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New 'One Fare' program begins today in GTA. Here's what you need to know

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A new integrated public transit fare system is launching in the Greater Toronto Area on Monday for riders transferring between GO Transit, the TTC, Brampton Transit, Durham Region Transit, MiWay, and York Region Transit.

A long-time and delayed promise of Ontario Premier Doug Ford, the new "One Fare" initiative aims to provide people with “more transit options and more convenience,” he said at a recent news conference.

It also has the goal of addressing fare duplication on the TTC, which was excluded when the province eliminated double fares on most of Ontario’s transit systems in March 2022.

The One Fare program is expected to save public transit riders on average $1,600 a year in fares, the province said.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Riders who make a trip on any of these systems (GO Transit, the TTC, Brampton Transit, Durham Region Transit, MiWay, and York Region Transit) must pay the highest single fare associated with their trip, but will be charged a reduced fare when they transfer to another system within a designated two- to three-hour timeframe.

“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 during a Feb. 5 news conference.

WHAT SHOULD TTC RIDERS EXPECT

When a riders uses the TTC as part of their trip they will not be charged. The TTC will automatically calculate a 100 per cent discount and apply it to their PRESTO card, credit, or debit card.

It should be noted that customers who pay their TTC fare with a monthly pass will not receive any additional discounts when transferring to GO Transit.

Riders who need to transfer into or out of the TTC system must tap using their original method of payment on a PRESTO reader. Customers will receive a free transfer and won’t be charged another fare as long as they are within two hours of their first tap on the TTC.

This program applies to youths, adults, post-secondary students, seniors, and TTC fair discount pass customers. Children 12 and under always travel for free on the TTC.

A GO Transit train sits parked at the Niagara Falls Train Station, Friday, August 26, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tara Walton
 
 

WHAT THIS PROGRAM MEANS FOR GO TRANSIT USERS

Those riding GO Transit will be reimbursed for the TTC portion of their fare as long as they are within two-hours of their first tap. Riders should tap off when they get to their destination, unless they have a default trip set.

Much like the TTC, GO Transit riders should tap using their original payment when transferring to other transit vehicles during their trip. GO Transit offers a three-hour transfer window.

A tapped PRESTO card, PRESTO in Google Wallet, debit, or credit card is considered proof-of-payment.

INFO FOR NON-TTC MONTHLY PASS HOLDERS

Customers who have a monthly pass for Brampton Transit, Durham Region Transit, MiWay, or York Region Transit will receive a free transfer when they connect to the TTC.

On return trips starting in Toronto, rider will pay a single-ride TTC fare and receive a free transfer when connecting to the agency where they hold a monthly pass.

ONE FARE EXCLUSIONS

At this time, the UP Express is not included in this program.

The TransHelp program in Peel Region is also excluded from this offering as it does not accept PRESTO.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford, centre, poses alongside Toronto mayor Olivia Chow, centre right, and city councillor and to her right, chairperson of the Toronto Transit Commission, Jamaal Myers, following a press conference at a TTC subway station in Toronto on Monday, Feb. 5, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston

Ontario is contributing $67 million to “kick start” the One Fare program, which supports the 2041 Regional Transportation Plan and is part of more than 100 actions outlined in the Greater Golden Horseshow Transportation Plan.

It is, however, unclear at this point where money will come from in the long-term for One Fare as the province has not specified how many years it would fund it.

With files from CTV News Toronto’s Katherine DeClerq.

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