Published February 26, 2024

One Fare program begins today for commuters using GO and other GTA transit services

Barrie GO commuters can also cash in
Doug Ford - CP

By Liam Casey in Toronto (Feb 5/24)

Ontario will subsidize public transit trips so riders can avoid paying double fares when transferring between transit agencies in Toronto and the surrounding area, Premier Doug Ford said Monday.

Ford said the move will save the average commuter who uses two transit agencies about $1,600 per year.

"This program will be a game changer for transit riders," Ford said. "It will provide people with more transit options and more convenience."

The "One Fare" program applies to transfers between GO Transit, the Toronto Transit Commission, Brampton Transit, Durham Region Transit, MiWay and York Region Transit, the province said.

The program was first implemented two years ago between GO Transit and a number of municipal transit agencies. The TTC is the latest agency to be brought into the program.

The fare integration on the TTC will begin Feb. 26.

"That means someone living in Barrie can take a Barrie Transit bus to the GO Station, ride the GO Train to here, Downsview Park Station, and take the subway to the TMU campus, all with one fare," Ford said.

Commuters will pay the highest fare in their journey, but not the additional transfers.

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. Transit riders must tap on and off with the same card. 
  • 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 (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).  

The province says it will fully fund the program, which will cost $67 million in the first year to implement.

The entire program will cost about $117 million annually, said Vijay Thanigasalam, the associate transportation minister.

Thanigasalam said the province isn't done with fare consolidation.

"Our goal is to go to the next phase, to talk to and have dialogue with other municipalities beyond the GTA corridor so that we can bring the one-fare program into other regions," he said.

Toronto's Mayor Olivia Chow backed the plans. 

"It's a Godsend," Chow said, adding that it will help save her money when commuting to her favourite Chinese restaurant in the east-end region of Scarborough. 

"It's more convenient and it's more affordable."

Last year, Ford had promised to bring the one-fare system to the TTC.

Ontario's Liberals are "pleased" with the fare consolidation, but they will be watching to ensure the TTC is made whole by the province, said transit critic, Andrea Hazell.

"This announcement does not change one startling reality: the TTC and other municipal transit agencies are underfunded and at risk of hiking fares and reducing service in our affordability crisis," she said in a statement.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 5, 2024

Banner image via The Canadian Press

What do you think of this article?

Have a breaking story?

Share it with us!
Share Your Story

What Barrie's talking about!

From breaking news to the best slice of pizza in town! Get everything Barrie’s talking about delivered right to your inbox every day. Don’t worry, we won’t spam you. We promise :)
Subscription Form
Consent Info

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Central Ontario Broadcasting, 431 Huronia Rd, Barrie, Ontario, CA, You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Related Stories