Toronto Transit Commission fares
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Toronto Transit Commission fares can be paid with various fare media. The price of fares is set according to the age and/or occupation of riders; children 12 years of age or under can ride on the TTC free of fare.
Cash fares, tokens, and tickets are paid directly to the fare box located on all TTC buses, older streetcars and at staffed TTC subway station entrances. The TTC is in the process of deprecating traditional fare media in favour of the Presto card, a contactless smart card, which is now widely available at all subway station and TTC surface vehicles (buses and streetcars) entrances. Eventually, all legacy fare media (such as tokens) will be phased out, and Presto will be the only accepted form of payment in the system. Fares are priced per ride, not distance, although distance-based fares have been studied and proposed during the implementation of the Presto card.
- 1 Single-trip fares
- 2 Proof-of-payment and transfers
- 3 Connections with Metrolinx services
- 4 Fares
- 5 Passes
- 6 Inter-agency media
- 7 Procedures
- 8 Overnight service
- 9 History of zone fares
- 10 References
- 11 External links
A fare is good for one continuous trip on the TTC, including transfers between routes. The basic fare media are cash, tickets, and tokens. Passengers paying using these types of fare media are allowed one free transfer per trip, which must be obtained when the fare is paid. Transfers are proofs-of-payment and allow riders to switch between most routes without paying additional fares. For Presto card holders who pay single fares using their card balance, the transfer is automatically applied onto the card, from the time when a passenger taps their card on an electronic fare reader when entering the first vehicle or station (without the need for a paper transfer). As of August 26, 2018[update], the transfers on Presto are valid for two hours from the initial tap-on and allow people to board, disembark, and change their direction of travel repeatedly within this timeframe.
Fares paid by cash are the most expensive. Fares paid in tickets or tokens are slightly discounted from the cash fares.
The fare, and the purchase cost of non-cash media, is based on the rider's age or occupation.
The Adult group (aged 13 and up) pay the highest fares. The Student (aged 13 to 19) and Senior (aged 65 or older) groups pay a discounted fare. Students aged 16 to 19 and seniors must produce ID upon request.
The Child group (aged 12 and under) have been able to ride the system for free since 1 March 2015, when the fare group was eliminated as part of the 2015 TTC fare hike.
Tickets are available for seniors and students.
Adult tickets were issued until 29 September 2008, when they were withdrawn due to counterfeiting. Adult tickets were temporarily reissued between 23 November 2009 and 31 January 2010 to alleviate demand on tokens during a fare hike that also withdrew all older tickets and passes.
Tokens are sold only at adult fare prices but can be used by all riders.
All tokens have been the same diameter, slightly smaller than a dime.
The tokens used prior to 1954 were brass coins. In 1954, the year the city's first subway opened, these were replaced by lightweight aluminum tokens produced by the Royal Canadian Mint. The new tokens were simply designed with the word "SUBWAY" prominently displayed on both sides.
By 1966, a new brass token was introduced for single-token sales. The brass token used a more elaborate design displaying the TTC crest on the obverse and the TTC logo on the reverse.
New aluminum tokens were introduced in 1975 using the design of the 1966 brass tokens. The 1954 and 1975 tokens remained in circulation until February 2007, when the remaining 30 million were withdrawn due to increased counterfeiting.
The replacement for the 1954 and 1975 tokens was a bi-metal design phased-in starting in November 2006. It replaced the old tokens completely in February 2007.
The 2006 tokens were heavier and more resistant to counterfeiting. 20 million tokens were ordered in 2006. 20 million additional tokens were purchased from Osborne Coinage Company in 2008 for US$2 million; these tokens were used to replace Adult tickets then in circulation.
Counterfeits of the 2006 tokens were discovered in 2010. The counterfeits had the correct mass and dimensions, but had subtle typographic errors and lacked the expensive nickel used in real tokens for durability. The counterfeits did not work in automated turnstiles but could pass undetected by a human collector.
A premium fare is required for the Downtown Express routes; Metropass bearers are not exempted from the extra charge.
The TTC operates a few routes that cross municipal boundaries; a premium fare is charged when crossing the boundary. The amount charged is the equivalent of the normal fare of the transit agency serving the municipality.
Bearers of the GTA Weekly Pass are exempted from the premium fare if they are crossing into a municipality that recognizes the pass. Although Toronto Pearson International Airport is not within Toronto city limits (but is in Mississauga), TTC routes terminating at the airport are not subject to the extra charge.
