Among various goodies offered to Ontarians in Premier Kathleen Wynne’s 2019 budget is a plan to lower the cost of taking public transit for residents of the Greater Toronto Area and Hamilton region. How will this plan benefit Mississaugans?
Assuming the return of the Liberal government come this June, here are the main perks coming down the pike for Saugans:
- Beginning in early 2019, the province is reducing the cost of GO Transit trips to just $3 for PRESTO users who are travelling under 10 kilometres anywhere on the GO network.
- PRESTO card users travelling on GO Transit between Union Station and stations near Toronto, such as Port Credit, Malton, Pickering, Ajax or Markham will see fare reductions.
- Adult fares for GO Transit trips between approximately 10 km and 20 km will also be reduced, and will vary between $3 to $6, depending on the specific route.
The province also promises to provide fare integration discounts of up to $1.50 per ride for those travelling between the York, Durham, Brampton and Mississauga transit networks and TTC. It estimates that this will save regular commuters up to $720 per year.
In case you’ve been a car commuter and have no idea what exactly “PRESTO”, it is an electronic, reloadable fare card that allows customers to use a single fare payment method across several systems. You can purchase it via the PRESTO website, any GO Train Station in Mississauga, MiWay Tickets & Passes Booth at the City Centre Transit Terminal, among other locations. And starting in June, Mississaugans will be able to buy or top up their cards various at Shoppers Drug Mart locations.
With these transit fare reductions promised in the budget for GTAH, the Ontario government is hoping to make travel on the GO network more affordable and therefore more attractive to commuters.
The stated goal is to reduce transit cost to commuters, increase public transit use, ease overcrowding on subways and buses by offering transit users more options, and ultimately, reduce traffic congestion and carbon dioxide emissions on GTAH highways and byways.