Toronto Transit

Two-hour transfers are finally coming to the TTC


At its board meeting on July 10, the Toronto Transit Commission finally approved two hour transfers for passengers paying by Presto. This is great news that has been a long time coming.

The TTC expects that the new policy will cost $21 million a year by 2020, but it will also boost ridership by 5 million passengers. The new two-hour transfer policy will allow a passenger using a Presto card to board any vehicle or enter any subway station within two hours of the first tap without paying a second fare. This will allow anyone to make a short return trip on one fare, or make a stopover before transferring to another route. Customers of most suburban transit systems such as MiWay, Brampton Transit, and YRT have enjoyed the same privileges for over a decade.

The policy takes effect Sunday, August 26.

I’ve argued here before why two-hour transfers are necessary. If a passenger taps onto another vehicle on the same route, a common occurrence due to delays, short-turns, and diversions/shuttles, the Presto Card will deduct a second fare. That has happened to me several times, even when making a valid transfer between a bus and Union subway station. It’s often confusing when the TTC tells its passengers to take a paper transfer when a diversion takes place, or tells its customers not to tap again on a bus or streetcar when they’re short-turned. The new policy finally fixes those errors for good.

However, the transfer policy does not apply to customers paying by cash, tickets, or tokens, so the old archaic paper transfer rules will still apply to many TTC customers.

The TTC is slowly phasing out paper media and passes, but still has yet to implement daily, weekly or monthly caps that will effectively replace day, weekly and Metropasses. There will also need to be a paper Presto card equivalent developed for occasional and one-time customers, such as tourists or anyone who doesn’t want to pay the $6 fee for a plastic card. Hopefully the details of how these will be implemented will be decided and communicated in the near future.

Election Politics Toronto

Mapping the 2018 candidates for Toronto’s 47 wards (Updated)


September 10, 2018
This morning, the Ontario Superior Court ruled against Bill 5, finding that the bill  “substantially interfered with the municipal candidate’s freedom of expression that is guaranteed under [Section 2(b) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.]”

Barring a successful provincial appeal (or invoking Section 33 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, also known as the Notwithstanding Clause), this is once again the map of council candidates for the October 22 election.

September 12, 2018
Oh, never mind. We’re back to the 25 wards because its not as if Doug Ford has anything better to do than override a judicial finding with the Notwithstanding Clause and re-introducing the vindictive legislation. And we may not even get to vote in advance polls.

Once the new law is passed, there will be two days for council candidates to sign up to run in the 25 wards.

August 15, 2018

Bill 5, the so-called “Better Local Government Act,” passed third reading on August 13, 2018, and was given royal assent on Tuesday August 14, despite vigourous opposition from the New Democratic Party. Bill 5 passed without any public consultation that usually takes place with any government legislation, as the Progressive Conservatives used procedural tactics to push through the bill as quickly as possible.

(A new map of the 25 wards can be found here.)

This means that legally, the City of Toronto must follow the province’s edict and elect only twenty-five councillors, with wards based on the current provincial riding boundaries. Scarborough Councillor Glenn De Baremaeker has already announced that he will no longer seek re-election.

I have no intentions of removing the map below, but I will be creating a new 25-ward map and populating it once nominations re-open. I suspect that many council candidates will not re-register, and that there will be many more incumbents facing off against each other.

There’s a faint hope that a legal injunction could suspend Bill 5. Council candidate and lawyer Rocco Achampong is seeking one, the courts will hear arguments by the end of the month.