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TTC Ponders Fare Initiatives

Among new measures being considered by the TTC at its latest commission meeting (according to The Toronto Star), is a proposal to turn TTC transfers into de facto 90-minute transit passes. People riding on a TTC vehicle could get off, do a little shopping, and board the same bus or streetcar without paying an additional fare.

The TTC is also considering proposals to turn the Sunday and Holiday Pass into a Weekend Pass, removing the morning rush-hour restrictions to the Day Pass, and allowing people with proof of payment to board streetcars via their rear doors, thus speeding up service.

All of the measures are expected to increase ridership, but there are questions as to their cost. Adding POP service to St. Clair in particular could prove difficult as the current system on Queen suffers from fare cheats and enforcement is costly. At least with the Queen POP system, cheaters have to pay their fare eventually if they transfer to the subway at Osgoode or Queen stations; St. Clair streetcars enter the subway at St. Clair and St. Clair West stations and pass into a fare-paid zone, possibly giving cheaters access to the entire TTC network.

On the other hand, 90-minute unrestricted transfers have been successfully attempted on other networks, including Grand River Transit. The TTC may even save money by producing a simple system-wide transfer, rather than specific transfers for every route on the system.

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