03/01/2015 03:38 EST | Updated 05/01/2015 05:59 EDT

John Tory says 'brighter days' lie ahead for TTC

Mayor John Tory says the TTC fare increase that came into effect Sunday will help fund transit improvements that are badly needed across the system.

"The bottom line is service is going to improve, brighter days are ahead for the TTC," Tory told reporters on Sunday afternoon.

As of today, children aged 12 and under do not have to pay to ride TTC buses, streetcars or subways.

Tory said this change will make things easier for families. The mayor said it is hoped that it will also motivate Toronto's youngest residents to stick with transit as they grow older.

"A lot of the kids were already using transit, but we hope it will become very much a part of their lives going forward as older kids and as adults to use public transit because we think that’s important," said Tory.

With the fare increase, tokens are now 10 cents more than they were prior to the weekend.

Individual Metropasses will now cost $141.50, an increase of nearly $8 a month.

The TTC cash fare is not changing. It remains $3 for adults.

Tory said that the fare increase should generate some $39 million in revenue for the TTC.

That will form just over one-third of a proposed $100-million investment in the TTC that is set to go forward, provided that it is approved in the budget.

"We are going to be buying more buses, we are going to be restoring bus routes, we are going to be bringing bus routes back that were diminished, we are going to be increasing service," Tory said, when describing some of the proposed improvements that will be made.

Tory was asked what the public should expect in terms of fare increases for the rest of his term as mayor. He said that it would increase as warranted, with inflation.

"I think that we should be making sure that people understand that there is a system to be run. It has costs that rise from time to time, whether it's electricity, or labour, or other things and that we’ll adjust fares as necessary," said Tory.