Transit advocates displeased with budget despite break on GO Transit fares

Transit riders in the Greater Toronto Hamilton area had a keen eye on Wednesday’s budget looking for relief, financially or from staggering congestion.

And there was some good news for Go riders.

All GO Transit trips within Toronto will cost PRESTO card users just $3 per trip. In addition, PRESTO card users at stations such as Port Credit, Malton, Pickering, Ajax and Markham will also see fare reductions when taking GO Transit back and forth to Union Station.

Plus, all GO Transit trips under 10 kilometres will cost PRESTO card users just $3 per trip anywhere on the GO Network.

The province said it will work with municipalities to nominate potential priority transit projects, such as the Downtown Relief Line. But when it comes to how much the province would be willing to put up for the Relief Line, there were no concrete numbers. But a spokesperson says $2.2-billion has been put aside in capital funding. As well, the province says it continues to work with the city on the implementation of Mayor John Tory’s SmartTrack plan.

Transit advocacy group TTCriders said it wasn’t enough.

“New transit projects are welcome news, but years away. We need better service now,” said TTCriders Executive Director Shelagh Pizey-Allen in a release. “This budget fails to make the TTC more reliable and affordable.”

“Transit riders will be looking to all political parties to commit to fairly funding the TTC, to provide relief from overcrowding and unaffordable fares. Transit expansion must go hand-in-hand with funding for operations and maintenance,” Pizey-Allen said.

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