TORONTO, Ont. – If you want better transit in Toronto, you’ve got to pay for it.

The Toronto Transit Commission has rubber-stamped a five-cent fare hike effective Jan. 1, 2013.

The five-cent increase applies to tickets, tokens and passes, but not the cash fare. It’s anticipated it will add up to $18-million.

TTC CEO Andy Byford told 680News the city isn’t opening its wallet any wider so the money has to come from somewhere.

“We have to increase service because we’re carrying record numbers of people [...] and we think it’s only fair to at least ask for a modest fair increase from our riders, so it will be restricted to five cents, which is pretty much in line with the rate of inflation,” Byford said.

Ridership is up five per cent at 528-million.

However, Byford said passengers will actually get something for the higher price

“We will continue to improve the service that they get [...] this just costs a bit of money, but I am very keen to give customers something back in return for the small additional fare that we ask,” he added.

The TTC plans to roll out debit and credit card payment system for monthly passes at most of its collector booths by the end of 2012.