In a climate of climbing prices, there’s some relief on the transit front in Ontario.
The provincial government is making it easier and cheaper for people to travel across the Greater Golden Horseshoe. The province is eliminating the fare for most local transit when using GO Transit service and increasing PRESTO discounts for youth and post-secondary students.
“Affordability and cost of living concerns are very much on the minds of families throughout Ontario, and that is why our government is taking action to make riding transit cheaper,” said Stan Cho, Associate Minister of Transportation. “As we cut costs for drivers, including by eliminating licence sticker renewal fees and removing tolls on Highways 412 and 418, we’re also slashing fares to keep more money in the pockets of families and young people when they need it most and making it easier to get from point A to B.”
Big Price Relief for 905 Commuters
Starting on March 14, local transit will be free for riders connecting to and from GO Transit on municipal transit systems with GO Transit co-fare agreements. “This means that a Mississauga adult who commutes back and forth using MiWay and GO Transit three days a week could save $250 annually on transit expenses,” reads a province-issued press release.
The GO Transit co-fare discounts apply to the following agencies: 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.
Furthermore, starting March 14, PRESTO discounts for youth and post-secondary students are increasing to 40% off the full adult fare – almost double the current discounts. This applies to GO Transit and UP Express customers who are 13 to 19-years-old or anyone enrolled in full-time post-secondary education. Kids under 12 will continue to ride free on GO Transit.
“With students learning in-person, our government is making transit more affordable and accessible for them,” said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education. “These fare discounts will save working families money, along with expanded access to free tutoring programs to help students get back on track.”
Discounts to be Available for Low-Income Riders
Taking it a step further, GO Transit is also introducing an Affordability Pilot for low-income riders, starting with residents of Peel Region who are enrolled in Peel’s Affordable Transit Program. Starting March 14, riders with an Affordable Transit Program fare type will be reimbursed for 50% of the PRESTO adult fare when travelling on GO Transit using a PRESTO card. The pilot will be rolled out to other transit systems in a phased approach.
“It’s so important that all orders of government work together to make transit more affordable for residents, and today’s announcement is a significant step forward. The co-fare agreement, in particular, will also be critical in our economic recovery, encouraging more people to seek employment in neighbouring regions through the elimination of the double fare. I want to thank the Government of Ontario and Metrolinx for their commitment to delivering reliable and affordable public transit for residents.”
Well, at least something is decreasing in price in the GTA these days (and it’s certainly not real estate or groceries).
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