Friday, January 16, 2015

TTC and GO Transit announce fare integration pilot project - Metropass holders to pay $60/month

Access to select GO trains will cost TTC passengers $60 a month with a valid Metropass.

The project begins February 1st. Metropass holders are identified by a sticker. The project will run on the Stouffville, LSE and LSW trains and is eligible to those boarding at Exhibition and Danforth GO stations.

Over at Blog.TO, it was pointed out many rush hour trains bypass Exhibition and Danforth, and in most cases, these morning and evening trains run at capacity. Yes, this is true, but there are trains that do service Danforth in the morning, and quite frequently, starting at 5:56 am and running from 6:36 am, 7:01 am, 7:16 am, 7:55 am and 8:27 am - all times where it's reasonable enough to get to work well before nine.

For Exhibition, there are trains that run almost every 30 minutes, beginning at 5:54 am all the way to 8:50 am.

We've discussed numerous times on this blog as a group how much we detest the thought of subsidizing TTC passengers with our fares, as high as $12 (with PRESTO) one-way for some. Yet, someone gets to ride for less than $4. True, the distance between Exhibition and Union is shorter than traveling from Oshawa, but TTC passengers feel it's unfair to pay $5.20 to travel by GO train in an effort to avoided a crowded streetcar.

The project will run for a year.


FRED said...

We all have to work together folks. I'm all for fare integration. The TTC already gives GO PRESTO cardholders a discounted fare so returning the favour is a no-brainer people!

C.J. Smith said...

^ What is the discounted TTC fare?

Bicky said...

Really? A discounted fare because I'm a GO user? No. It's a discounted PRESTO fare of $2.65 (or $2.70, I can't recall). Has nothing to do with the fact I'm coming from GO.

I loved when they used to have the Twin Pass for GO and TTC. There was a much great savings. Better incentive to use both.

Nowadays, if I had to take the subway as well as GO to get to work, I'd rather drive.

MATT said...

I currently take the TTC, but took GO for the better part of 15 years.

I can say unequivocally that I disagree with a fare integration. If TTC passengers don't want to "pay $5.20 to travel by GO", they should suck it up and ride that crowded street car. You get what you pay for, and $5.20 gets you a ride on the green limo, while $3 gets you a few square inches on the sardine express.

The TTC fare is $3 for a reason folks; unless GO passengers can also take the TTC at a steep discount, I'm failing to see why this is at all a good idea.

I find myself squashed into a subway at 5pm every night thinking that while I'd prefer to take the GO Train, it's simply not feasible because of station locations and my responsibilities to get to the babysitter on time, etc. that GO simply can't accommodate.

MATT said...

@FRED I'm with CJ...what's the discount? I'm unaware of such a program. There USED to be a co-fare discount about 10 years ago (I think it was called a Twin Pass or something) but the TTC phased it out in search of revenues.

April said...

Fred, TTC does not give a discount. GO riders pay the same fare that everyone else pays if they buy tickets or tokens. Unlike Durham and Mississauga transit, which offer a cofare (65 cents in Durham).

Hubby and I are moving back to Toronto. I might welcome this change once I am sitting on the other side of that boundary but right now as my fare is set to go up again it just makes me $320 a month worth of mad.

Harith said...

$2.60 I believe

FRED said...

TTC Metropass people will pay $1.50 one way. SWEET DEAL.

Dakota said...

How nice to start this as my GO fare is going up next month.

Shaun said...

Hmmm...can we review who subsidizes whom?

As Fred said, the cost/trip for the co-fare MetroPass holders will be $1.50 (presumably with the logic of 2 commuting trips/day on a 20 work day month=40 trips).

Since Exhibition is 3.6km from Union, and Danforth 9.0km (source: GoogleMaps, walking option), this works out to a cost of $0.417/km and $0.17/km respectively, AFTER having paid $133.75 for the Metropass. Let's compare that to Oshawa (since it was already mentioned). According to today's fares (I can't find the new ones), Oshawa -> Union for 40 trips/month divided by 40 =$7.83/trip for 51.2km=$0.153/km. I suspect that with the fare hike, Oshawa riders might be paying as much for riders boarding at Danforth.

Now April mentioned the co-fares "offered by" other GTA transit agencies (Peel, York, Durham etc.). The thing is that these are paid for by Metrolinx (source = Bruce McQuaig), so its really GO riders subsidizing GO riders. And yet GO will not do this for the TTC as a whole.

Then again, the co-fare payments help GO save on their biggest physical infrastructure expenses: its parking lots. Since the total # of subsidized...uh, I mean free...parking spots between Exhibition and Danforth is 0, whereas it is 2242 at Oshawa, the parking costs for riders of the latter station are subsidized by others on the system to the tune of 100%.

If we want we can get into a discussion about who subsidizes whom, the thing is that the GO transit riders who "pay the most" might not end up the winners of that debate:

Anonymous said...

How is it fair that the fare from Union to Exhibition (3.5km) costs $5.20, while the fare from Union to Oshawa (50km) costs $9.75? No one seemed to question that.

If you are a GO passenger, particularly if you live in the outer areas of the GTA, chances are that you are the one who's being subsidized.

Anonymous said...

Us peeps travelling from the 905 can either take GO or drive. That's our only option.

For inside the city limits, you can drive, take GO or take the TTC. See? Another option.

If Toronto peeps want to take the GO, pay for it like the rest of us.

Why don't GO peeps get a 65% discount to use the subway?

peter Vukosavljev said...

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Peter Vukosavljev

Anonymous said...

Can't wait for the even more over capacity cars while all those one stop people hog a seat and leave the rest of us standing

Nahid said...

For people in the 905, they do actually have a third option as well. The third option is to take local transit to a TTC transfer point and then take the TTC. So there's no argument that 905 people have less options than 416 people.

peter vukosavljev said...

Why pay to use go train from the ex when you take the 509 with a metropass

C.J. Smith said...

Hi Nahid
Using your logic, it would take me four DRT buses to get to a Pickering transfer point and then two TTC buses and then LRT and two subway transfers to get to work.

I did this once and only once and it took 4 hours and 25 minutes to get to Queen and Yonge.

But yes, that is a third option but there is no way in hell I would spend 8 hours a day but realistically I would have to leave at 4 am and there are no DRT buses running at that hour so technically the third option is no option for those looking to start any downtown TO job before 9 am.

Nahid said...

I was referring to the 905 in general, not just Oshawa/Courtice. Most people living in the 905 can get to downtown Toronto in under 2 hours using local transit. This is true for Brampton, Mississauga, Vaughan, Richmond Hill, Markham, and parts of Durham region. It's only when you're more than 40km out that it isn't practical to do this, and most people commuting into downtown Toronto aren't that far out.

C.J. Smith said...

Thanks Nahid for clarifying!

TomW said...

If you're a GO user form Danforth or Exhibition, then you now get a TTC Metropass for under $12!

(Max cost riding GO every day = $171.95; TTC metropass = $133.75, plus $60 sticker = $193.75.)

Anonymous said...

Good luck trying to get on the GO at Exhibition in the morning rush. It's overflowing at Longbranch already on most inbound trips. People from Longbranch are going to Port C to be able to get on.

Bicky said...

After my initial knee-jerk reaction to this announcement, I've now made the following conclusions...

1. This is a pilot project for one year. It may stay or it may go.

2. There may not be as many people take up this offer as we think there may be. Once they try it a time or two and realize the GO is just as crowded as the subway, they'll save their $60.

3. I'm still screwed and no longer able to get the 4:10 pm LSE which will become the 4:07, as of Feb. 2, so GO has added another 15 minutes to my commute home. That's annoying.