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Commuters using the TTC subway in Toronto Mar. 26, 2012.

Moe Doiron/The Globe and Mail

Toronto's public-transit riders could see a five-cent fare increase in 2013 – a smaller hike than the one approved in principle last year.

The Toronto Transit Commission is expected to vote on the proposed increase Thursday, according to Chair Karen Stintz.

The change would not affect cash fares, but it would result in a $30 increase to a regular, yearly Metropass and a minor increase to the cost of tokens, Ms. Stintz said.

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The fare vote will come less than a week after Mayor Rob Ford reiterated his desire to freeze TTC fares on his Sunday radio show.

Ms. Stintz said that would not be possible without cutting routes or service hours, something she has vowed not to do.

"We've made a commitment.

"We're not going to reduce any service.

"We're trying to balance a number of issues while keeping the system running," she said.

The TTC receives an annual subsidy from the city, which is expected to be frozen at its 2012 level.

The fare increase will help cover the cost of inflation.

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At the end of 2011, the TTC imposed a 10-cent fare increase for 2012 and voted in favour of 10-cent fare increases for the next three years "in principle."

But actual fares must be set annually.

"We recognize customer service is still an issue and we are continuing to implement customer-service initiatives," Ms. Stintz said.

"I think we have had some successes on cleanliness and we've had some successes on communicating information," she added.

"And we will continue to implement those customer service measures that our riders need to see in order to justify fare increases."

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Health reporter

Kelly Grant is a health reporter with The Globe and Mail. More

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