A one-stop shop for what you need to know when using the TTC
In this episode of The Dialog Podcast we met Hayley Waldman from the Toronto Transit Commission. She explains the dos and don’ts new students must know to ride smoothly across Toronto! As Seth Rogen would say, if you are a TTCer, check this out and avoid getting a huge fine!
Luiz Felipe: Hey and welcome to The Dialog Podcast! My name is Luiz Felipe Lamussi, I’m your new host for this season. And today’s episode was specially made for those like me who have just landed in Toronto and have no idea how to move around. What bus do I take to get to school? How much it cost to buy a ticket? And mainly, why am I hearing Seth Rogen’s voice in my everyday commute?
These and many other questions right now!
Seth Rogen: Hey TTC customer. Seth Rogen here! Fellow Canadian and public transit user. I always hold the door for my mother because she raised me right. But holding a subway door for her would get me in trouble. I don’t need the hassle or the delay. So leave their doors alone.
Luiz Felipe: There are two companies that take care of the transportation system: Metrolinx and TTC. Let’s focus on the TTC.
You can move around Toronto in three different ways: Subway, streetcars and buses. But there are a bunch of ways to get into those. First, let’s go underground… Almost every subway station has a booth where you can pay your fare or buy a token.
Wait, wait, wait… Luiz, what is a token?
A token my friend, is this little coin. It costs $3 but you have to buy a minimum of three each time. So $9 to get three of those little coins. But if you want to buy only one fare or don’t want to hang around with a lot of coins in your pocket you can pay in cash.
However, in this case the fare changes to $3,25. Just remember: tokens $3, cash $3,25. You can also use debit or credit card but in purchases over $10, okay?
So now you paid your fare, passed the turnstiles and is going straight to the platform to wait the train and explore this beautiful city, right? WRONG!
First you have to get a transfer.
A transfer, this small piece of paper that can save you to get a huge fine. First of all, a transfer is your proof of payment. This means that if a TTC employee wants to know if you paid the fare, they will ask for any kind of proof and you will show them the transfer.
But second and most important thing: the transfer allows you to get out of the subway and get into a bus or streetcar without paying a second fare.
So Luiz, you would ask me, it means that I can pay only once and travel around Toronto all day?
Of course not! Transfers are for one way trip only! A one way trip is… One way trip…oh that is a trick one! That’s why I talked to Hayley Weldman. She is a TTC spokesperson.
Hayley Waldman: So, a one way trip means if you are travelling from one destination to another, that is considered one way. So, when you purchase one fare on the TTC you are not travelling round trip, like you are not travelling from home to school and back home. You are just traveling from one way from home to school or one way from school to home.
Luiz Felipe: If you are going to get into TTC system by bus or streetcars be alert: they don’t have change! So if you get into those with only a 50 dollar bill in your wallet, enjoy the air conditioner and the view because it will be the most expensive commute of your life.
As soon as you get inside the bus (use the front door please) you will have to put the coins inside this little box next to the bus driver. Don’t forget to get the transfer. Sometimes when the stop is too crowded the bus driver may open both doors to people get in, however, since you are paying in cash, you must use the front door. People in the back usually have Metropasses or Presto cards.
Oh you don’t know what are these, right? Let’s get deeper into passes.
There are daily, weekly and monthly passes. The daily is $12.50 and the weekly costs $43.75. You can buy both at almost any subway station, however weekly passes are only available from Thursday to Tuesday and you can only use for the week that is printed on the front of the pass, okay? They are useful for unlimited travels, so you can come and go as many times as you wish.
And you even don’t need to worry about transfers. The pass is your proof of payment.There is a monthly pass too at $146,25. However, as a GBC student you can get the post-secondary pass. It’s costs $116.75 ($30 dollars cheaper than the regular one) and you can buy one inside GBC campuses. You just have to go to the Student Association’s front desk from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the last five business days of the month.
Too easy right? Wrong!
To get one of these you need to have a Post-Secondary ID.
And you ask me: Luiz, how do I get this ID?
You can buy one at Sherbourne Subway Station. It’s just $5,25 (cash only). Don’t buy a post-secondary pass without a post-secondary ID or you will get a huge fine and AGAIN, will be the most expensive commute of your life-time.
Seth Rogen: Hello TTC users, Seth Rogen here. Backpacks are super efficient, I get it! They carry all your stuff. They hang on your back! They are fantastic! But when you wear your backpack, instead of taking it off, it very much annoys everyone around you in the subway. Don’t be a Backpack Hunchpack! That’s not a thing, but it is now! Anyway, don’t do it! Thank you so much.
Luiz Felipe: Ok now, the Presto Card. So you don’t want to buy a monthly pass yet and don’t like coins, the Presto card is for you! They allow you to put as much money as you want in one card. You can get a Presto in any Presto machine around TTC system, at Shoppers Drugstore, online at prestocard.ca or through the phone. The number is 1-877-378-6123. New streetcars have a machine inside too.
But wait! How I do I know if the streetcar is new?
