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It's certainly better than nothing but quite frankly not by much.

The reality is that there must be a full scale transit integration model between EVERY agency and that is becoming even more important with the expansion of GO. Frankly, the individual transit systems really should not be having these discussions with neighbouring cities. It should be done on a wholesale level and that means Metrolinx. The whole point of ML was to coordinate transit in the Toronto area and one of the fundamentals of doing this is creating fare integration and yet they have been MIA. They have done absolutely NOTHING about fare integration since the board was even formed.

ML was formed about 15 years ago and hasn't even come up with a proposal little alone had a discussion with QP or the cities effected about it. This is quite unlike the Toronto Board of Trade which has come up with a truly excellent proposal in less than 2 years.

Nobody seems to be putting ML on the hot seat for this complete incompetence and dereliction of one of their primary raison d'etre. The local media and even transit proponents seem to be giving ML a complete pass on any kind of real discussion and implementation of fare integration and only The Maker knows why.
 
But, every GTA transit agency outside of the TTC is already somewhat integrated, they all accept transfers from each other, and have cofares with GO. I've avoided routes on the TTC to pay less via Brampton and YRT.

From this perspective, it seems like TTC is the one holdout, especially since the GO and TTC cofare existed for a while and then ended.
Also the TTC contracted double-fare routes into Malton and York Region as an odder holdout.
 
From this perspective, it seems like TTC is the one holdout, especially since the GO and TTC cofare existed for a while and then ended.
The TTC is a holdout because it would be financially damaging for them to do so! Remember the GO/TTC cofare was subsidised.

The money has to come from somewhere. If a 905 to 416 journeys (including transfers) has a hypothetical flat fare of $3 let's say - you either have "905 Transit" getting all $3 and the TTC nothing, or 50/50 between the two agencies ($1.50 each). For both agencies that's a financial loss when compared to the previous "double pay" of $3 a journey to each agency. Given the size of the TTC compared to 905 agencies, that loss in income is very large.

Until you get comprehensive restructuring of the fare system, they'll only be tinkering around the edges.

(And comprehensive restructuring could lead to throwing out the baby with the bathwater - Toronto's flat fare system with direct easy transfers between modes is such a good system, and replacing it with fare by distance on GO/subways/flat fare on streetcars and buses could have some serious negative effects... You might even end up with long distance 905-416 journeys costing even more that they do today!)

That's why Metrolinx haven't put their head above the parapet - because "I want to make your Vaughan to Union subway journey twice as expensive because we're having fare by distance/fare zones" isn't a vote winner for governments of any stripe.
 
The TTC is a holdout because it would be financially damaging for them to do so! Remember the GO/TTC cofare was subsidised.

The money has to come from somewhere. If a 905 to 416 journeys (including transfers) has a hypothetical flat fare of $3 let's say - you either have "905 Transit" getting all $3 and the TTC nothing, or 50/50 between the two agencies ($1.50 each). For both agencies that's a financial loss when compared to the previous "double pay" of $3 a journey to each agency. Given the size of the TTC compared to 905 agencies, that loss in income is very large.

Until you get comprehensive restructuring of the fare system, they'll only be tinkering around the edges.

Yeah, this is the problem in a nutshell. And it's not just restructuring of the FARE system, it's restructuring of regional transit funding itself.

We have a regional transit agency, of course. But they're not an independent transit AUTHORITY, the way other big cities/regions have. If we had that, if they had their own money flowing in, instead of just being a vehicle for cabinet expenditures. I think this needs to happen, needed to happen a while ago, probably. But I also get that the finances simply don't work for TTC given how reliant they are on the farebox.

It's really not rocket science, indeed it's basically Grade 8 math. The problem can be solved but it's a solution that will have to involve a Provincial subsidy, at minimum and, more practically, the Province (via Metrolinx) fully dipping its toe into the waters of funding public transit operations. Without that, TTC will be a holdout - and with justification - and it will make for a worse experience for riders.

If the number of cross-border transit riders was static or dropping, you could shrug that off but it's hard to imagine that's the case based on:
-More population growth in 905 than 416;
-GO expansion and integration with TTC via SmartTrack; and
-Extension of TTC subway lines into York Region.

How much longer does anyone think they can sustain the status quo in the face of these obvious trends?
 
Yeah, this is the problem in a nutshell. And it's not just restructuring of the FARE system, it's restructuring of regional transit funding itself.

We have a regional transit agency, of course. But they're not an independent transit AUTHORITY, the way other big cities/regions have. If we had that, if they had their own money flowing in, instead of just being a vehicle for cabinet expenditures. I think this needs to happen, needed to happen a while ago, probably. But I also get that the finances simply don't work for TTC given how reliant they are on the farebox.

It's really not rocket science, indeed it's basically Grade 8 math. The problem can be solved but it's a solution that will have to involve a Provincial subsidy, at minimum and, more practically, the Province (via Metrolinx) fully dipping its toe into the waters of funding public transit operations. Without that, TTC will be a holdout - and with justification - and it will make for a worse experience for riders.

