“Transit systems across the GTHA are reeling from drops in ridership and lost revenue brought on by the pandemic,” said Bell.
“Fair fare integration — meaning a two-hour, flat-rate fare across municipal transit in the GTHA — will encourage riders to return to public transit post-pandemic, and help local transit agencies recover.
"The fragmented system we have now forces riders to take long and expensive trips, sometimes over very short distances. That’s unfair and discourages transit ridership. Our current system not only makes the cost to ride too high, it cuts off access to entire municipalities."
Matthew Strzelcyzk, a student at York University, relies on three different transit networks to get to and from campus, despite living less than 15 kilometres away.
“I chose York in part because it made the most economic sense,” said Strzelcyzk. “I would rather commute than go into debt living in residence. I'm one of three children; my older sister is also studying at York University and my twin sister is special needs, so finances are spread thin.
“Last March, the Ford government cut the discounted double fare program, adding an additional $1.50 in transit expenses each way, bringing the cost of my commute to more than $18 each day. As a student who worked a minimum wage job prior to the pandemic, that $90-price tag per week was an additional shift I had to pick up."
Shelagh Pizey-Allen, Executive Director of TTC Riders, said she'd like to see the province chip in on a two-hour flat fare for Toronto transit users, so that people can use UPX, GO, and the TTC for a single fare.
“Investing in a program like a two-hour fare window will make it easier and more affordable for people to use transit," said Pizey-Allen. “It will get more riders back on public transit and bring fairness to transit users who live at the edges of Toronto in Scarborough, North York and Etobicoke."
QUEEN’S PARK — NDP MPP Jessica Bell (University—Rosedale) will present a motion Tuesday calling for a two-hour, flat fare across municipal GTHA transit systems, in collaboration with municipal transit agencies.