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Starts February 26 of the single fare for GO and the CTT

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GO commuter train users will no longer have to pay new to the subway once in Toronto. (Archive photo)

Radio-Canada

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GO train riders will be able to use the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) network, including the subway, and vice versa, without having to pay a second times starting February 26.

The province will compensate Toronto for this loss of revenue until 2026.

This single fare initiative, also in effect for the public transit systems of Brampton and Mississauga, among others, will cost the Doug Ford government $67 million.

Premier Ford praises this relief, which is a complete game-changer for users, he says. They will only pay once, he notes. A rider who takes the GO train and another local network five times a week will save an average of $1,600 a year, according to the province.

Mr. Ford also cites the example of a Toronto senior who would take the streetcar to Union Station and then board a GO train to Pickering to visit relatives . He will only pay the GO fare for his trip.

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The government estimates that the measure will lead to 8 million more trips by public transit each year.

For now, the province guarantees funding only until 2026, but Transport Minister Prabmeet Sarkaria says he is hopeful the initiative will be extended.

For her part, Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow called the announcement a “blessing.” She says it opens up possibilities even for Torontonians, who would like to take the GO train from Etobicoke to Union Station or from downtown to Scarborough, for example, and complete their trip by subway or bus, without having to to pay a second time.

We've been talking about it for two decades, she says.

Liberal transportation critic MP Andrea Hazell says she will monitor the initiative closely to ensure the province absorbs all of the costs. revenue lost by the CTT.

This announcement does not change one shocking thing: the CTT and other municipal transportation agencies are underfunded and at risk of having to raise their prices or cut their services, in the midst of an affordability crisis, she said in a press release.

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