Proof-of-payment and transfers
Proof-of-payment (POP) is required when travelling on-board streetcars and when customers are transferring from vehicle to vehicle, or vehicle to station in unpaid areas and vice versa. Paper transfers are an integral component of the TTC's fare system. A transfer is a POP receipt issued when a fare is paid, allowing riders to switch between most routes without paying additional fares and to show as POP to TTC fare inspectors or special constables while riding on board streetcars. On most TTC routes, passengers who have paid with cash, tickets or tokens can obtain a paper transfer which is only valid to complete a one-way continuous trip and is not valid for changes of direction or stopovers. Transfers for Presto card users are automatically applied to the card from the time of initial tap-on and, as of August 26, 2018[update], the transfer is valid for up to two hours, during which passengers can board, disembark, or change their direction of travel repeatedly without having to pay a fare each time they do so. Paper transfers are never required for passengers with TTC passes or Presto, both of which act as POP.
Three forms of paper transfers have been used on the TTC; one type for surface routes (buses and legacy streetcars), another for subway routes and one for the TTC's new Flexity Outlook streetcars.
On most surface routes (including all buses and older CLRV/ALRV streetcars), transfers are issued directly by vehicle operators. These transfers are pre-printed with the route and date, and torn off from a holder that with tears in certain locations on the bottom and the side, marking it with the time of issue and direction of travel.
Within stations, transfers are issued by machines near entry points into the fare-paid zone. The machines print the name of the station where it was issued, as well as the date and time, on standardized thermal paper. They were introduced in the mid-1990s, and are not valid on surface vehicles at the station.
The new Fare and Transfer Vending Machines (FTVMs), found on board Flexity streetcars, dispense transfers using thermal paper, similar to those used in the subway system. After a passenger pays their fare at the machine or taps a credit, debit or Presto card at that machine, it prints a proof-of-payment transfer that marks the date, time stop and route where issued.
Two-hour time-based transfers
St. Clair pilot 2005–2017
In 2005, the TTC introduced "time-based" transfers allowing additional free rides within a two-hour time limit from the start of the vehicle's journey, even if the passenger made a stopover or reversed direction. The experiment was linked to the temporary substitution of parts of the 512 St. Clair streetcar route by buses due to track reconstruction. Time-based transfers were only available on the St. Clair route; on other routes, they were accepted only at normal transfer points as indicated on the transfer itself. This time-based transfer was not available to load on a Presto card, meaning Presto users who wished to take advantage of this pilot project needed to board at the front door of the vehicle in order to obtain the special time-based transfer, though transfers to other routes could be completed by tapping their Presto card again.
This program came to an end when the new four-door Flexity Outlook streetcars entered service on the 512 St. Clair route on 3 September 2017, as drivers on the new streetcars are in a fully enclosed cab, which means the driver is not responsible for fare collection and is not able to provide paper transfers.
System-wide time-based transfers on Presto
On 13 and 16 November 2017 respectively, a Toronto transit advocacy group, TTCriders, along with Toronto mayor John Tory and two Toronto city councillors, made a request to the TTC to introduce system-wide two-hour time-based transfers on all TTC vehicles and routes (a system which is already in place on other local Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area transit agencies) across the TTC network for customers using Presto cards. The changeover to the two-hour transfer system on Presto officially took effect on August 26, 2018, following the TTC's board of directors approval on 28 November 2017. The TTC estimates that the program will add five million trips to the system, at a cost of $20.9 million annually, as this incentive will allow for multiple trips—such as the ability to re-enter vehicles or stations on any TTC route in any direction—on a single fare for up to two hours from the time of initial tap-in.
The new 2-hour time-based transfer is only available to Presto card holders. For customers paying with cash, tickets, or tokens, the existing rules for paper-based transfers still apply, where customers can only travel in one direction with no stopovers permitted.
POP on streetcars
Since 14 December 2015, all TTC streetcar lines (including streetcar replacement shuttle buses) have operated on a proof-of-payment (POP) system at all times, in which case fare payments are treated on a honour system and passengers must carry proof that they have paid the correct fares to show during random spot checks (which can take place on board a vehicle or at subway stations on POP-designated routes). Passengers with POP, such as a paper transfer, TTC pass or Presto card can board at any door of the vehicle. Presto users tap their card on a card reader upon boarding the vehicle to pay their fare, and their Presto card itself then serves as POP and can also be used to transfer to connecting vehicles and routes.
