City considering new poverty reduction plan that would expand discounted transit fare

Nov 7 2019, 10:12 am

Toronto city council is set to consider an updated poverty reduction strategy at its upcoming meeting, and if approved, residents with lower incomes would benefit from an expanded TTC discount program.

The strategy, which was first approved by council in 2015, sets an “ambitious” 20-year plan (2015-2035) that mitigates the effects of poverty and reduces its incidence among Toronto residents, using various tools and resources available to local government.

As part of the strategy, every four years, council must present an updated action plan and the 2019-2022 plan that needs to be considered, presents a number of initiatives and activities, including reduced waiting lists for recreation programs in low-income neighbourhoods, extended library hours, and the expanded TTC discount program.

A flagship initiative of the city’s poverty reduction strategy is the Transit Fare Equity Program, which provides lower-income residents with increased fair access to transit by leveraging PRESTO technology to provide a TTC fare discount.

According to the report, a discount of 33% is provided on the price of an adult single-ride and a 21% discount is provided on the price of an adult monthly pass.

The new four-year plan recommends expanding eligibility for the TTC’s Fair Pass to residents who are below an income threshold that is 15% above the federal government’s low-income cut-off. If approved, this would come into effect in 2021.

The report will be considered at the upcoming executive meeting on November 14 and will be considered by council on November 26.