Tran­sit break costs tax­pay­ers

24 Hours Toronto - - News - — ANTONELLA ARTUSO

On­tario tax­pay­ers will spend just over $18 mil­lion a year to sub­si­dize GTA tran­sit users.

In a perk that mostly ben­e­fits com­muters, On­tario is of­fer­ing half-price TTC fares for rid­ers trans­fer­ring to and from GO Tran­sit.

The catch is that rid­ers will need a PRESTO card to take ad­van­tage of the deal.

The On­tario gov­ern­ment has committed up to $7.15 mil­lion this year, and $18.4 mil­lion in the next two years, to com­pen­sate the tran­sit agen­cies for the de­creased fares, although the ac­tual cost could vary.

The gov­ern­ment does this for other lo­cal tran­sit ser­vices that pro­vide a dis­count in com­bi­na­tion with GO Tran­sit.

Premier Kath­leen Wynne, with Trans­porta­tion Min­is­ter Steven Del Duca and Mayor John Tory, of­fi­cially an­nounced the pol­icy in down­town Toronto on Fri­day.

If a rider is mov­ing to or from GO Tran­sit or the UnionPear­son Up Ex­press, the TTC fare will be only $1.50 for adults, se­niors or youth as of Jan­uary — the be­gin­ning of an elec­tion year for both pro­vin­cial and mu­nic­i­pal politi­cians.

Com­muters will be able to travel seam­lessly through­out the GTA and Hamil­ton re­gion, sav­ing about $720 a year, Wynne said.

Tory said this ini­tia­tive will make tran­sit “a lot more af­ford­able.”

“Hav­ing the city and the province work to­gether, hav­ing Metrolinx work with the TTC, that’s how we make progress,” Wynne said. “This is among other things a cel­e­bra­tion of that col­lab­o­ra­tion and a com­mit­ment to con­tinue to do that.”

POST­MEDIA NET­WORK/FILES

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