Trips under 10 km to be lowered to $3.70, longer trips to cost 4-10 per more
Metrolinx is planning to reduce fares of short-distance GO Transit trips and increase fares of longer-distance trips, starting on April 20.
Trips longer than 10 kilometres will cost four per cent more for Presto users, and up to 10 per cent more for single-fare paper ticket users, said a news release from Metrolinx.
Fares for GO trips distanced 10 kilometres or less will be lowered to $3.70—a 21 per cent reduction from the lowest PRESTO fares of $4.71, according to the news release.
The lower fare will apply to trips made between any GO stations or bus stops across the region that are within roughly 10 kilometres of each other in the Greater Toronto Area.
Scott Money, the media relations officer of Metrolinx told The Dialog that the proposed changes will be voted on by the Metrolinx board of directors on April 10.
Phil Verster, Metrolinx’s president and CEO, said that price reductions in short-distance trips aims to make GO Transit more attractive to commuters.
Shelagh Pizey-Allen, executive director of TTCriders, told The Dialog that the provincial budget in 2018 had promised even deeper discounts of $3 on GO fares under 10 km.
“TTCriders supports lower fares for all riders, but distance-based fares hurt riders who commute long distances, Pizey-Allen said.
“Premier Ford’s subway takeover plan opens the door to higher fares on the subway, because the provincial transit agency is also considering fare-by-speed as well as fare-by-distance,” Pizey-Allen added.
Vincent Puhakka, a member of TTCriders who lives in Mississauga, told The Dialog that while they are opposed to fare increases for anyone, lower fares for short distance trips will benefit people living in transit deserts like northeast Scarborough or northwest Etobicoke.
“The next step would be reducing GO fares within Toronto to the level of the TTC and allowing free transfers to and from local transit; which would dramatically increase transit access in the inner suburbs and make better use of existing infrastructure,” he said.
If regular commuters switch from TTC to GO Transit to take advantage of the reduced fares, they can also significantly cut their commuting time short for many particular trips.
Commuters can go from Downsview Park GO station to Rutherford GO station in about 10 minutes, instead of the estimated 52 minutes on local transit, as projected by Metrolinx. It currently costs $3.75 to make this trip on local transit.
After the proposed changes take place, GO fare for this same trip would be $3.70 on Presto, $1.28 lower than the current rate of $4.98 and five cents cheaper than the current TTC fare.