Fair Pass Program Approved by Council
On December 14, 2016, City Council adopted the Fair Pass Program, a major step in making public transit more affordable to low-income Torontonians.
The program will be implemented in three phases beginning in March 2018 (subject to approval by Council as part of the 2018 Operating Budget) which is when Metrolinx anticipates that PRESTO will be fully implemented on all TTC vehicles and at all station entry points and will have the software capabilities to program discounts on selected cards.
Phase 1 – starting in March 2018 – includes Ontario Disability Support Program and Ontario Works clients not in receipt of transportation supports.
Phase 2 – starting in March 2019 – extends eligibility to residents receiving housing supports or child-care fee subsidies whose household income fall under the Low-Income Measure +15% eligibility threshold.
Phase 3 – starting in March 2020 – extends eligibility to all other Toronto residents living with an income below the Low Income Measure +15% eligibility threshold
The discount under Fair Pass for those eligible is:
- 33 per cent for the adult single TTC Presto fare; and,
- 21 per cent for the adult monthly pass.
The full staff report with more details about the approved program is available here.
Updates on the implementation of this program will be available on this page.
On June 17, 2014, Executive Committee approved Toward a Policy Framework for Toronto Transit Fare Equity, directing City staff to develop a policy framework for transit fare equity in Toronto. The report demonstrated that equitable access to public transit has two core dimensions: service availability and service affordability. Therefore, as the City advances transit expansion plans to improve availability, it should also develop a strategy to increase affordability.
Echoing this analysis, TO Prosperity: Toronto Poverty Reduction Strategy, approved by City Council on November 3, 2015, included two recommendations for transit equity: "Make transit more affordable for low-income residents." and "Improve transit services in the inner suburbs."
The year-long community engagement process that informed the Toronto Poverty Reduction Strategy placed a lot of emphasis on transit equity as one of the five themes discussed at 11 public meetings, 117 community-led conversations and two online questionnaires.
As TO Prosperity was developed, City staff heard from hundreds of residents how unaffordable public transit limits their access to employment, public services, and a range of health-enhancing activities, such as recreation.
Building on the knowledge generated in this engagement process, and on research of best practices, City staff designed a survey targeted at low-income residents likely to benefit from a fare-geared-to-income program.
Community animators with lived experience of poverty carried out the survey in various locations across the city.
The survey was also available online in English, French, Chinese (Mandarin), Chinese (Traditional), Italian, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Tamil (Sri Lankan), Tagalog, and Urdu.
A total of 4,503 residents participated in the survey. The responses to the survey assisted City staff as they developed the Fair Pass Program. The complete results of the survey can be found here.