Ford government to end GO to TTC discount by March: Metrolinx
A woman taps a PRESTO fare card on a reader in a TTC station in an undated image. (CP24)
Chris Herhalt, CP24.com
Published Wednesday, January 22, 2020 5:57AM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, January 22, 2020 10:35AM EST
A program that allowed commuters to save $1.50 on their TTC fare each time they transferred from off of the GO Transit network will end in March, as the provincial government and Metrolinx say the funding will not be renewed by the Ford government.
In their last budget in 2018, the Wynne Liberals enacted a measure to allow PRESTO fare card users to automatically save $1.50 each time they transferred onto the TTC from a GO bus, train or the UP Express.
The province allotted $18.4 million to compensate the TTC and Metrolinx for lost revenue.
On Tuesday evening, Metrolinx issued a statement saying no more funding would be available after March 31, and that the program cost more than the $18.4 million it was supposed to.
“(The program) exceeded this allotted budget each year — by $2.6 million in 2018-2019 and is expected to do so by $6.7 million in 2019-2020. Metrolinx has covered the $9.3 million shortfall since the launch of the program,” Metrolinx said in a statement.
The agency says it is working on other “solutions in the near future to help our customers travel through the region using different methods of transit.”
NDP Transportation Critic Jessica Bell said the loss of the discount will make commutes more expensive and more difficult.
“The province should have been planning to make those fares fully integrated, because no one should be charged two full fares for a single trip to work,” Bell said Wednesday.
“But now, due to Doug Ford and the Conservatives’ funding priorities, the entire discount is scrapped. This is just another example of how Doug Ford is taking commutes from bad to worse.”