No plans to raise GO, UP Express fares amid rising fuel costs, Metrolinx spokesperson says

A bus driver disembarks a GO Transit bus at the new Union Station Bus Terminal in Toronto on Tuesday, November 2, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Evan Buhler

Metrolinx is not planning to raise GO fare prices anytime soon amid rising fuel costs, the Crown Agency's chief spokesperson says.

Anne Marie Aikins says the transit agency is not increasing GO or UP Express fares in the foreseeable future as a result of record-high fuel prices across the Greater Toronto Area.

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"We have no intention of doing that. We want riders to come back, we're still inching up in our ridership to pre-pandemic levels, but we're still far away. So now would not be the time, so I want to reassure them that we're not raising prices," she told CP24 on Friday.

She added that the agency uses approximately 83 million litres of diesel fuel annually and has access to financial tools to help mitigate rising costs.

"Because of that volume we are able to use financial tools... like hedging that keep prices lower for us. And even though our operating costs are inching up a little higher fuel is still only about 10 per cent of our entire budget, so it's not impacting us as much as you might think," Aikins said.

Metrolinx hasn’t raised PRESTO fares since 2019.

On Friday, gas prices reached a high of 194.9 cents per litre in the GTA, topping the previous record of 190.9 cents per litre on March 10.

Gas prices are expected to continue rising in the coming weeks and reach $2 a litre by the Victoria Day long weekend.

“This is going to get a lot more painful and it is going to be a lot more long-lasting. There really isn’t anything in sight that would cause these prices to drop,” Canadians for Affordable Energy President Dan McTeague told CP24 on Wednesday.

The soaring gas prices are largely a result of the war in Ukraine and the European Union’s recent decision to cease Russian gas imports by the end of the year.