10 cents or 25 cents

February 4, 2011


There has been some unnecessary confusion about the proposed increase in transit fares.

There are six different transit fares:

  • Cash – adult, high school, senior
  • Tickets – adult, high school, senior
  • Passes – adult, high school, senior

A fare increase will impact them all differently or not at all.

The size of any fare increase during EVERY BUDGET  is reflected in terms of the impact on the base fare which is the adult ticket.  The adult ticket is being proposed by staff to increase by 10 cents.

Cash fares represent less than 10% of the fares collected.  Why?  Because tickets and passes are cheaper.

Fares only cover approximately 43% of the cost of providing transit service to the community.

Here are the facts – I will let you do the math on the price of an individual ticket.  Now lets discuss the actual issue – the merits of a transit fare increase.

Year   2010 2011 (P)
Cash Adult $2.75 $3.00
  High School $2.75 $3.00
  Senior $2.75 $3.00
Tickets Adult – 10 $23.00 $24.00
High School – 10 $18.50 $19.50
Senior – 10 $19.50 $19.50
Passes Adult $72.00 $75.00
High School $62.00 $65.00
Senior $60.00 $60.00

About Karen Farbridge

An unwavering change maker seeking a just, democratic and sustainable world.

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6 Comments on “10 cents or 25 cents”

  1. Jim Grant Says:

    Karen – The math is there for the service we are providing. My challenge is affording two kids in high school at $65/month each. How can we subsidize certain private industries and city employees and yet leave the kids out in the cold?
    If one looked at the kiss and rides at the schools in this city (twice per day), one would wonder how we are meeting any goals of fuel or carbon reduction. Simply put, I as well as many other parents, simply drive the kids to and from school everyday as we can’t afford the bus.

  2. Craig Chamberlain Says:

    Price is relative to the good/ service provided. Generally speaking, higher prices should mean better goods/ improved services.

  3. Kim Says:

    Why won’t you consider offering limited service on holidays instead of cutting it out altogether, like every hour perhaps? Most of the routes are an hour long anyway (i.e. Route 4 becomes Route 8, Route 3 becomes Route 10 etc.) so it seems do-able.

    I’m curious as to whether that was ever put forward by Guelph Transit as a possible option.

  4. Bill Hulet Says:


    At $65/month times two children and two adults, public transit would cost you 3120/year. Since the average car costs about $7000/year to drive, it strikes me that public transit still seems to be a heck of a bargain.


    It wasn’t that long ago that bus service was only Monday to Saturday and from 6:30am to 11:00pm. No service on any national holidays—period. A lot less routes, no late night service. How can anyone with a straight face suggest that Guelph Transit service hasn’t increased exponentially in the last ten years?

    As a general case, public transit sits on the horns of a dilemma. If you see it primarily as a service for the poor, young and old, you want the price of fares to be kept low, which limits the service you can offer. If you see it as an alternative to car ownership for the middle class, the problem is trying to make it as convenient as the automobile. This impacts on affordability for the poor.

    As someone with a relatively good job who has never owned a car and never wants to, I find the bus service in Guelph excellent and very affordable.

    If you think it is too expensive, do what I do—-get a bicycle and ride it when the weather is nice.

  5. Jim Grant Says:

    Wonderful answer Bill. Now back to the real world whereas the kids can’t afford a car and that’s why they use the bus. Mom and Dad need the car for too many reasons to list here. Wish we could have a comfy job like you and only have to travel to and from the University. Then again, we get to see other than Guelph communities.

    Karen – I still think you should hear from residents as to what we are thinking. Having your supporters jump in like this dissuades us from further conversations.

  6. Craig Chamberlain Says:

    I have to wonder if the Mayor’s blog is the right forum for citizen to citizen debate. But to give credit where credit is due, comments do get posted. There is some risk involved in providing a forum like this, and that deserves to be acknowledged.

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