Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Mathing the new fare increase

One of the biggest news items from last week in the world of all things GO was the 5% fare increase.

The fare increase financially pummels those who travel from afar but leaves those who come in from Toronto stations paying the same cash fare they currently do. The reasoning for this is that the shorter length of travel has to remain fair. The TTC is still cheaper and that pilot project with the Metropass is a dud, so why is Metrolinx still bending over backwards for Toronto folks? GO Transit wasn't built for Toronto. It's the suburb people who should be woo'ed.

But wait! Apparently we are ... Presto card users will see a discount of 1.5% more!

As an Oshawa passenger, after February 2016, I'll pay $344.40 for 40 one-way trips a month, up from $329.30. That's $15.10 more each month, give or take a couple of dollars for shorter months.

This online fare calculator will help you budget for what's to come.

And if you do drive to the GO station and you have a car payment, that's a lot of money just to get to work. Thank goodness parking at the station is free, right?

We've been hit with increases for the past five years. There appears to be no end in sight, but all day GO service isn't cheap, new coaches cost money and those double-decker buses are almost a million dollars each; and Metrolinx has ordered several more. It all has to get paid for somehow.

It's scary to think that in two years, it could very well cost close to $400 a month for the majority of us to get to work each day (it doesn't matter if you drive or take the bus - there's no financial incentive to do so).

I have one friend who is realizing it will no longer be worth it to work at a downtown office job when 17% of her monthly pay is eaten by fare costs on top of paying for daycare. Unlike others, she doesn't get a cost of living increase each year.

I don't know what advice to give her.


Unknown said...

If you can work from home, do it! That is what I started doing a couple years ago. And I am now at least 2 days a week at home. Part of my reasoning is that A) I get more work done and most importantly B) I save $17 a day.

Even paying for the hydro, water and gas (in the winter) is less than $34 dollars a week that I save from working from home. And I used some of that saved money to buy a really nice desk (I just need the time to build it).

GO is pricing itself out of the market. Or as much of a market there is for getting to work. Yes, they have made a lot of changes and upgrades, but how about holding the line for a bit and give us a break.

Maybe if I saw the extra evening rush hour train that the LSE needs or even if they finished Pickering (seriously! 2 flipping years to install an elevator!) I wouldn't be as upset.

Bicky said...

Let's hope some of this fare increase goes to switch replacement/repair. With more riders, they need more capacity. No sense having it if the switches malfunction every other week.

I think I might have to start working from home more often. It's just a pain to schlep all my crap back and forth... (C'mon lottery win! Mama needs to take early retirement!)

G said...

Price of diesel goes up: GO Transit hikes fares. Price of diesel goes down: GO Transit still hikes fares.

Tal Hartsfeld said...

For all the sacrifices you're extorted into making, what are you getting out of it in the long run?

C.J. Smith said...

I don't have to sit in traffic? That's a good question ... however, to make my career close to home, well, the job doesn't exist. I have no interest in changing careers as I love what I do. I love working in downtown Toronto. I love coming home each night to the country. I've accepted that there's a cost for this happiness. If I were miserable, I sure as hell wouldn't be doing this every day.

Unknown said...

Well I would suggest moving downtown but I realize that's getting harder to do. I quit my 3 hour a day commute 9 years ago and never looked back. When I factored in the cost of car ownership (I don't have or need a car downtown) and transit I figured I could put that money towards a more expensive, and smaller house.

Cost aside, downtown living is often unfairly disparaged by folks living in the 'burbs. I live on a quiet street in a safe neighbourhood, 15 minute walk from Union Station and my job. I wish there were more families living downtown, and I wish it were cheaper, but if you can deal with downsizing, ditching thew car and losing the lawn there are still some affordable places to live.

C.J. Smith said...

I grew up in Bloor West Village near Jane Street and Bloor in west Toronto. Wonderful place to grow up. My parents still live there, in their little "goldmine" of a home.

My husband's career is in Oshawa. I love my small town which is why I don't complain. I already gave up the car. The only car we own is the one my husband uses for work.

For me, if I wanted to buy my parent's home, I would need $1.1 million to do it. Yikes.

Unknown said...

For a number of years GO raised all fares by the same amount, usually $0.25, so now they are giving the short distance riders a break while they gouge the long distance riders. I guess in the long run everyone will get gouged equally but their rate is above the rate of inflation.

Unknown said...

A further thought, they have to pay for that fiasco called the UP Yours Express since no one appears to be riding it.