Last-Minute Transit Fare Compromise

By Ryan McGreal
Published April 25, 2007

Citizens at City Hall reports a last-minute compromise over the contentious transit fare hike the budget committee passed last month.

Fares will still increase but the increases will be lower:

The change, moved by Councillor Brian McHattie and seconded by Councillor Sam Merulla, passed with only four opposing votes - Councillors Lloyd Ferguson, Margaret McCarthy, Brad Clark and Maria Pearson (Tery Whitehead and Dave Mitchell were absent).

The difference in revenue between the earlier fare increase and the final increase will be made up through $290,000 in taxes and $160,000 from the provincial gas tax.

Unfortunately, council is still unwilling to consider eliminating area rating, a system that allows residents in areas with less transit service to pay a lower transit levy, and for some residents to pay nothing.

As a result, downtown residents will still shoulder most of the tax increase.

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan wrote a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. His articles have also been published in The Walrus, HuffPost and Behind the Numbers. He maintains a personal website, has been known to share passing thoughts on Twitter and Facebook, and posts the occasional cat photo on Instagram.


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By jason (registered) | Posted April 25, 2007 at 16:02:55

so when should downtown residents copy this suburban model and begin to with-hold the portion of our tax bill related to suburban road and highway construction/maintenance??

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By transit rider (anonymous) | Posted April 30, 2007 at 15:25:13

So because sburbanites prefer SUV's and global warming to progressive transit, The Rest Of Hamilton is stuck shouldering the ever rising fuel costs due to overconsumption of a finite resource which they are using the most, and the constant raise in fares to make sure riding the bus is always considered a "lesser" form of transit only good enough for students, seniors disabled, the poor and the carless (of course to many carless wrongly means poor).

In an age where the only thing governments will do is give a bit of cash credit to bus pass owners and hybrid drivers, I think the very nature of suburban living should feel a greater tax crunch than us poor urban bus riders.

With more hybrid vehicles, if we get (unless we already have) hybrid buses, can I get $2000 for using a hybrid too?

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