On older streetcars (including streetcar replacement shuttle buses), use of all-door boarding is at the driver's discretion, depending on the number of passengers boarding and weather conditions. (On the newer streetcars, the door opens either by the driver or when a passenger taps the red button).
For passengers without POP, the procedure for paying fares is as follows:
- Legacy high-floor CLRV/ALRV streetcars or shuttle buses
- Cash, tickets or tokens: Passengers boarding the older CLRV/ALRV streetcars (or streetcar replacement shuttle buses) must board using the front doors, pay at the farebox, and obtain a POP transfer receipt from the driver or operator.
- New low-floor Flexity streetcars
- Cash, tokens or credit/debit cards: Passengers boarding the newer Flexity streetcars can board using any door, pay their fare at one of the two grey fare and transfer vending machines (FTVMs) on-board the vehicle across from the double doors, and receive a POP transfer receipt.
- Tickets: Passengers can board at any door and insert their senior/student ticket into the red ticket validator machine on-board the vehicle across from the double doors which are beside the larger grey fare vending machines. The validator will stamp the date and time on the ticket, which then serves as a POP receipt (when transferring onto a legacy streetcar, bus or at an unpaid area of a subway station, insert the validated ticket into a farebox and obtain a paper POP transfer if needed).
Upon request, passengers must present POP. TTC staff such as fare inspectors or special constables who conduct random fare inspections also carry handheld Presto card machines to verify Presto card payments and check transaction history. A summons such as a fine can be issued if passengers fail to produce POP upon request, and even stiffer penalties such as criminal charges can be applied to repeat offenders.
History of POP
POP was introduced on the Queen streetcar lines in 1990 to make better use of the Articulated Light Rail Vehicles on the line. Prior to August 2014, the POP system was limited to the Queen routes because these routes do not enter a fare-paid terminal of subway stations, due to concerns of further fare evasion. POP is incompatible with the paperless transfer system used by the rail system. The POP system was extended to the 510 Spadina route on 31 August 2014 coinciding with the introduction on that day of new Flexity low-floor streetcars, this is because drivers/operators on these vehicles are in a closed cab and is not responsible for fare collection and does not normally issue paper POP transfers. The 504 King followed on 1 January 2015, and the 509 Harbourfront route also became POP on 29 March 2015 when the new Flexity streetcars were added on that line. Since the summer of 2015, route 511 Bathurst has operated occasionally on a POP system during special events, such as the 2015 Pan American Games and the Canadian National Exhibition, when the Flexity streetcars are used on that line.
The TTC announced during its 2015 TTC customer charter initiative on 23 January 2015 that it planned to extend POP to all remaining streetcar lines on 14 December 2015 with the introduction of the Presto card machines on all streetcar vehicles, and will eventually be expanded to the entire TTC network as well.
Connections with Metrolinx services
Double fare discount
Effective 7 January 2018, Presto card holders get a discount of $1.50 (or $0.55 for students, youths or seniors) when they transfer between TTC and Metrolinx (GO Transit or Union Pearson Express) The discount is available exclusively for Presto users who pay as they go with their card balance and is not available for customers who use cash, paper tickets, tokens, a physical Metropass, or a digital monthly Metropass on Presto.
TTC Times Two
Riders can use Metrolinx's GO Transit and Union Pearson Express (UPX) for an intermediate stage of their journey without having to pay a second TTC fare when they change back to the TTC, although there are few routes where this is useful; this policy is called "TTC Times Two".
Presto card users will need a paper transfer in this case, as the system does not support this kind of transfer yet. This can be obtained from the driver (on legacy TTC CLRV/ALRV streetcars and on all TTC buses) or from automated machines (on newer TTC Flexity streetcars and at all TTC subway stations).
|Single Fare Purchase||$3.25||$2.10||Free|
|Tokens or Tickets||3 tokens for $9.00||5 tickets for $10.25||Free|
These prices took effect on 22 April 2017:
|Fare Type||1 day||1 week||1 month||Metropass Discount Plan (MDP)|
*On weekends, valid for group: maximum of two adults over 19 and six people altogether.
