The TTC will be introducing a new two-hour transfer policy starting next month on August 26; the move will also allow Presto card users to take short return trips without needing to pay twice.
A staff report released by the TTC went into detail about the new plan and why it would significantly benefit Torontonians.
“The greatest benefit from this policy change stems from reducing the cost of transit, making it more affordable for multiple short distance trips, thereby giving TTC customers the flexibility they require to carry out everyday activities,” they wrote. “This will encourage off-peak ridership, adding an estimated 5 million customer trips per year.”
They added that the net cost associated with the new policy is estimated to be approximately $11.1 million in 2018 starting from August. A full year cost would be approximately $20.9 million. “This should not be viewed simply as an additional expense, but as part of the wider Ridership Growth Strategy that will enable the TTC to provide a high quality, flexible and competitive transit service to customers,” the report said.
The report also included a transit fare equity survey, which asked Torontonians what they would most like to see from the TTC. Following a discounted monthly pass and lower single fares, a time-based transfer was third on the list with 1455 people voting for such a plan to come into place.
The two-hour transfer would have unrestricted access to transit stops, unlike the current transfers which only allow for a one-way ride. There will be unrestricted stopovers and unrestricted access to vehicles and station re-entries.
As someone who uses the transit every day, the move by the TTC is one I welcome with open arms. To be honest, it took me years to even understand how the convoluted transfers worked, let alone trying to ignore how much of a pain they were.
A two-hour transfer runs along the same lines as other transit lines in nearby cities like Mississauga and Oakville. I’m excited to see the TTC listening to Torontonians and finally introducing something that will have a big positive impact on riding in the city. Not to mention, since other cities have already implemented time-based transfers, it’s high time that Toronto jumped onboard.