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Zoned fares not in TTC plans

Sep 24, 2009 04:30 AM
Tess Kalinowski

With talk of a TTC price hike in the air, some critics wonder why the commission isn’t talking about a zoned-fare system that would charge more to riders who travel greater distances.

GO Transit already uses such a system and the coming Presto “smart card” would make it possible to implement the system on the TTC.

But zoned fares aren’t coming to Toronto any time soon, say TTC officials.

Zoned systems are generally designed to be revenue-neutral, according to commission chair Adam Giambrone.

So short-hop customers, including many downtowners, would pay less, and people from the suburbs would pick up a greater share of revenue.

That would probably prompt more suburbanites to drive right past the bus stop, Giambrone says, which is counter to the city’s vision of putting more people on public transit.

In the end, most of the riders would still be coming from a single downtown zone because that’s where the bulk of TTC customers use the system, he said.

Toronto’s fare system is also designed so that riders can transfer between the subway, bus and streetcar under one fare. Revising that would be complex and expensive.