EDITORIAL: One Fare is a fair one for Humber students

Mar 21, 2024 | Editorial, OP-ED

Finally, residents in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) have some semblance of financial respite in the form of the Toronto Transit Commission’s (TTC) One Fare program.

Launched on Feb. 26, the program allows free transfer on TTC and GO transit services in and around Toronto.

At the launch of the program, Ontario Premier Doug Ford said it will eliminate double fares.

“One Fare will save transit riders an average of $1,600 each and every year. It will be a massive savings for transit riders,” Ford said.

From Brampton in the west to Oshawa in the east, the program serves to make commuting easy on the pockets of riders.

Between a TTC and GO transfer, only the TTC part of the trip will become free.

The second part of trips from a TTC service to local transit operators of Brampton Transit, Durham Region Transit, MiWay and York Region Transit will become free.

The transfers are valid for three hours on GO and two hours on local transit systems.

“It will provide people with more transit options and more convenience,” Ford said.

Many students at Humber who use these inter-region services are reaping the benefits of the program. This integrated system has helped them by cutting travel costs by up to a half.

The program has also provided better mobility to students. If there was a reluctance to travel in the GTHA before, the program offers relief by requiring them to pay only once.

Toronto ranks in the 100 most expensive cities to live in around the world. Students employed in part-time work making minimum wage do not think it’s enough to cover the cost of living in Toronto.

This program allows them to plan their finances better.

Among these students is Saiyam Shah, a student of graphic design at Humber. He lives in Etobicoke and works part-time at a Mark’s Work Warehouse store in Vaughan.

“I don’t have to tap repeatedly for different transit systems,” Shah said. “I don’t have the headache of remembering different fares and transfers. The One Fare initiative has improved my general transit experience by making public transportation more accessible and affordable.”

It is not the first time a subsidized transfer plan has been offered to riders. In January 2018, then-premier Kathleen Wynne and Mayor John Tory reduced the transfer fares between the TTC and GO services by $1.50, a year before the 43rd federal election.

The program was discontinued by Ford.

Ford launched the One Fare program in 2024, a year before the 44th federal election. The current provincial plan is to fund the program until 2026.

The loss incurred by the TTC on free transfers will be compensated for by the province.

It will be noteworthy to see if the One Fare program sustains itself, or will face the same fate as its predecessor.

Whether it’s boosted by a political motive or has the good of the public at its core, it’s nonetheless a win-win for riders.