If the number of cross-border transit riders was static or dropping, you could shrug that off but it's hard to imagine that's the case based on:
-More population growth in 905 than 416;
-GO expansion and integration with TTC via SmartTrack; and
-Extension of TTC subway lines into York Region.

How much longer does anyone think they can sustain the status quo in the face of these obvious trends?
If I were a betting man, I would say that the next time we hear anything on fare integration will be the opening of Line 5 and the Bloor-Dundas West tunnel (I believe those will have similar completion dates). That is a point of time where GO-TTC integration will be a great ribbon-cutting event due to the very new and visible transfer points. If I was going to stage a roll-out of a plan, it would involve GO switching to zone-based from fare by distance, with a subsidized transfer to TTC services. GO can then comfortably roll in the other transit agencies they partner with to make Transit->GO->TTC trips easier. The next stage will come as the new TTC lines open up, with Young North triggering the YRT-TTC fare merger, and EWLRT triggering the MiWay-TTC fare merge. Suburb to suburb merging will also likely align with infrastructure, Brampton-MiWay with Hurontario LRT, Brampton-YRT with the Queen/Hwy 7 BRT. There will be a complex middle period with some edge-case confusing fares, but they'll be able to deal with the bulk of riders' needs. The first step will be GO switching to zoned fares which will set the zones for the other agencies to follow.
 
There is another option if the TTC refuses to take even a minor hit to it's finances. This would be to just RER becoming part of the subway system and most of it is already grade separated anyway. Essentially the Toronto subway goes from it's current 75 km to 300 km overnight.

What this would mean is that from Oshawa to Oakville or Brampton to Union to Stouffville, the fare would be just a standard TTC fare. People going from suburban Brampton/Miss/Markham etc would have to pay their local fare to get to a GO RER station but there would be no GO fare but just a TTC fare. Not fare integration per se but the plunge in fares for commuters by not having to pay for GO would still result in a dramatic decline in fares.

The TTC, due to a skyrocketing ridership would be able to keep all that money and hence would have to pay for all operational costs of the service BUT they could add that any participating city would be responsible for the actual maintenance and fare collection at any station within their own municipal boundary greatly reducing the TTC's operational costs.

Such a huge massive subway system would probably be a net financial gain for the TTC and yet result in drastically reduced prices for suburbanites.
 
There is another option if the TTC refuses to take even a minor hit to it's finances. This would be to just RER becoming part of the subway system and most of it is already grade separated anyway. Essentially the Toronto subway goes from it's current 75 km to 300 km overnight.

What this would mean is that from Oshawa to Oakville or Brampton to Union to Stouffville, the fare would be just a standard TTC fare. People going from suburban Brampton/Miss/Markham etc would have to pay their local fare to get to a GO RER station but there would be no GO fare but just a TTC fare. Not fare integration per se but the plunge in fares for commuters by not having to pay for GO would still result in a dramatic decline in fares.

The TTC, due to a skyrocketing ridership would be able to keep all that money and hence would have to pay for all operational costs of the service BUT they could add that any participating city would be responsible for the actual maintenance and fare collection at any station within their own municipal boundary greatly reducing the TTC's operational costs.

Such a huge massive subway system would probably be a net financial gain for the TTC and yet result in drastically reduced prices for suburbanites.
Metrolinx Report
On page 40 of the linked report, GO's cost-recovery-ratio is 65.3%. Skimming that section of the report, it seems that the TTC would lose money running GO.

People who want to cross Steeles or enter Mississauga using buses don't get fare integration. I don't oppose your proposal, but it feels like a dead end.
 
Metrolinx Report
On page 40 of the linked report, GO's cost-recovery-ratio is 65.3%. Skimming that section of the report, it seems that the TTC would lose money running GO.

People who want to cross Steeles or enter Mississauga using buses don't get fare integration. I don't oppose your proposal, but it feels like a dead end.
Obviously this idea is a massive step sideways, but its important to consider that fare integration with the TTC would likely mean a massive ridership boost as well, now that people have alternate (and faster) options to get around the city, so for instance if you live in Northern Scarborough, the Stouffville Line will now be a far more attractive option to get to downtown Toronto compared to taking the bus to the nearest subway station then taking the subway all the way down to downtown.
 
Obviously this idea is a massive step sideways, but its important to consider that fare integration with the TTC would likely mean a massive ridership boost as well, now that people have alternate (and faster) options to get around the city, so for instance if you live in Northern Scarborough, the Stouffville Line will now be a far more attractive option to get to downtown Toronto compared to taking the bus to the nearest subway station then taking the subway all the way down to downtown.
Same with East Scarborough. The Lakeshore Line would be a much more attractive option rather than riding the bus to Kennedy or Warden and taking the subway.
 
Yeah, on the one hand, fare integration is utterly necessary and inevitable, just like how electronic fare cards (no matter Presto's specific flaws) were something we had to be dragged into, kicking and screaming (pretty much literally!), a decade or two later than everyone else. Everyone can see it needs to happen but it can't be something that tanks the TTC. If/when it's done right, it will make things more seamless and efficient for riders and, yes, encourage more people to take transit in the first place.

