Elimination of double fares for TTC riders coming later this month

It's a discount transit advocates have called long overdue. Fare integration will become a reality in Toronto and neighbouring municipalities at the end of February. Tina Yazdani speaks to commuters about the move.

Double fares for Toronto transit riders will soon be a thing of the past as the province aims to fully integrate the TTC into its one-fare system by the end of this month.

Starting on Feb. 26, riders will only have to pay once as they transfer between the TTC and other GTA agencies, including GO Transit, Brampton Transit, Durham Region Transit, MiWay and York Region Transit.

Premier Doug Ford and Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow made the announcement from Downsview GO Station on Monday morning. Chow says the integration of the TTC into the province’s One-Fare system will offer multiple benefits for Torontonians.

“When public transit is working well, life is more affordable,” she says. “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.”

Under the One-Fare program, a customer would be able to transfer between the TTC and another transit agency for free within a two-hour window. Riders will be charged the price of the more expensive fare.

How the One-Fare program works

  • PRESTO will automatically apply discounts to a PRESTO card, credit or debit card or PRESTO in Google Wallet. Transit riders must tap on and off with the same card to get the single fare rate.
  • Transfers are valid for two hours for trips started on local transit and within three hours of the start of a GO Transit trip.
  • The payment method used to tap and pay a fare is a customer’s proof of payment. Riders approached for fare inspection will need to tap the card, phone or watch used on the inspection device.
  • For trips connecting between TTC and GO Transit, the TTC component of the trip will become free, regardless of travel direction.
  • For trips connecting between TTC and local transit systems, the second portion of the trip will become free.

The launch of the program brings the TTC in line with a number of other GTA transit operators. Single-fare transfers were already available on connections between GO Transit and local transit partners in Durham, Brampton, Mississauga and York Region.

The TTC says approximately 13 per cent of its customers currently start or end their trip outside of Toronto, with one-third using GO Transit and the TTC.

According to a report that went before the TTC board in the fall, an adult who commutes back and forth five days a week would save an average of $1,600 annually.

Last year, the Toronto Region Board of Trade called on transit agencies to collaborate to create fare integration across the GTA in order to maximize the region’s mobility network and positively impact the businesses within Toronto.

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