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Thursday, Sep 09, 2007

Public Transit punishes it’s best customers

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So in today’s Toronto Star there is an article on how The TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) is raising the price to ride the buses and subways. Now if you are a reader from outside of Toronto (and there are hundreds of you) keep reading because there is going to be a point to this that applies to everyone.

I could write about this fare increase from a few different angles since the increase isn’t a complete fare increase but rather they only increased the price of the monthly pass (Metropass) and the tickets and tokens. So to clear this up…..if you pay cash to get on the bus it will cost you $2.75 but if you buy a strip of tickets (or tokens) it will now cost you $2.25.

I don’t agree with this but the selfish side of me doesn’t care since this doesn’t effect me. I am a Metropass holder and I pay $99.75 for unlimited rides. The price of the new passes have been raised to $109 a month and by my crude math this means it is actually cheaper to NOT buy a monthly pass and stick to tokens or tickets.

Stay with me here

According to my abbacus I have figured that at @ $5.50 a day (2.75 cash fare each way) x5 days a week x 4 weeks in each month I get the whopping total of $110.

So by purchasing a monthly pass and giving the TTC my money in advance I am saving $1.00 but if I just bought tokens I would save $20 off the price of a monthly pass and if for whatever reason I don’t ride the subway a day or two I save even more money.

Got me thinking…….why is the TTC punishing it’s best riders, Metropass holders who ride the most often and pay in advance, instead of the occasional rider who pays cash fares?

Sure they wouldn’t make the most possible money and this way they can estimate with some accuracy to how much new money is coming in but the message it sends “Hey best riders……now you can save a whole $1.00” is NOT a way to treat your best customers. Could you imagine if a regular company (and not an essential service) said to it’s best customers “Hey guys….we appreciate all your loyalty and stuff but we are now going to give the people who spend the least a better discount then you…….but hey we still love you and want you to keep spending all that beautiful money with us”

From where I am sitting (on my green couch) I don’t think you would be in business very long.

So what have we learned……..if you are starting a business and want to treat people poorly just make sure you are an essential service.


p.s. feel free to tell me I am wrong but I double checked my math 🙂

  1. Oh you Canadians, and your funny math!

    You haven’t included: The Girlfriend factor!

    So you’re telling me that your trips on public transportation are strictly limited to work and back?

    Let’s say that three times a week you’e meeting up with your girlfriend. One trip to her place, then a trip to a restaurant / the movies / an adult store (you kinky devil!) then back to her place and then you have get home. That’s 4 additional trips in one day. Multiply that by 3x per week and you have 12 extra trips you need to account for. $2.75 X those 12 exta trips = $33

    $33 + $109 (the cost of your monthly pass) = $142

    So in effect you’re not saving $1, you’re saving $32

    Basically what I’m saying is be damn glad you don’t pay London prices for transport. My monthly pass costs $205 CAD

    Stop whining! 😉

  2. My Dear Sweet Anjelica,

    I am married so I can’t include the “girlfriend” factor but I you would indulge me in a little OJ Simpson “If I did it” role playing I would have to say that if “if I did” have a girlfriend I would still ride transit with the same frequency since I would most likely spend time with her directly after work and/or I would find a sugar momma that had a car :)….or I would just drive my own.

    Thanks for the comment….I got all excited when I saw it was you


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