TTC users will soon be able to transfer to and from GO Transit for free
Published Monday, February 5, 2024 11:04AM EST
Last Updated Monday, February 5, 2024 9:06PM EST
Toronto transit users will soon save a few dollars when transferring to or from other public transportation systems, including GO Transit.
The program, aptly called “One Fare,” has been a long-time and delayed promise of Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s.
Beginning on Feb. 26, riders will only pay once when transferring between GO Transit, TTC, Brampton Transit, Durham Region Transit, MiWay and York Region Transit.
“That means someone living in Barrie, you take a Barrie Transit bus to the GO Station, ride the GO Train to here, Downsview Park Station, and take the subway to the (Toronto Metropolitan University) campus, all with one fare,” the premier said Monday morning.
“This program will be a game changer for transit riders. It will provide people with more transit options and more convenience.”
Riders will, however, be charged the highest single fare associated with their trip. Using the above example, officials clarified that transit riders will be charged a fare on Barrie Transit and then that fare will be reduced from the GO Transit fees they will be charged afterward. No fee will be charged when that rider uses the TTC—still equaling one single payment for the trip.
The Ontario government eliminated double fares on the majority of these transit systems in March 2022, but the Toronto Transit Commission—the largest urban transit service provider in the GTA—was left out.
Fare integration was promised by the end of 2023, but it was delayed. No reason was provided for the postponement.
The government has promised to cover the cost of the One Fare program, although it’s unclear what the total cost will be. Vijay Thanigasalam, Associate Minister of Transportation, indicated the Progressive Conservatives will fully fund the program to “kick start” the One Fare program, totalling about $67 million.
When asked about long-term funding, Thanigasalam said he is “confident this is going to be a successful One Fare program moving forward in the long term.” He did not specify how many years the government will fund the program.
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Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow called the program a “godsend,” saying it will provide people with different opportunities to get in and out of the city.
Ontario Liberal critic for transportation and infrastructure MPP Andrea Hazel said that while she is pleased with the idea of fare integration, she will be watching to ensure the TTC doesn’t lose revenue as a result of the program.
“Ontario Liberals will be watching vigilantly to ensure that Canada’s largest transit system is made whole.”
“There are a lot of, Torontonians that outside the City of Toronto,” she said.
“When public transit is working well, life is more affordable. More people can choose to leave their cars at home. It becomes less expensive to get around the city and it reduces the congestion on our roads.”
The Ford government says riders will be able to save about $1,600 on average each year.