Some GO Transit Fares Set to Climb in Halton

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If you regularly use GO Transit to get around Halton and the GTHA area, you should note that some fares will be increasing, while others will be decreasing.

On April 10, Metrolinx’s board of directors approved a range of fare changes, including a reduction of GO fares for short-distance trips by $1 when using PRESTO - a reduction of 21 per cent.

The changes, set to go into effect on April 20, also include a modest increase on fares for longer-distance GO trips.

So, what trips qualify as short distance?

Metrolinx says trips up to 10 kilometres will cost $3.70 for customers who pay with PRESTO instead of the current lowest PRESTO fare of $4.71. Those who pay with single-fare paper tickets will see their fares lowered to $4.40 versus the current lowest ticket fare of $5.30.

Fares for some other GO trips under 20 kilometres will also be lowered.

You can see a chart with the fare changes below:

While the decreases will likely please riders who don’t ride GO Transit for longer stretches, those who do ride for longer can expect fare increases

Since 92 per cent of GO trips are made using PRESTO, the higher increase on ticket prices for longer trips affects a small portion of trips (eight per cent) taken by customers who have not yet switched to PRESTO,” Metrolinx said in a statement.

This means most customers will experience a modest increase in the price of a trip. For example, if you use PRESTO to pay for a journey from Union Station to Barrie South GO Station, the cost of your trip will increase by $0.42.”

Metrolinx says that up to five per cent of the 10 per cent increase on ticket prices is to offset the reduction of fares for short-distance trips, which is expected to attract two million new trips annually.

As for why the changes are being made, Metrolinx says that riders who travel shorter distances on GO Transit typically pay a higher price per kilometre than if they travel longer distances. It says these changes help to address that.

Currently, it costs PRESTO users $0.49/km to travel between Union Station and Mimico GO Station, while a trip between Union Station and Kitchener GO costs only $0.15/km. After April 20, 2019, a trip between Union Station and Mimico GO Station will cost PRESTO users $0.37/km.

Metrolinx says the last fare increase was in September 2017, and these changes are needed to help offset the costs of inflation since then.

“Since the last increase, we’ve grown services by 25 per cent, and we’re working hard to bring you even more—and better—services in the future,” the company said in a statement.

The company says the increases are not being implemented the off-set Metrolinx’s new initiative that lets children ride for free.

Metrolinx also says that fares on the Union Pearson Express remain unchanged.

As far as special fares go, Metrolinx says that when using PRESTO, seniors will only pay $1.97 and students will pay $3.40 for short-distance GO trips. Tickets will cost seniors $2.20. The student concession for GO travel is only available when using PRESTO.

Customers will be able to calculate their new fare on the GO website as of April 20.

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