POLITICS

Children Ride TTC Free, Other Fares Increase: John Tory

01/19/2015 10:14 EST | Updated 03/21/2015 05:59 EDT

Children will be able to ride the TTC for free, starting this spring, the mayor promised on Monday. But fares for other riders will go up by 10 cents.

Toronto Mayor John Tory, TTC chair Josh Colle and TTC CEO Andy Byford announced that beginning March 1, all children under the age of 12 will not pay fare on the city's transit system.

Along with that, all other fares will go up 10 cents, with the exception of cash fares.

Tory committed not to raise transit fares when he was campaigning to be mayor. He said he needed to backtrack on that promise when he assessed the TTC's financial situation.

"Deliberate decisions were made by my predecessor to decrease service," said Tory, placing the blame squarely on former mayor Rob Ford.

"To put it bluntly, we starved our transit system to the breaking point,"

Children of the ages 2-12 currently pay 75 cents per ride.

"This will provide real financial relief for families," said Tory.

The decision is subject to approval in a budget process.

Tory said the fare increase would generate $43-million, which will be used to restore bus lines and purchase 50 new buses, among other items.

The mayor made the announcement at Joyce Public School, located near Lawrence Avenue West and Caledonia Road. The new fare proposals come as the city begins the process of shaping its operating and capital budgets for the year.

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