Types of passes
A Day Pass, on a weekday, is valid for one person. On a weekend day or holiday, however, the same pass becomes a Family/Group Pass: this means that a single pass can be used, at no additional charge, by two adults traveling together or by one or two adults accompanied by people aged 19 or younger, with up to six people in the group. The pass can be bought in advance, to be marked with the date only when the owner is ready to use it.
A Weekly Pass is valid for seven days, starting on a Monday and ending on a Sunday. The pass is marked for a specific week and is sold only from the preceding Thursday to the Tuesday of that week. This pass is valid for one person at a time but can be used by different people at different times. Seniors and high-school students use the same pass, so it can be transferred from one type of user to the other.
The monthly pass is called a Metropass. It is valid for a specific calendar month and is sold from the 24th of the previous month until the fourth working day of its validity. Passengers can sign up for the Metropass Discount Plan (MDP), which is a 12 month commitment. Users receive the Metropass in the mail before the start of every month.
The Volume Incentive Pass (VIP) program allows organizations to purchase Adult Metropasses in bulk, which are then sold at a lower price than the MDP to commuters. The pass is transferable under the same rules as the Weekly Pass. The VIP program is no longer accepting applicants, as it is expected to be phased out by December 2018.
Full-time post-secondary students have a distinct Metropass, which can be transferred only to other full-time post-secondary students. Before September 2010, post-secondary institutions issued VIP Metropasses.
Day Passes are printed on card paper; Weekly Passes and monthly Metropasses have a magnetic strip to operate the automatic turnstiles or fare gates equipped with a magnetic strip reader, which can be found at all main entrances and some unmanned automated entrances to subway stations. On surface vehicles (buses and streetcars), the pass is simply shown to the driver or roaming fare inspectors.
A special pass available only to those attending conventions, trade shows, and similar meetings, is not sold to the general public. The TTC issues these passes for the applicable number of days and sells them to the convention operators.
Downtown Express fares
The TTC operates five rush-hour express bus routes serving downtown. In addition to the basic fare, the passenger must pay a supplement of one ticket or token, or its equivalent value. For example, an adult can pay with two tokens, or one token plus $3.25, or $6.50 in cash. TTC pass users (including Presto card users) and those transferring from ordinary routes pay only the supplement; for Metropass users there is also the option of buying a sticker (sold only at King, Osgoode, and St. Andrew subway stations) for $43.00 that covers use of the downtown express buses for the full month.
Express buses in other parts of the city charge regular fares.
The Seniors' pass was created in the 1980s (valid with government-issued photo ID or TTC Senior's Photo ID). It has since been expanded to cover use by high school students. The pass can be used by students aged 13–19. Students aged 16–19 must present a valid high school or government-issued photo ID when requested.
While the Senior/Student Metropass and other student fares were available only to high school students, a separate Post-Secondary Metropass became available to university and college students (likewise requiring TTC-issued photo ID), starting with the September 2010 pass.
In September 2005, the Weekly Pass was introduced. This is a type of Metropass valid for only one week and available with a discount rate similar to that of the Metropass for high school students and seniors. There is no post-secondary student version available.
History of passes
The TTC has always been cautious about the loss of revenue from selling passes to riders who would otherwise make the same trips and pay more. Passes have been introduced gradually and always been relatively expensive compared to some other transit systems: for example, in the fares adopted in 2014, an adult Metropass must be used for 50 trips in a month or else tickets or tokens would be cheaper. (However, since July 2006, a federal income tax credit has been available on monthly transit passes. For those able to buy a pass and wait for their federal transit tax credit, which is 15%, the threshold is reduced to 43 trips per month.)
The first pass regularly offered on the TTC was the "Sunday or Holiday Pass", introduced in 1973. It allowed group travel on Sundays and holidays, similar to the later Day Pass. However, because the TTC was always heavily used on the last day of the Canadian National Exhibition, the pass was not offered on Labour Day.
The TTC introduced the Metropass in 1980. At that time, there was only one price, based on the adult fare. The pass was not transferable and had to be used with TTC-issued photo ID cards (in about 2000 the TTC also began accepting Ontario driver's licences as ID). A lower-price Metropass for seniors was added in 1984, and for students in 1991 (originally at a slightly higher rate than seniors). The magnetic strip was added to the pass in 1990, allowing it to operate automatic turnstiles, even though this meant that the user's ID would then not normally be checked.
