Toronto Transit Commission fares
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Fares to use the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) transit system in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, can be paid with various media. The price of fares is set according to the age 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 exact cash fares and 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 will be phased out, and Presto will be the only accepted form of payment in the system; the monthly physical Metropass was discontinued on 31 December 2018 and was replaced by a digital monthly pass which can only be purchased and uploaded onto the Presto card. Fares are priced per ride, not distance, although distance-based fares have been studied and proposed during the implementation of the Presto card.
- 1 Fares
- 2 Proof-of-payment and transfers
- 3 Connections with Metrolinx services
- 4 Passes
- 5 Inter-agency media
- 6 Procedures
- 7 Overnight service
- 8 History of zone fares
- 9 References
- 10 External links
|Fare Type||Adult||Senior/Student/Youth||Child||Fair Pass|
|Single Fare Purchase||$3.25||$2.20||Free||—|
|Tokens or Tickets||3 tokens for $9.30||5 tickets for $10.75||Free||—|
Cash, ticket or token
A cash, ticket or token fare is good for one continuous trip on the TTC, including transfers between routes. 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. Fares paid by cash are the most expensive. Fares paid in tickets, tokens or using the Presto card are slightly discounted from the cash fares.
Since April 2018, those who qualify for the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) or Ontario Works because they have a disability or are low-income earners, respectively, are eligible for the Fair Pass program, in which they receive a Presto card and pay $2.00 per fare instead of the usual $3.00 for adults.
As of 26 August 2018[update], Presto card holders who pay single fares using their card balance are automatically entitled to a two-hour time-based transfer. After paying the initial fare (tapping on), an electronic transfer is automatically applied to the card from the time when a passenger taps the card on an electronic Presto fare reader when entering their first TTC vehicle or station. Presto-based transfers are valid for two hours from the initial tap-on and allows people enter and exit a TTC vehicle or subway station and change direction of travel repeatedly within this timeframe.
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 "Youth/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.
Concession tickets are available for seniors, youths, 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 purchased and 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.
While initially the TTC had said that tokens would no longer be available for purchase in August 2019, to encourage the use of Presto cards, the TTC confirmed in April 2019 that "[t]okens and tickets will be available for sale past August 3, 2019. The stop accepting date is still being reviewed, as is a new stop selling date."
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 can only be used to complete a one-way continuous trip and is not valid for stopovers. Transfers for Presto card users are automatically applied to the card from the time of initial tap-on and, as of 26 August 2018[update], the transfer is valid for up to two hours, during which passengers can enter and exit TTC vehicles or subway stations and change 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.
At subway 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 with coins or tokens, it prints a proof-of-payment transfer that marks the date, time, stop and route where issued. From January 2016 to December 2018, they also accepted payments by contactless credit/debit cards as well, but that functionality was removed due to reliability issues.
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
In November 2017, a Toronto transit advocacy group, TTCriders, along with Toronto mayor John Tory and two Toronto city councillors including TTC chair Josh Colle, made a request to the TTC to introduce system-wide two-hour time-based transfers across the entire TTC network (a system which is already in place on other local Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area transit agencies). The new system officially debuted on 26 August 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 unlimited travel – including the ability to enter and exit any TTC vehicles and stations, along with changing their direction of travel – within two hours from initial tap-on without having to pay another fare.
The two-hour time-based transfer is only available to Presto card holders who pay using single fares with stored balance and is not available to customers paying with cash, tickets, or tokens. The rules for paper-based transfers remain unchanged, with such transfers being valid for a continuous one-way trip with no stopovers or backtracking 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 proof of payment, such as a paper transfer 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, or to validate a pass or two-hour transfer loaded on the card, and the Presto card itself serves as proof of payment.
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 or tokens: Passengers boarding the newer Flexity streetcars with coins (no change provided) or tokens can board using the middle double doors, pay their fare at one of the two larger grey or red 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 the middle doors and insert their senior/student/youth ticket into the red ticket validator machine on-board the vehicle across from the double doors which are beside the larger grey or red fare vending machines. The validator will stamp the date and time on the ticket, which then serves as a POP receipt.
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
Since 7 January 2018, Presto card holders have had the option to receive a discount of $1.50 (or $0.55 for senior/student/youth customers) 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.
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".
|Passenger type||Day||Monthly (Presto only)||12-month (Presto only)||Monthly Fair Pass (Presto only)|
Types of passes
A day pass, on a weekday, is valid for one person. On weekends or holidays, 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.