Yeah.. Do you know when Bumbublee in the first Transformers movie changed from that old and dusty Camaro to a new one? TTC did the same with the streetcars. Trust me, the difference is noticeable.
A new card costs $6. The fare for Presto users is $3 and the only downside is that they don’t have a post-secondary fare yet. But they are gonna have it! Right Hayley?
Hayley Waldman: At the moment we don’t have that monthly pass on Presto but starting in November we will. So, at the end of the year we are going be phasing on Metropasses and, you know, we are moving all of our fares over to Presto. So, we would encourage any post-secondary student looking to purchase a monthly pass, to do so on Presto starting in November. And you can set that concession, the post-secondary concession at any shoppers store.
Luiz Felipe: Oh, Ok so you are going to end the post-secondary Metropass in general and we are going to be only with the Presto cards?
Hayley Waldman: So, all of our fares are eventually moving on to Presto. So, at the end of probably next year we will stop selling tokens and tickets and other types of fares. We will just be using Presto for those types of fares.
In the meantime, in November, we are rolling the post secondary monthly pass on Presto. Which will eventually replace that month by month Metropass that we offer now and there are a lot of benefits to get in on Presto.
For example you can register your card, so if something happens and you lose your card, your balance is protected. And is just a lot more convenient. You can use your presto card on different types of transit systems. Like the GO, and actually if you are using a single fare and you’re travelling say from the GO to the TTC or vice-versa, you actually also get a discount.
Luiz Felipe: In addition, since August 26th, TTC started the two-hour transfer to all Presto user. It means that you can come and go within two hours to any directions. You heard me, any direction! So hop on a bus, and tap!
If you are in a bus or streetcar, just touch your card in the small green box. Wait for the green light and you are good to go! If you are getting into subway, touch in the little green thing on top of the turnstiles. Don’t touch the card on the screen in front of you. I know is green and seems like the right place to tap but it is not. Because I did that and nothing happened. It was embarrassing, okay?
Seth Rogen: Hey TTC customers. Fellow Canadian Seth Rogen here. I can’t believe I’m actually going to say this but stop clipping you fingernails on the TTC. It’s gross! Which brings me the eating dinner. Dinner? On the subway? And then leaving a mess for people to step in and the TTC workers to clean up? Seriously, don’t do any of these on the TTC! I can’t believe I have to say this. Just stop! Thank you!
Luiz Felipe: On weekdays and Saturday the subway runs from 6 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. On Sundays from 8 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. too. You can hop on a bus from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. on weekdays and Saturdays and from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. on Sundays.
Some bus routes may have different time schedule, so go to ttc.ca to make sure you are gonna be able to come back home after that “crazy party” at “that dude’s apartment” in “I think he said downtown but the address is from Mississauga.” Yeah, it happened to me too. Most streetcars works 24 hours a day every day! And there is also the Blue Night Network.
Hayley Waldman: We do have some buses that run overnight, especially on main streets or certain areas that would have been service by the subway. So for example there is a bus that runs along the Danforth area. If you are familiar, once the subway closes overnight. We have a bus that runs along Bathurst Street, that does the same kind of thing. So, depending on your time of travel, obviously your mode of transit maybe different, and I would just recommend that you check our website, that you map your route accordingly, and that your are just conscious of time when things may change.
Luiz Felipe: If you are going to study at St James Campus the best way to get there is dropping off at King Station. You can walk or take a streetcar to campus. But is just a five minute walk, so enjoy the summer and stretch these legs, okay?
For Casa Loma campus students, Dupont is the closest station. It’s just two minutes walking.
And for those who are studying at Waterfront campus you can take any subway and drop off at Union Station and take the 6 Bay South bus. You can also go to Sherbourne station and take the 75 Sherbourne bus to Queens Quay East. And from Pape station you can hop in to the 72 South bus to Queens Quay East and Lower Sherbourne.
Seth Rogen: Hey TTCers, which is an amazing term I just made up! I’m not elderly disabled or pregnant at the time of this recording. But if I was, I would totally want to snag of blue priority seat. Especially if I was pregnant. So, seriously Toronto blue seats are for those who need. Be your awesome self, give your seat to someone who needs it. Thank you!
Luiz Felipe: I know you guys cast Seth Rogen to do some announcements. So, why him?
Hayley Waldman: I mean, Seth Rogen offered. He put the offer out there. And it was something he shown interested in, and we just thought that it will be fun, something interesting for riders.
Luiz Felipe: And are you thinking about casting another artist for that?
Hayley Waldman: I can’t say that we have or don’t have any other plans at this time. I’m sure you heard some some of the other subway announcements that we have. And that is the route we typically take. For the announcements that we play for our riders.
Luiz Felipe: Okay. thank you so much!
Halyley Waldman: Thank you!
Luiz Felipe: And that’s all for today, folks! Feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions, comments or feedback! You can find our podcast at dialognews.ca, on iTunes or any other podcast app. Thanks for tuning in, bye!