To combat fraud and sharing the pass amongst riders, a printable box was placed on the right-hand side of the card. To make the pass valid for the month, the commuter hand-printed the digits of either the commuter's Metropass Photo ID card, if the commuter had one, or the commuter's initials and abbreviated gender if the commuter used other ID. The holder of the pass was also required to show the commuter's Metropass Photo ID card or another piece of Government of Ontario-issued identification at the same time that the holder presented their pass.
In 1990, the Sunday or Holiday Pass was replaced by the Day Pass. It remained valid on Sundays and holidays (now also including Labour Day) for groups, but was extended to weekdays and Saturdays as a single-person pass. On weekdays, however, it was not valid until the end of the morning rush hour at 9:30 a.m.
From 1992 to 2009, free parking for Metropass users was provided at certain subway-station parking lots. Some lots were restricted to Metropass users.
In February 1993, the Metropass became the same size as a credit card and could be swiped at subway stations. The new design was a simple mono-coloured and two-shaded design, with the abbreviation of the month in a large font, and the year placed beneath it in the same font and colour. The background of the card's front had a shaded design so as to enable the holder to distinguish the text on the card.
At about the same time, the TTC introduced an Annual Metropass, good for a whole year. As a higher-cost option, the pass was available in transferable form: the first transferable pass on the TTC. Both versions were soon withdrawn and replaced by the 12-month discount plan for the regular monthly pass.
Around 1994, the TTC began announcing specific periods around Christmas, and sometimes other holidays, when the Day Pass would be accepted as a group pass on any day. Starting around 2002, they also offered transferable Weekly Passes during certain weeks.
From July 1996 to March 2004, the pass carried a faux gold-stamped version of the Toronto Transit Commission's seal.
In 2000, the design was altered to include the "Toronto Millennium" logo, celebrating the changeover to a new millennium.
In April 2004, the Metropass changed its design to a multi-colour vertical gradient, along with a different type of faux gold-imprinted "Metropass" logo (it uses the unique TTC font used in several subway stations). The colours and pattern of the gradient vary from month to month. In addition, the year was now printed in a bold font at the upper right, with the month imprinted in the same faux gold as the Metropass logo.
In 2005, with a political climate including the prospect of subsidies tied to ridership, the TTC became more willing to promote pass usage even at the loss of other fares. First, in March, they extended the Day Pass to be usable by groups on Saturdays. Then in September, the Metropass became transferable (with ID required only to prove eligibility for the senior or student fare), and at the same time, the transferable Weekly Pass was introduced. On the Metropass, the printable anti-fraud box was removed and replaced by wording suggesting the transfer of the pass to others when one was not using it.
Though the reverse side of the pass has always had the conditions of use printed on the reverse, it did not see much updating until the passes were made transferable in 2005, at which point a "No 'Pass Back'" rule was added: in essence, a rider who enters the system using a pass must not hand it to someone outside the fare-paid area, which would allow both to use it at once.
In February 2006, to reduce lineups at the collector booths, the TTC introduced vending machines (accepting payment by debit card only) at some subway stations for the Weekly Pass and the Metropass. In April 2006, the Day Pass became valid all day on weekdays.
On certain special occasions the TTC has offered passes with other periods of validity as appropriate. These have included the Papal Visits of 1984 and 2002.
The TTC redesigned its Metropasses to include custom holograms and a yellow "activation" sticker, beginning with the July 2009 Metropasses, due to widespread counterfeiting of the Metropasses between January and May 2009. In addition, removing the "activation" sticker reveals a thin film, which is used to prevent the reapplication of the sticker, and removing the film would leave a sticky residue, in which dirt and other particles can obscure the hologram. The thin film reads, "Do not remove," to prevent curious Metropass users from removing it.
The TTC offered the Metropass Hot Dealz [sic], in which a current Metropass user and three guests received an admission discount at various venues and events, such as Casa Loma, the CN Tower, the Hockey Hall of Fame, Ontario Place, the Ontario Science Centre, and the Toronto Zoo. These compete directly with CityPASS, as the Toronto version of CityPASS applies to some of the same attractions, except that CityPASS is marketed to tourists outside of Toronto, while the Metropass Hot Dealz is marketed to Torontonians. However, the TTC no longer offers the Metropass Hot Dealz since the start of 2015.
