Dear Bruce Macgregor Chief Administrative Officer, Richard Leary Acting Commissioner of Transportation and Community Planning, The Committee of the Whole, The Regional Municipality of York Region, The People of York Region and World,
Let's start off slowly the Bank of Canada expects the Canadian economy to grow by 1.8 percent in 2013. You plan to increase the cash price for a YRT Viva Fare to $4.00 and raise an adult presto ticket by 10%. Overall you are increasing rates by 7.86%. Mr. Macgregor and Mr. Leary, you are increasing your fares by more than 4 times the growth of the economy and as such you are passing that heavy burden onto your customers who cannot afford it.
You are assuming that despite this huge growth in fare prices when compared to inflation, that your customers will not stop using your services. Infact you have projected that despite such an excessive fare increase that your ridership would increase by one million riders next year. You have further projected that your fare hike will increase your net annual revenue by $3,622,457. While having already increased your revenue by 11.8 million after raising fares 3 other times in the past five years.
Mr. Macgregor and Mr. Leary, this is simply wrong.
YRT Viva fares are already higher than the rest of the GTA's transit services. An Adult cash payment in Mississauga, Oakville or Burlington is $3.25, in Durham it costs $3.10, in Toronto it is 3 dollars and in Hamilton it costs only $2.55. Next year the same bus fare in York Region will be 4 dollars.
Despite being an inferior good, which gets more customers when the economy is worse. And despite being a local monopoly which can charge whatever it wants since it has no true competition. You are a public service. Your service should be to provide the best public transit possible for as small of a price as possible. This is better for your customers who will use your service more often which in turn makes it more profitable for you.
To prove simple economics, Mississauga has a significantly smaller population when compared to York Region (York Region is about 1.4 times more populated than Missisauga). And although they have fewer vehicles compared to York Region, Mississauga has a much higher revenue ridership (Mississauga's is over 156% the size of York Region's). The revenue ridership is so much higher because of its lower fare.
Mr. Macgregor and Mr. Leary, the people of York Region will not stand for your nonsense. While increasing fares 4 times by up to 10% each time in the past 5 years, increasing fares 4 times faster than the growth of the economy, your 'public service' is to be taking in nearly 15.5 million more in net annual revenue over that time.
With such a high fare, your ridership and then revenue will not rise at the same rate as you expect and will not be as high as neighbouring regions with better service for lower prices. You are raising prices on the public, who you are expected to serve, when they cannot afford it. Although your big empty red lanes and shiny new blue buses may look pretty, you are paying for them by having a worse service for those they are there to serve.
Sources: tinyurl.com/nn4ou97 tinyurl.com/pkk9bv4
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