I'm sure I've used this example before, probably in this thread but it's a microcosm of everything wrong with how we do things:
If you stand at the corner of Yonge and Steeles, waiting for a bus to get to Finch Station, you will see literally hundreds of buses an hour going to the same place. But if you are standing at a TTC stop between Steeles and Finch, a YRT/Viva bus cannot and will not pick you up. Even if 5 empty YRT buses pass you before a full TTC bus arrives, that's what you have to take. And even if that YRT bus did stop there, why would you pay a full YRT fare to travel a few blocks and then pay another full fare to get on the subway?

As a RIDER you should be able to get on the first bus that comes, no matter what colour it is, and pay the same fare, depending on where you are going. Our system does not allow you to do this. On purpose!
This applies to the GO examples above too where the system explicitly DIScourages the choice to take transit that, all things being equal, makes the most sense to you.

That's fundamental as far as I'm concerned and no private business would ever treat customers this way. Imagine a GAP cashier telling you, after standing in line, you actually have to go buy your items at a store closer to where you live. "You're not a City shopper, sir. You're a REGIONAL shopper." No - they take your money in exchange for goods and services, because why wouldn't they?

We simply have not adapted to the realities of how people travel these days. But we will, eventually.
 
There is another option if the TTC refuses to take even a minor hit to it's finances. This would be to just RER becoming part of the subway system and most of it is already grade separated anyway. Essentially the Toronto subway goes from it's current 75 km to 300 km overnight.

What this would mean is that from Oshawa to Oakville or Brampton to Union to Stouffville, the fare would be just a standard TTC fare. People going from suburban Brampton/Miss/Markham etc would have to pay their local fare to get to a GO RER station but there would be no GO fare but just a TTC fare. Not fare integration per se but the plunge in fares for commuters by not having to pay for GO would still result in a dramatic decline in fares.

The TTC, due to a skyrocketing ridership would be able to keep all that money and hence would have to pay for all operational costs of the service BUT they could add that any participating city would be responsible for the actual maintenance and fare collection at any station within their own municipal boundary greatly reducing the TTC's operational costs.

Such a huge massive subway system would probably be a net financial gain for the TTC and yet result in drastically reduced prices for suburbanites.
TTC isn't a decision maker here. They will live with whatever decision the province and cities/regions come up with. It's all nice that TTC doesn't want to take a hit to its finances. If the province says boo they will have to suck it up and deal with it.
 
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Shifting GO RER over to the TTC subway system would not be fare integration but rather the double fare outside Toronto city that commuters pay now except there would not longer be a GO fare. As an example, someone going from Brampton to UT would pay their standard Brampton transit fare to get to the RER station and would have to pay their full TTC fare as well just as they do now but because RER is now just a standard TTC subway station, the GO fare is gone.

This means that once you get to your subway station and pay your TTC fare, you can travel to any city {ie Ajax} one the same ticket. I think this would probably be a real financial gain for the TTC because as they greatly increase service levels combined with no GO fare, ridership would explode to easily over a million passengers a day probably within 5 years. and probably up to 2 million within 20 and the only extra thing the TTC is paying for is people to drive the trains as the individual cities would be responsible for maintenance and fare collection at the stations within their city.

It is certainly not ideal but I bet the TTC would jump at the chance and your average commuter gets vastly superior service with dramatically cheaper fares.
 
Again, the big elephant in the room is replacing flat fares with zones/fare by distance - as a flat fare across the entire GTHA would be financially unviable, as previously discussed.
A single 20km Underground ride from the suburbs of London will cost you £5.30 ($9ish Canadian) - whereas Vaughan to Union is still just $3.25. A great deal!
As others have said, if this is going to happen - big subsidies will be required, at least in the short term.

The TTC has such a high farebox recovery ratio - 67% in 2019 - that any loss in income would require massive subsidies from Toronto taxpayers. Again, politically unpalatable!
 
Shifting GO RER over to the TTC subway system would not be fare integration but rather the double fare outside Toronto city that commuters pay now except there would not longer be a GO fare. As an example, someone going from Brampton to UT would pay their standard Brampton transit fare to get to the RER station and would have to pay their full TTC fare as well just as they do now but because RER is now just a standard TTC subway station, the GO fare is gone.

This means that once you get to your subway station and pay your TTC fare, you can travel to any city {ie Ajax} one the same ticket. I think this would probably be a real financial gain for the TTC because as they greatly increase service levels combined with no GO fare, ridership would explode to easily over a million passengers a day probably within 5 years. and probably up to 2 million within 20 and the only extra thing the TTC is paying for is people to drive the trains as the individual cities would be responsible for maintenance and fare collection at the stations within their city.

It is certainly not ideal but I bet the TTC would jump at the chance and your average commuter gets vastly superior service with dramatically cheaper fares.
And again that's not a good sustainable solution. This doesn't solve any problem as much as it delays it by a few years.
 
I agree, it's certainly not ideal. The ideal solution is the one presented by the Board of Trade but now that it has been presented, Metrolinx probably won't go for it if for no other reason than they don't want to copy an idea that wasn't theirs.

That said, if the TTC flatly refuses to accept any scheme that would hurt their books then perhaps this is the only way to go.
 

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