See also the Fares outside Toronto section below
This article needs to be updated.(March 2010)
GTA Weekly Pass
The GTA Weekly Pass is valid on the TTC, MiWay, York Region Transit, and Brampton Transit. It is good for unlimited travel for seven days starting on a Monday. It is sold at selected locations on starting the Thursday before the week of use, until Tuesday on the week of use.
GTA Weekly pass holders are not required to pay the additional fares when crossing the municipal boundary between areas served by the four participating agencies. However extra fares are required for certain "premium" and "express" routes.
Like the TTC's Weekly Passes and monthly Metropasses, it has a magnetic strip to operate TTC subway turnstiles equipped with a magnetic strip reader, which are located in all main entrances and some automatic subway station entrances.
The pass was introduced in 1994 based on a recommendation of the provincial government. The Ministry of Transportation (MTO) provided a subsidy at the onset, but this was withdrawn in 1998. Revenues from pass sales are split between the participating agencies.
The Presto card is a unified smartcard-based payment system for transit providers across the Greater Toronto, Hamilton and Ottawa areas (similar to the OPUS card used in Montreal, and the Octopus card used in Hong Kong). As of June 2018[update], Presto card readers on the TTC are widely available at the entrances of all subway stations and surface vehicles (buses and streetcars).
However, the Presto card cannot be used on contracted TTC bus routes operating outside of the City of Toronto including Mississauga and York Region (where Miway and YRT/Viva fares apply) as the Presto tap-on fare payment machines on these vehicles are not set up to collect regional fares, only TTC fares.
Twin Pass (1988–2002)
Fares on the provincially operated GO Transit are separate from TTC fares, for travel within and outside of Toronto. A "Twin Pass", which combined a Metropass with a monthly GO Transit ticket for a specific journey at a discount compared to their individual prices, was available from 1988 until 2002.
Tickets, tokens, and passes can be purchased at staffed collector booths, which are available at most TTC subway stations. Effective 17 December 2017, there are no collector booths selling traditional TTC fare media at Line 1 stations between Wilson and Vaughan Metropolitan Centre stations (inclusive), concurrent with the opening of the Toronto–York Spadina Subway Extension (TYSSE), which instead utilize roaming customer service agents (CSAs); however, customers can buy a Presto card and load funds or a digital monthly Metropass onto it via Presto's new automated vending machines at these stations. Eventually, collector booths at all remaining stations will close for good and the remaining collectors will be replaced by more CSAs. Fare media can also be purchased around Toronto at over 1200 TTC-authorized TTC vendors.
Presto cards can be purchased, loaded with funds or an unlimited monthly Metropass, from automated vending machines located in all TTC subway stations, while some stations also have automated vending machines that dispense physical Metropasses. Two ticket machines in Pearson Airport's Terminal 1 sell tokens and single-fare tickets using cash or credit cards.
On the TTC's new wheelchair accessible and air-conditioned low-floor Flexity Outlook streetcars, the Fare and Transfer Machines are located at the second and fourth modules of each car near the double doors. These machines dispense paper POP transfers when payment is made using tokens, coins, credit and debit cards.
At subway stations
All subway stations have at least one entrance equipped with a fare collector's booth where single-ride cash fares are paid using a farebox, and from which cardboard tickets and tokens are sold and can be used. They are also used to grant children under 12 years of age free access to the system. Stations with higher traffic volume often have an additional farebox placed beside a movable barrier, which can be opened and manned during busier periods, allowing more people to pass through at once and improving accessibility for the disabled. Tokens are sold in the collector's booth, and from automatic machines that accept $10 and $20 bills.
All stations also have automatic turnstiles or fare gates that operate without a fare collector. These are usually located adjacent to the fare collector's booth, although some located at secondary, unmanned automated entrances. These are operated only by Presto cards, or—at select subway station entrances (including all main entrances and some unstaffed automated entrances)—a physical pass such as a Metropass. Tokens which are sold at adult fare rates and tickets, which are used for paying student and senior fares, along with the day pass, do not open the automatic fare gates and cannot be used by children or other passengers who are entitled to free travel.
From 2016 to 2018, the TTC introduced new plexiglass paddle fare gates at all subway station entrances which automatically swing open when a passenger taps or swipes a Presto card or—at select subway station entrances (including all main entrances and some unstaffed automated entrances)—a physical pass such as a Metropass. Unlike the previous gates, such as the legacy tripod turnstiles used at main entrances and the floor-to-ceiling revolving turnstiles used at automated entrances, the new plexiglass paddle gates do not accept tokens. The new gates provide an unobstructed path into and out of the paid area of stations. The first of these new gates were installed at Main Street station in March 2016 and were added to all subway station entrances by June 2018, with Finch being the last station to have Presto fare gates and readers installed at all entrances.
