Spec Poll: Do you support another transit fare increase?

By Ryan McGreal
Published October 27, 2009

In conjunction with today's article reporting the staff recommendation to raise HSR fares by 10 cents or 20 cents, the Hamilton Spectator asks in today's online poll:

The HSR wants to increase transit fares for the third time in as many years. Do you support another increase?

I'm not a big fan of straw polls, but if the Spec is going to ask anyway, we can at least broaden the pool of respondents in the absence of a truly representative sample.

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 and HuffPost. 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 grassroots are the way forward (registered) | Posted October 27, 2009 at 13:27:49

I do not support an increase because many people cannot afford the increase. those who are on ODSP or OW, who do not work, cannot get access to one of those affordable bus passes.

If a single person who has lost their job, EI has run out and forced onto welfare, they only get $572.00 per month. This amount is not sustainable, it is not even realistic amount to live on. How are they to find work or go for interviews when they cannot afford to even get on the bus. Since there are not many jobs in Hamilton, just exactly how are thye to find work outside of the city if the options are to either walk or ride a bike.

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By realitycheck (anonymous) | Posted October 28, 2009 at 15:08:35

Grassroots, in reply to your question, unless their policy has changed recently, Ontario Works does provide bus tickets to those on welfare if they are needed to attend job interviews. Also, the city has a program for those with a low income or receiving Ontario Works or ODSP which allows them to purchase an HSR Adult Monthly Transit Pass for half price ($40)

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By schmadrian (registered) | Posted October 28, 2009 at 19:56:35

Yes, I support a(nother) fare increase. $2.50 is a fair price for what the HSR provides.

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By grassroots are the way forward (registered) | Posted October 29, 2009 at 01:01:16

Realitycheck: Yes I know about the affordable passes, the number of applicants is slowly increasing. But for those who are working parttime hours or temp work where the earnings fluctuate, remember now, you are penalized 50% of any earnings earned, when on OW, so maybe one month you can afford but then next month maybe not.

You would have to get your bus tickets off of your OW worker, and well some of the workers are just plain nasty. Our group has heard many stories.

Someone who ran in the last provincial election learned at lesson about OW. While out campaigning, this person got talking to a citizen, who had a job lined up but needed $15.00 for a pair of used workboots, which OW does not pay for.

This candidate did some investigating and was told, no go for the workboots, they were shocked that the rules are so draconian.

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By Really? (registered) | Posted October 29, 2009 at 18:54:16

Why don't they put more effort in generating more Ad revenue!? The ad spaces, at present, are full of City Ads (Sexual Health, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Graffitti is a Crime, etc). The City/HSR should be trying their hardest to sell these spaces to actual companies who advertise. You can't blame the lack on bus/shelter advertisements on Recession '09 as this has been the case for the last several years.

Selling Ad Space Creates Revenue!

While you're at it, sell the blank wall space under the James & John Street (TH&B) underpasses (such as Toronto's York & Bay St underpasses). It'll make the area more bright, safe, and will generate much needed revenue for the City!

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted October 29, 2009 at 20:07:25

Really? >> Why don't they put more effort in generating more Ad revenue!?

Why would they do that? If ad revenue went up, this would decrease the amount of money they NEED from taxpayers. In time, taxpayers would start to expect HSR to start acting like a real business.

People that work for the government aren't interested in producing profits or competing for more business, they want job security. The only way to have job security is to have the taxpayer pay the bills.

What were you thinking?

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By Capitalist (anonymous) | Posted November 02, 2009 at 12:00:55

This should be a no-brainer. Increase the fares already!

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