people with low incomes.

Overall, however, the cost of transit is rising too quickly and he believes it is driving rider away. With plan to continue that increase out decades he said that will be a major problem.

“I think the city has already lost riders because its too expensive, so continual increases will only make that problem worse,” Haché said.

The city has downgraded estimates for ridership growth for the LRT launch next year and has lost riders in the last few years.

The city’s general manager of transportation, John Manconi, said there are lots of potential factors that could be behind the change.

“We have got a great cycling network, a pedestrian network that is expanding.”

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