Project Nayuki


TTC fare guide for tourists

Introduction

The Toronto Transit Commission is the primary public transit system in Toronto, Canada.[0] This guide describes the passenger fare structure assuming no prior knowledge, to help you save money and avoid getting into trouble.

On the whole, the TTC uses a gated fare paid zone system on buses and subways, but uses an open proof of payment system on streetcars. When in a POP zone, make sure you are always holding a valid transfer or transit pass in case of fare inspection. The TTC has one unified fare zone; the price is the same to travel one way between any two points within Toronto.[1]

The transfer is an important concept on the TTC: It is a slip of paper that shows when and where you paid your fare. (It does not say where you’re going or how long it’s valid for.) This is useful for certain situations like changing buses without paying another fare. On all streetcars, holding onto a transfer is critically important since it serves as your proof of payment. It never hurts to have a valid transfer, even in situations when you don’t strictly need one (except cluttering your pocket with paper).

Fare types

Official information – current fare prices: Toronto Transit Commission: Prices.

Cash
  • Bus: Pay into the operator’s farebox as you board the vehicle, change not provided. Recommended to ask the driver to issue you a transfer (say “transfer please”).

  • Streetcar: Pay into the operator’s farebox or automated fare machine as you board the vehicle, change not provided. You must get a transfer (say “transfer please”).

  • Subway: Pay into the farebox at a collector booth, change is provided. Recommended to walk up to a red transfer machine and press the button to issue you a transfer.

  • Cash is not accepted at (unmanned) automated subway entrances. If you encounter one, ask a bystander for directions or walk around until you find a manned entrance for this subway station.

Token
  • This is the preferred adult one-way fare.

  • Tokens are cheaper than the straight cash fare when bought in quantity (usually 5 or more).

  • Buy them at a subway station collector booth or token dispenser machine.

  • Can be used at automated subway entrances.

  • Whenever you pay a fare, it is recommended to get a transfer.

  • Tokens are valid essentially forever[2], even when fare prices increase.

Day Pass
  • Unlimited travel for one day for one person.

  • But on weekends and holidays, an additional adult plus 4 youths aged 19 or under can travel on the same pass.

  • The cost of a Day Pass is slightly more than 4 adult one-way fares.

  • The pass itself is proof of payment on streetcars.

  • Transfer not necessary.[3]

  • Cannot be used at automated subway entrances.

Child
  • In the past the child fare was tickets, but the current policy (starting 2015-03-01) is that children who have not yet turned 13 years old can ride the TTC for free.

Ticket
  • Tickets are discounted fares for students and seniors, but not adults.

  • Buy them at a subway station collector booth. Sold in multiples of 5.

  • Use them only at the driver’s farebox or manned subway farebox collector, no automated entrances.

  • Whenever you pay a fare, it is recommended to get a transfer.

  • Proof of age required for seniors; students require a TTC-issued student ID card.

  • Tickets expire when a new series is issued upon a fare increase; there is a few months’ notice, and old tickets can be refunded for a limited time.

Metropass, Weekly Pass
  • The Metropass is the monthly pass for commuters.

  • Unlimited travel for the card holder during the stated period.

  • Can be used at automated subway entrances.

  • The pass itself is proof of payment on streetcars.

  • Transfer not necessary.[3]

  • The passenger must hold the card while travelling, but can give it to another person after exiting the TTC system.

PRESTO
  • PRESTO is Metrolinx’s contactless transit fare card. (This section is mainly not about the TTC.)

  • Usable only at some TTC subway stations, and on some streetcars and buses.

  • Whenever you pay a fare, it is recommended to get a transfer.

  • Can be bought at a few TTC stations and certain locations in the Greater Toronto Area.

  • The Union Pearson Express line (non-TTC) is significantly cheaper on PRESTO than on cash fare.

  • Presto is mainly useful outside of Toronto, such as on GO Transit, Viva, etc.

Transferring between vehicles

Warnings:

Picture examples of transfer papers:

Transfer issued at subway station, front side

Transfer issued at subway station, back side

Transfer issued on streetcar, front side

Transfer issued on streetcar, back side

Official information: Toronto Transit Commission: Transfers.

About proof of payment

Official information: Toronto Transit Commission: Proof of Payment, YouTube: Proof-of-Payment on the TTC.

Notes

More info