TTC’s flat fare policy an outlier among world’s top transit agencies: study

The TTC’s flat fare policy is outdated when compared to leading transit agencies from around the world, according to a new analysis by the Consumer Policy Institute.

The TTC’s flat fare policy is outdated when compared to leading transit agencies from around the world, according to a new analysis by the Consumer Policy Institute.

The study looked at 20 other transit agencies in many of the world’s largest cities and found that 75% of them use a distance-based fare model.

Distance-based fares are just one option offered to many transit customers, the study found. Customers are also offered off-peak discounts or, in one case, a free-ride to the downtown core if they travel outside of the morning rush. Some agencies offer customers cheaper “short-distance” fares that allow travel for a few stops.

A number of agencies use a combination of distance and peak and off-peak fares, the study found.

“Transit agencies around the world are using a number of innovative approaches when it comes to fares for their customers,” says Brady Yauch, an economist and Executive Director of Consumer Policy Institute. “A new fare structure could benefit TTC customers by offering them more choice and making fares more equitable.”

The study also found that cities with distance-based and off-peak fares attract a greater percentage of commuters to public transit, while increasing the market share of commuters using transit compared to driving.

“Breaking the flat fare model allows the TTC to use a number of different types of fares to attract different types of customers,” Yauch says. “That can make for a better transit experience and induce more customers to ride the TTC.”

The study offers three recommendations:

  • Move the TTC to a distance-based fare model.
  • Use peak and off-peak fares to ease congestion during the morning and afternoon commutes.
  • Study how system expansions can be financed through charging those customers benefiting most from that expansion.

DOWNLOAD THE FULL STUDY

For inquiries, please contact: 

Brady Yauch
Executive Director and Economist of Consumer Policy Institute
(416) 964-9223 ext 236
bradyyauch@consumerpolicyinstitute.org
http://cpi.probeinternational.org

 

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