07/31/2015 01:49 EDT | Updated 07/31/2016 05:59 EDT

TTC cash fare may climb in 2016, transit advocates warn

The TTC is considering upping its cash fare next year, something a transit advocacy group calls a "regressive" way to generate money for the cash-strapped transit agency.  

A potential increase to the cash fare, which has remained unchanged for years, was brought up at a TTC budget meeting on Thursday. It's possible the fare could climb by 10 cents in 2016, though nothing has been decided.

Jessica Bell, the executive director of the transit rider advocacy group TTCriders, said this year's fare increases have been "no joke" for TTC users and upping the cash fare will only reduce people's access to the service.

"There are so many better ways to pay for transit than gouging the people that are taking the TTC," Bell told CBC News.

Bell said while 10 cents may not seem like much, it's a lot when you consider the context of rising inflation, flat-lining wages and a growing number of people in the GTA who are precariously employed.

The TTC increased its token and Metropass fares in January, at the same time it announced children under 12-years-old could use the service for free. Metropasses now cost $141.50 per month, while each token costs $2.80.

That hike was designed to generate $43 million for the TTC. A future cash fare increase could generate some $30 million, the TTC board heard.

Bell said she'd rather see the province implement new revenue tools to pay for the TTC, or the city re-implement the vehicle registration tax or alter its property tax.