What Would Fare By Distance Mean For Toronto? (Updated)

The Metrolinx Regional Fare Integration Study studiously avoids one of the most important questions any new fare scheme must face: what is the effect for various types of riders?

As a starting point in examining what might happen, this article looks at some of the basics of travel patterns and fares to see what various Metrolinx schemes might imply. Note that this is not a definitive, accurate-to-the-nth-degree exercise, but a general discussion. The detailed work should already have been done by Metrolinx, but if it has, they are not publishing the results.

My apologies to readers in advance as this is an article more technical than political. Some of the calculations are unapologetically “back of the envelope”, and are intended as estimates, illustrations, not definitive results.

Updated Feb. 14, 2016 at 2:00pm: Comparative information about GO Transit fares has been added at the end of the article.

Updated Feb. 14, 2016 at 4:45pm: A further observation on the relatively low fare by distance paid by GO riders has been added at the end.

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