Updated March 28, 2020: The TTC has changed its policy for Wheel-Trans and now only accepts payment by Presto. See the March 27 update for Wheel-Trans.
The TTC implemented several changes to its fare policies and service in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Their focus is on protection of workers and passengers by physical distancing and eliminating most interaction between them.
Fares & Fare Collection
All bus passengers will board and leave via the rear door except for riders who require the access ramp at the front door. Operators will keep their protective barriers closed, and the fare boxes will not be available.
except for Wheel-Trans, the TTC will not accept cash, tokens or tickets and will not issue paper transfers. Only Presto will be accepted. Streetcar and subway riders can use fare machines.
The TTC asks that riders pay with Presto “where available”, but it is unclear whether riders without cards will ride free. The Star’s Ben Spurr quotes TTC spokesperson Stuart Green:
TTC spokesperson Stuart Green said riders who don’t have Presto will be asked to pay when they arrive at their destination if they’re headed to a subway station.
He declined to answer directly when asked whether riders who don’t have Presto and don’t pay will face a fine from transit officers, but said the “focus of fare inspectors right now is on customer service and education.”
Updated March 24 at 2:12 pm: An exchange on Twitter:
But how does one board a bus if cash is not being accepted?
@TTCHelps: You can just walk on. No one will stop you. We’d like you to pay your cash fare at a connecting station or streetcar if possible.
A well-known problem with Presto is that places where riders can obtain one and load money are much thinner on the ground that the old TTC ticket agent network, particularly in the suburbs where bus transportation dominates.
The deadline for cancelling the auto-renew on monthly or 12 month passes on Presto has been extended to 11:59 pm, Friday, March 27. The TTC will waive cancellation fees, although Presto might still issue an automated warning email.
Because weekday ridership has dropped by over 70 per cent, the TTC is reviewing its resource requirements. The following routes no longer operate, and their vehicles will be reallocated where needed.
- All 900-series express bus routes, except for the 900 Airport, 903 Kennedy-Scarborough Town Centre, and 927 Highway 27.
- All 140-series Downtown express routes.
- The 176 Mimico GO bus and 508 Lake Shore streetcars.
The 503 Kingston Road route had been cut back to a shuttle between Queen & Kingston Road and Bingham Loop at Victoria Park. The extra service it provides on Queen and King Streets is not needed. An obvious future change would be to run the evening/weekend configuration of the 22A Coxwell Bus during all hours. This sort of tweak will no doubt be repeated in other parts of the system.
Regular service will continue every 10 minutes or better on most of the affected routes, for now.
Vehicle arrival predictions will be out of whack until the online schedules are updated to match the revised services.
A full list of changes is on the TTC’s website.