GO Transit riders from Pickering to Oshawa to pay less for transit under new co-fare agreement

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Published March 1, 2022 at 4:21 pm

Public transit users in Durham Region and across the golden horseshoe will pay less to ride the buses under a new agreement between GO Transit and municipal bus services announced today (March 1) in Mississauga.

Starting March 14, local transit – including Durham Region Transit (DRT), MiWay, Brampton Transit, Oakville Transit and others – will be free for riders connecting to and from GO Transit under the new co-fare agreement.

In Ajax, for example, an adult who commutes back and forth using the DRT and GO Transit five days a week could save $1,100 a year.

If your local transit agency uses PRESTO, the discount will be applied automatically when you tap between GO Transit and local transit.  If your local transit agency does not use PRESTO, you can show your PRESTO card as proof of a valid GO Transit fare on local transit.

DRT, Brampton Transit, Burlington Transit, Oakville Transit, and York Region Transit also accept a valid GO single-ride paper ticket or day pass ticket as proof of GO fare payment.

Additionally, PRESTO card discounts for youth and post-secondary students will increase to 40 per cent off the full adult fare, nearly double the current discount, also starting March 14.

That discount applies to GO Transit and UP Express (Union Station to Pearson Airport) riders ages 13 to 19 or anyone enrolled in full-time post-secondary education.

Children under 12 continue to ride GO Transit free of charge.

Stan Cho, Ontario’s associate transportation minister, said at a press conference that running an effective public transit system is about more than just laying down tracks.

“Affordability and cost of living concerns are very much on the minds of families throughout Ontario, and that is why our government is taking action to make riding transit cheaper,” said Cho, who was joined by Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie and others for the announcement. “As we cut costs for drivers, including by eliminating licence sticker renewal fees and removing tolls on Highways. 412 and 418, we’re also slashing fares to keep more money in the pockets of families and young people when they need it most and making it easier to get from point A to B.”

Crombie described the announcement, which also included details of a pilot project for low-income transit riders, as significant, adding the deal will help transit providers – who have suffered huge financial losses because of dramatic reductions in ridership in the past two years – recoup some of their losses.

“Any efforts that encourage more people to get on public transit will undoubtedly help us in our recovery,” she said.

GO Transit is also introducing an Affordability Pilot for low-income riders, starting with Mississauga and Brampton residents who are enrolled in Peel’s Affordable Transit Program.

Starting March 14, riders with an Affordable Transit Program fare type will be reimbursed for 50 per cent of the PRESTO adult fare when travelling on GO Transit using a PRESTO card.

The pilot will be rolled out to other transit systems in a phased approach.

“These initiatives show fantastic progress on our efforts to build a seamless transit experience and connect people to and from GO Transit across the Greater Golden Horseshoe, all while making transit more affordable,” said Phil Verster, the President and CEO of Metrolinx. “This is made possible through effective collaboration with partners across the network, enabling us to work together to best meet the needs of customers.”

The GO Transit co-fare discounts apply to the following agencies: Durham Region Transit, Milton Transit, Grand River Transit, Guelph Transit, Oakville Transit, MiWay, Brampton Transit, Hamilton Street Railway, Burlington Transit, Bradford West Gwillimbury Transit, York Region Transit and Barrie Transit.

With files from Declan Finucane

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