go presto fare ontario

Transit just got a lot cheaper in Ontario but Toronto commuters get nothing

Monday, Mar. 14 marks the first day of a new deal for riders of most local Ontario transit routes, with Metrolinx now offering full-fare discounts for commuters who connect from a route in their city or town onto the UP Express or GO Transit system.

Announced a few weeks ago, the scrapping of so-called double-fares will save riders a pretty penny compared to the 75 per cent discount previously employed for riders transferring from local lines to regional routes.

Customers using a Presto card for both their local and regional trips will now have discounts applied automatically. Even riders of local systems that haven’t implemented Presto can get in on the savings, using a valid, single-ride paper ticket or day pass GO ticket as proof of GO fare payment.

But as sweet as a deal as this is for many in the province, Toronto riders will still be shelling out the same fares as they did before the new payment system kicked in, as the TTC is conspicuously absent from the many local transit systems participating in this local fare integration program.

It sucks being left out, and when you look at the long list of transit services benefiting from the elimination of double fares, it stings just a bit more.

Riders of Durham Region Transit, Milton Transit, Grand River Transit, Guelph Transit, Oakville Transit, MiWay, Brampton Transit, Hamilton Street Railway, Burlington Transit, Bradford West Gwillimbury Transit, York Region Transit and Barrie Transit will all be saving a bunch on their travel expenses.

Anyone taking a combined local and GO commute two ways, three times per week will be saving $250 per year starting today — except for Torontonians.

But there are still some savings kicking in that will make life a bit more affordable for Ontario students, Toronto and TTC riders included.

Metrolinx has cut the fare on their UP Express and GO lines for youth and post-secondary students who pay with their Presto card. Riders aged 13 to 19, or anyone enrolled in full-time post-secondary education, regardless of age, will be entitled to a 40 per cent discount as of today.

Today also marks the launch of a pilot project in Peel Region, which will reimburse low-income riders with 50 per cent of fare paid using a Presto card on GO transit.

Lead photo by

Jack Landau

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