City council votes to go ahead with fare integration
Tuesday, Toronto City Council voted to approve Metrolinx’s plan to offer a discount to commuters riding a combination of the UPexpress, GO Transit, and the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) using a PRESTO card. Transit riders will get a 50 per cent discount when using two or more of these services.
The discount comes up to $1.50 per ride, or half of a TTC fare. This equates to savings of around $720 a year for the regular commuter. The cost to subsidize the discount is about $18 million a year for the province.
Councillors didn’t question the motion, but argued about the future of fare integration. Councillor Mike Layton added an amendment that asked Metrolinx and the TTC “accelerate their plans for full and affordable transit integration in the City of Toronto, including a single ride for fare within the City of Toronto.” The purchase of the amendment is to discourage the Metrolinx and TTC board from enacting an integrated system based on distance, at least from within the city limits.
The governance and decision-making process for fare integration was also added in to the motion via an amendment by Councillor Janet Davis. The amendments are meant to inspire transparency and accountability considering any final decisions on fare integration could affect the cost of transportation.