Back in December 2011, I asked whether or not the TTC is priciest transit system in North America.The answer at that time was “yes,” at least amongst big-city, single-fare, bus-and-rail systems.
Since then, the lagging impact of the Long Recession has caught up with many US public transit systems, slamming them with large fare increases and service reductions. While generously funded compared to the TTC, many of these systems rely much more directly on sales, property and payroll tax revenue for these extra funds and their operating budgets are therefore much more sensitive to shortfalls during economic downturns. (Capital projects are another story, with billions in federal funding that Canadian cities can only drool at).
As a result of the economy, and despite solid ridership, cities such as Dallas, Chicago and Boston saw fare increases from 15% to 23% while other cities struggled with threats of massive service cuts. In other words, 2012 was not kind to many transit systems. Continue reading