TTC toronto

TTC discount pass and time based transfers coming this August

Wouldn't it be nice if you could get off the streetcar, go shopping for an hour, and then hop back on, in either direction, without having to pay again?

Toronto City Council approved the 2018 Capital and Operating Budget this week, locking down a number of exciting changes for our fair city moving forward – including the long awaited roll out of time-based TTC transfers.

Starting this August, TTC riders with Presto cards can hop on and off any public transit vehicle as many times as they want within a two-hour window.

At $21 million annually by 2020, the program isn't cheap – but it is expected to bolster TTC ridership by about 5 million new customer trips each year. 

A now-discontinued pilot version of the program along St. Clair West proved quite a boon to local businesses over the past decade, and customers loved the freedom of walking around near stops without fear of being charged again.

Also starting in April of this year will be the first phase of a long-awaited low income transit pass for TTC riders on social assistance.

Called the "Fair Pass," this program will give discounts of 33 per cent on single adult fares and 21 per cent on adult Metropasses to eligible riders. By 2021, the discount will apply to riders who meet the low income criteria plus fifteen per cent.

Transit advocates are thrilled by the impending activation of both the Fair Pass and time-based transfers, though some are disappointed that more city funds weren't allocated for overcrowding solutions. 

"The TTC's own crowding standards will remain unmet until Fall 2018 because of insufficient funding," reads a press release from the transit advocacy group TTCriders.

Public transit overcrowding has indeed become an increasingly hot-button issue in the city. Many are worried that the dangerous practice of cramming so many people onto transit vehicles (or underground platforms) could soon lead to tragedy.

An additional $3 million for TTC services were added during the budget process, according to the group, but the TTC needs at least $12.5 million this year to significantly alleviate the rider congestion.

Lead photo by

Jeremy Gilbert


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