On TTC buses and streetcars
On buses and older CLRV and ALRV streetcars, fares are deposited into a farebox near the operator. Tickets, tokens, TTC Metropasses and Presto cards are accepted but are not sold; passengers must buy them in advance at a station or an authorized TTC retailer. Single-ride fares must be paid with exact cash; change is not given. Passengers boarding streetcars with valid proof-of-payment (POP) may board at any door, including Presto card users, who tap their card on a reader located at each set of doors on the vehicles.
- Two Fare and Transfer Vending Machines (FTVMs) dispense a proof-of-payment receipt when a fare is paid with tokens, coins, credit card, or debit card. The machines are also able to produce pre-validated adult, student, and senior POP tickets. (FTVMs do not accept banknotes and they do not provide change.)
- Tickets for concessionary senior or student fares must be validated by inserting them into one of the two red TTC Ticket Validator machines beside the FTVMs.
- Presto card users tap their card when boarding the vehicle at one of six readers located at each of the four doorways.
The TTC's Blue Night Network charges the normal TTC fares. The overnight period is considered, for purposes of TTC passes, as part of the preceding traffic day: in effect, the date changes at 5:30 a.m. or the start of daytime service, not at midnight.
History of zone fares
From 1921 until 1953, one TTC fare was good for any distance within the City of Toronto. Where routes extended outside the city, extra fares were charged.
In 1954, Metropolitan Toronto ("Metro") was created, covering the whole present area of the City of Toronto. The TTC took on responsibility for transit within the entire area. A flat fare was not considered to be feasible for so large an area; so the TTC created the Central Zone, which roughly incorporated the City of Toronto, and set up a series of concentric semicircular rings around it as Suburban Zones 2–5, with an additional fare required for each one. Routes extending beyond the Metro limit continued to be separate radial routes, so the zones still had the effect of fare stages, but within Metro, it became possible to change buses within a suburban zone. This external link shows a route map of this period. The (roughly rectangular) Metro limit is not marked on the map, but Suburban Zone 2 extends to just reach this limit in the north and the southwest only; the Port Credit bus and part of the North Yonge bus were the only TTC routes then extending outside Metro into Zones 4 and 5.
In 1956, Suburban Zones 2 and 3 were combined as Zone 2 and the Central Zone became the new Zone 1.
During this early period, the outer zones within Metro were relatively undeveloped and bus routes in them were sparse; but as development increased, there was pressure for lower suburban fares, and in 1962 the outer boundary of Zone 2 was extended to all the way to the Metro limit. Higher fares, still on a zonal basis along each radial route, now applied only on the few routes running beyond Metro; in effect, the zone boundaries outside Zone 2 had changed from semicircles to rough rectangles. (Eventually, the beyond-Metro Zones 4 and 5 were combined into a new de facto Zone 2 and the fares coordinated with those of adjacent transit agencies; see below.)
In 1968, the Bloor–Danforth Subway was extended east and west through the boundary between Zones 1 and 2, but the subway remained part of Zone 1, due to the impracticality of a payment-on-exit system. On 21 January 1973, with construction already well advanced on a similar extension of the Yonge–University Subway, the TTC acceded to pressure to abolish the zone boundary, and all of Metro (now the unified City of Toronto) gained service at a single flat fare. (The new subway stations on both lines in what had been Zone 2 had not been designed for the change: their bus terminals were outside of the subway's fare-paid area. The layout of some stations allowed this to be easily corrected by relocating the fare barrier, but at other stations, this was unfeasible and they were not reconfigured until a later renovation, if at all.)
A situation similar to the former Zone 2 policy exists today on the Line 1 University–Spadina subway, which was extended to neighbouring Vaughan in York Region on 17 December 2017. The stations in Vaughan are treated as part of the TTC fare zone, with a second (York Region Transit) fare only being charged when transferring to YRT/Viva, and Züm routes at these stations. The double fare also applies to TTC-contracted bus routes continuing north of Steeles Avenue or west of Toronto Pearson International Airport, which are the equivalents of the former suburban zonal routes, where a YRT, Miway or Brampton Transit fare is required.
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