As of 1 January 2019, the monthly pass is only available on the Presto card. 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. Until mid-2018, passengers were able to sign up for the Metropass Discount Plan (MDP), which was a 12-month commitment. Users received the Metropass in the mail before the start of every month. This program was initially expected to end as of 31 December 2018 as part of the transition to the Presto card, but due to rotating strikes by employees of Canada Post (the service provider that delivers the MDP passes) the program was discontinued earlier than anticipated on 31 October 2018 instead and MDP passes were not sent out for November or December 2018; it has since been replaced by a 12-month pass which is only available on Presto and can only be purchased online via the Presto's website.
The Volume Incentive Pass (VIP) program allowed 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 was cancelled and phased out on 31 December 2018.
Full-time post-secondary students have a distinct monthly pass, also available exclusively on Presto as of 1 January 2019, which can be transferred only to other full-time post-secondary students. Before September 2010, post-secondary institutions issued VIP Metropasses.
A Presto card equivalent of the adult and senior monthly Metropass was made available in June 2017; by the fourth quarter of 2018, youth, student, post-secondary, and 12-month discount versions were also available. All physical monthly Metropasses were discontinued on 31 December 2018.
TTC day and GTA weekly passes are paper passes which do not have digital Presto equivalents. These passes are simply shown to TTC employees – such as subway station attendants, bus/streetcar drivers, roaming fare inspectors or special constables – as proof-of-payment.
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; Presto card holders also have the option of buying a sticker, sold at most TTC subway stations, for $43.00 that covers the use of the downtown express buses for the full month.
Express buses in other parts of the city charge regular fares.
Senior/Student/Youth monthly pass
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; as of 1 January 2019, it is only available on the Presto card.
Post-secondary monthly pass
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. As of 1 January 2019, it is only available on the Presto card.
In September 2005, the TTC-only 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 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 subway station fare collector booths, the TTC introduced automated Metropass vending machines (accepting payment only by credit or debit cards) at some subway stations which dispensed weekly and monthly Metropasses. These have since been removed as of 2018 as part of the Presto card rollout. 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.
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.
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, such as the 52B and 52D Lawrence West buses that operate in the City of Mississauga and those operating in York Region (where Miway and/or YRT fares apply), as the Presto tap-on fare payment machines on these vehicles are only configured to collect TTC fares, not YRT or Miway ones.
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 day TTC passes can be purchased at staffed collector booths, which are available at most TTC subway stations. Effective 6 January 2019, there are no collector booth agents selling legacy TTC fare media at Line 1 stations between Lawrence West and Vaughan Metropolitan Centre stations, which instead utilize roaming customer service agents (CSAs). 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 TTC pass, from automated vending machines located in all TTC subway stations. 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 and coins.
At subway stations
All subway stations have at least one entrance equipped with either a fare collector's booth with a farebox or a floor-mounted farebox staffed by a customer service agent where fare payments with traditional fare media (cash, ticket, token and TTC passes) and Presto are accepted. At stations with CSAs, exact change for cash payment is required (as it is on buses and streetcars) and traditional fare media, while usable to enter the station, cannot be purchased. At stations with collector booths, tickets, tokens and TTC passes are sold and can be used for entry, and change can be provided for cash payments as well. These entrances are also used to grant children under the age of 12 free access to the system (for those not traveling with a Presto card). Stations with higher traffic volume often have an additional farebox placed beside a movable barrier, which can be opened and staffed during busier periods, allowing more people to pass through at once and improving accessibility for the disabled. Tokens and tickets are sold at the collector's booths at most TTC subway stations.
All stations also have automatic turnstiles or fare gates that operate without an attendant. These are usually located adjacent to the fare collector's booth, although some are located at secondary, unstaffed automated entrances. As of April 2019, these are operated only by Presto cards. Cash, tokens, tickets, day and GTA weekly passes do not operate the automatic fare gates.
From 2016 to 2018, the TTC introduced new plexiglass paddle-style fare gates at all subway station entrances, which replaced the old tripod turnstiles used at main entrances and floor-to-ceiling revolving turnstiles used at unstaffed automatic entrances. As of March 2019, these only accept Presto cards. 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 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 or coins. The machines are also able to produce pre-validated adult, student/youth, and senior POP tickets. (FTVMs do not accept banknotes and they do not provide change.)
- Tickets for concession senior/student/youth 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 on one of six readers located at each of the four doorways to pay for their fares, or to validate their pass or two-hour transfer already loaded on the card.
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 most of the City of Toronto's post-1998 city limits. 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 limits 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.
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 fare only being charged when transferring to York Region Transit/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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