MiWay bus fares are expected to increase in January 2020 to accommodate the City of Mississauga’s plans for expansion.
The fare increase was suggested by MiWay during the City of Mississauga’s Budget Committee meeting on October 2. The proposal suggested the fare change will offset the costs from MiWay’s earlier switch this year from paper ticket sales to transitioning customers onto PRESTO, and to continue transit service improvements.
The proposed fare increase is expected to bring in $500,000 of new revenue to MiWay.
If enacted, the MiWay fare change could affect adult and youth (age 13 to 19) cash fares, reflecting a 6.7 per cent fare hike.
This means that regular cash fares would increase from $3.75 to $4 for students, adults, and seniors (an increase of $0.25 per trip).
The cost for U of T Mississauga’s 8-month U-Pass may also increase from $229 to $245.03 per year, a seven per cent increase. Likewise, the campus Summer U-Pass fare would also see a rise from $138.49 to $146.80 per year, 6 per cent increase.
Under the 2020 MiWay Fare Strategy, the suggested fare changes hope to encourage passengers to move from using cash fares to PRESTO passes. PRESTO pass fares will remain the same since its May 2019 increase of $3.10.
“Transit ridership growth depends significantly on attracting new, choice riders to the system,” said Geoff Wright, Commissioner of Transportation and Works, in a report to the Budget Committee.
“To do so, continued investment in transit is needed to expand service levels and frequency, introduce transit priority initiatives, operate and maintain rapid transit services, encourage PRESTO fare card uptake, and educate the community about the value and benefits of MiWay for Mississauga.”
A number of additional changes proposed by the city aim to offset the cost of delivering certain public services. For example, the Budget Committee has recommended new fees and charges related to 2020 Fire and Emergency Services, Library Services, Culture Programs, Transportation, and Works, Parks, Forestry and Environment, including general fees and charges.
According to the 2019–2022 City Business Plan, MiWay passenger boarding was forecasted to “exceed 56 million in 2019.” This year, MiWay has added 31,000 service hours “to expand service and to address congestion issues arising from ongoing construction projects.”
As a result of new transit riders, service growth, and enhancements, the expected revenue growth in 2020 is $2.5 million. This is in addition to the $500,000 new revenue as a result of the proposed fare increase.
At least 73 per cent of MiWay trips use a PRESTO card, collecting 77 per cent of current fare revenues.
Miway plans to have 80 per cent of commuters to use PRESTO by 2020. The city plans to achieve this by implementing the recommended changes, and fully eliminating the need for paper tickets by the end of 2020.
If accepted, MiWay’s recommended fare change will be effective January 6, 2020.
Open to the public, the City of Mississauga’s next Budget Committee meeting will take place November 18, 2019.