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Metrolinx to reduce short distance fares and increase long distance fares

Last Updated Apr 1, 2019 at 1:31 pm EST

File photo of a GO train. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Steve White

This is no April Fools’ joke – Metrolinx says it will be reducing Presto fares on short distance trips starting April 20.

In a release on Monday, Metrolinx says fares will be reduced by at least one dollar and in some cases two dollars for all trips made between GO stations or bus tops that are roughly within 10 kilometres of each other.

The Presto fare for short distances will be reduced to $3.70 — a 21 per cent reduction from the current lowest fare of $4.71. Metrolinx says some fares will be reduced by as much as 40 per cent to bring them down to the new, lower price.

The price of single-fare paper tickets for short trips is also being reduced, with the lowest fare going down from $5.30 to $4.40.

“These significant reductions in short-distance fares … is a huge step towards making public transit even more affordable and more attractive for the people in our communities,” said Metrolinx President and CEO Phil Verster. “We anticipate an annual ridership increase of two million from these lower short-distance fares.”

It’s not all good news though — while short distance fares are decreasing, long distance fares will be increasing.

For journeys longer than approximately 10 kilometres, the fare will increase by up to 4 per cent. Metrolinx says the fare changes mean the discount for using Presto instead of single-fare paper tickets will go up from 11 to 16 per cent.

Metrolinx last increased GO fares in September 2017 and says “inflationary pressures” are the reason for the new increase.

The Metrolinx Board of Directors will vote on the proposed fare changes on April 10.