Riders will have to buy a year of Presto Metropasses to get a discount

Prices going up in February for VIP and Post-Secondary Metropasses

The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) recently delivered some bad news to the Student Association of George Brown College (SA) that will likely mean that riding the red rocket will cost more green.

In an email obtained by The Dialog the TTC told the SA that when the Presto Metropass Discount Plan replaces the VIP pass in late 2017, customers will have to commit to buying Metropasses for an entire year to get a discount of 8 per cent. Students and staff at George Brown currently receive a 12 per cent discount on the VIP Metropass and can buy them on a month-to-month basis.

Robert McMechan, the SA’s senior coordinator of collaborative programs and special projects, called the transition from the VIP pass to the discounted Presto plan a “worrisome change.”

“Many of our current users purchase month to month, skipping certain months over the summer when cycling or other modes of transportation are possible,” said McMechan.

He added the some students currently skip buying passes for December when there is a long break from classes, and in warmer weather when cycling and walking to school is easier.

“By forcing these individuals to commit to a year, I foresee this option will not work for a large percentage of our current users,” said McMechan.

An email from Mark Gasior, manager of customer experiance for the TTC, to McMechan said the TTC is looking to launch a Post-Secondary Metropass on Presto in late 2017.

Fares are also increasing for VIP and Post-Secondary Student Metropasses in February 2017. The VIP Metropass will cost $128.75 a month, up from $124.50. The Post-secondary Student Metropass is set to cost $116.75, up from $112.

“I’m disappointed that once again we are seeing a rise in transit prices, while also seeing decreases in overall services,” said McMechan. He added that he looks forward to Toronto developing more revenue tools to help reduce the cost currently shouldered by transit users.

Kadeem Griffiths, a spokesperson for the TTC, said that any changes to the VIP and MDP programs are still under consideration and any changes will be communicated well in advance of the switch to Presto.

The SA funds The Dialog.

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Riders will have to buy a year of Presto Metropasses to get a discount