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Ontario via Metrolinx is Launching “One Fare” to cut costs for transit riders

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New program making it more affordable to transfer between TTC, GO Transit, MiWay and several other transit systems

The Ontario government in an effort to reduce costs for public transit riders is launching “One Fare,” later this month which will save riders an average of $1,600 each year. Beginning February 26, 2024, riders will pay only once as they transfer for free between the TTC and participating transit agencies in the Greater Toronto Area, including GO Transit.

With the One Fare program Ontario, via Metrolinx, will essentially be reimbursing local participating transit agencies for lost fare revenue. The list includes: GO Transit, TTC, MiWay, Brampton Transit, Durham Region Transit and York Region Transit.

“Our government is on a mission to keep costs down for the hardworking people of Ontario,” said Premier Doug Ford. “One Fare will eliminate double fares and put $1,600 back into the pockets of transit riders. Alongside the hundreds of dollars we’re saving for drivers by cutting the gas tax, scrapping road tolls and eliminating the licence plate sticker fee, we’re providing commuters with real, tangible relief.”

According to Metrolinx, the One Fare discount will be applied automatically when customers tap a PRESTO card, credit or debit, or PRESTO in Google Wallet to connect between GO Transit, TTC and the participating transit systems.  

Metrolinx says, “For an adult who commutes five days a week, this could save them an average of $1,600 per year.  More affordable transit makes it easier to leave your car at home when commuting to and from work, heading to a sporting event or concert, or visiting family and friends.”

Fully funded by the province

Fully funded by the Ontario government, One Fare will lead to over eight million new rides every year and will make cross-boundary travel more affordable and convenient for students, seniors and other commuters transferring between GO Transit, TTC, Brampton Transit, Durham Region Transit, MiWay and York Region Transit.

“I’m pleased to welcome the Ontario government’s One Fare Program. This innovative initiative, allowing seamless fare integration between Brampton Transit, GO Transit and other GTA transit agencies, is a significant boost for our community,” said Patrick Brown, Mayor of Brampton. “With Brampton Transit leading the country in ridership growth – a 160 per cent increase in the decade before the pandemic and a remarkable 30 per cent rise over pre-pandemic levels – this program will further enhance public transit’s accessibility and affordability in Brampton – while providing substantial savings for commuters,” added Brown.

How Ontario’s One Fare Program works: 

  • PRESTO automatically calculates a 100 per cent discount and applies it to a PRESTO card, credit or debit card or PRESTO in Google Wallet.  
  • Transfers are valid for two hours for trips started on local transit and within three hours of the start of a GO bus or train 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 (cost of TTC trip is discounted from overall trip cost).  
  • For trips connecting between TTC and local transit systems, the second portion of the trip will become free (first payment will enable a two-hour free transfer across all systems).  

Keep in mind, customers paying fares with PRESTO in Google Wallet, credit or debit card, must tap on and off with the same card.  

Learn more about Ontario’s One Fare Program. 

Eliminating fares between GO Transit and several other GTA transit services

One Fare builds on improvements the government made in 2022 to eliminate fares between GO Transit and several transit agencies in the Greater Golden Horseshoe. The government says it will continue to work with municipal partners to identify opportunities to make transit more seamless for riders by harmonizing discounted fares and other measures.

Olivia Chow gives thumbs up to making life more affordable

“Public transit should be a convenient and affordable option for getting to work, school or running errands,” said Olivia Chow, Mayor of Toronto. “Ontario’s One Fare will make it easier and cheaper to transfer between the TTC, GO Transit and other transit agencies. When governments continue to work together, we can make life more affordable and invest in services families rely on, like high quality public transit that costs you less.”

Ontario is investing $70.5 billion to transform public transit

Over the next decade, Ontario is investing $70.5 billion to transform public transit in the province, including the largest subway expansion in Canadian history with the Ontario Line, the Scarborough Subway Extension, the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension and the Yonge North Subway Extension. By 2031, the province will introduce two-way, all-day GO train service, every 15 minutes in key corridors in the Greater Golden Horseshoe to connect more people to transit, jobs and housing for generations to come.

Major milestone

“Ontario’s One Fare Program is a major milestone for fare integration that helps connect more communities across the Greater Toronto Area.,” said Phil Verster Metrolinx, CEO. “Programs like this will reduce barriers to cross-boundary travel and will bring more people to transit, estimating more than 20,000 new riders per day. Metrolinx will continue working with the Ontario government to make taking transit from Brampton, Oshawa, or anywhere in between simpler, more convenient, and more affordable than ever before,” said Verster.

Quick Facts about One Fare

  • Since 2023, transit users have been able to tap debit or credit cards on PRESTO devices to travel on all PRESTO participating transit agencies throughout the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, and there have been more than 29 million PRESTO contactless boardings to date.
  • The province continues to expedite the planning, design and construction of its five priority transit projects under the Building Transit Faster Act, 2020, which includes the Ontario Line, the Scarborough Subway Extension, the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension, the Yonge North Subway Extension and Hamilton Light Rail Transit project.
  • Ontario’s One Fare Program is part of over 100 actions outlined in the Greater Golden Horseshoe Transportation Plan, including fare and service integration.

Other articles from totimes.ca – otttimes.ca – mtltimes.ca

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