Saturday, March 26, 1955, Vol. 112, No. 32850 The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Page 4, col. 3

Oakville appeal over new boost for CNR fares

The CNR announced yesterday that the second part of a scheduled fare increase on the Hamilton-Toronto commuter run will go into effect March 31.

A 100 per cent fare increase was authorized last August by the Board of Transportation Commissioners to offset deficits in operations claimed by the railway.

A 50 per cent increase became effective Sept. 30. The announced increase is 25 per cent and another 25 per cent boost is due later this year.

The CNR revealed plans for curtailment of Montréal commuter service, including elimination of all suburban lakeshore trains west of Dorval, effective April 24.

President W. S. Thompson of the Oakville Commuters' Association said the announcement was "further evidence that the CNR is desirous of worsening what is already the worst situation in respect to public relations achieved by any company in Canada."

He said the increase would mean Oakville commuters will pay $17.50 for 40 rides. For the same distance, a Montréal commuter pays $10 and will pay $15 under new rates.

Oakville commuters had been paying the $15 fare since last October.

He quoted CNR Vice-President M. A. Metcalfe as saying "certain other considerations must be resolved before new increases become effective in the Toronto area."

"On this statement," said Mr. Thomson, "I based my opinion that there would not be an immediate increase  ..  It is more than ever apparent that the CNR is not interested in maintaining goodwill."

The association appealed the increase at cabinet level and was turned down. Mr. Thomson last night hinted further action.

It is apparent that the only language which will be understood by the railway is a withdrawal of freight and express traffic. This will be a certain result of the CNR action.

Mr. Thomson said the Board of Transport Commissioners and Federal Cabinet must accept responsibility for such a flagrant disregard for passengers' right.

"And they must accept responsibility for the establishment and maintenance of a system which means that the Toronto area commuter not only pays for an inferior system but subsidizes the superior service for Montréal through taxation to take care of CNR deficits.

Keeping in mind that the largest single piece of taxation is provided from this area, Toronto people have the right to feel that if they are to lose money on the CNR they would like to lose at least some of it up here, not all in Montréal.

Railways: C.N.Rys.

Stations: Oakville