Riding the Rocket or Emptying a Pocket?

Post-secondary and Accessibility on the TTC

If you’re going to enter post-secondary schooling and you want to save money while using public transit then you want to avoid Toronto. When CBC reported that TTC fares were raised in 2009 it also reported that TTC would offer a $99 Monthly Pass to students who were “currently required to pay adult fares when purchasing the monthly Metropass”. But even then the rate was the high among many of the Canada’s largest cities.

Today, out of Canada’s largest cities Toronto lands in the Top 5 for the HIGHEST cost in monthly post-secondary pass. The only reason the one month TTC Post-secondary Pass costs just under half the price of one in Saskatoon is because it offers students a four-month semester pass. But if you go to school in Calgary, Ottawa, Mississauga, Hamilton, Vancouver, or Saint John, you can help the environment and ride free. Unlimited rides are negotiated and paid through tuition.  If you don’t want to pay with tuition and are looking for a low price or big discount then Vancouver’s best. It offers the lowest post-secondary fares.

One of the worst fare discounts on the TTC: Wheel-Trans. More than 80% of Canada’s largest cities, whether it’s on their door-to-door system or on their regular transit routes don’t offer any type of discount to disabled riders. Of the few that do, Whitehorse and London lead the way. Whitehorse asks attendants to pay a full fare, but offers a 60% discount to riders on its door-to-door HandyBus.

If you’re eligible to pay a regular fare on the HandyBus, you can “use the conventional transit service FREE”. With an annual $10 pass holders of a CNIB card holders in London can get an unlimited number of rides a year; other disabled riders pay a regular fare.

Of the cities that offer a door-to-door service like Wheel-Trans or HandyBus, more than 50% follow in the path of the TTC and don’t offer a free ride to attendants who are travelling with a disabled passenger. But just over 30% of systems offer some sort of free ride. All over the country CNIB card holders can ride free. Vancouver’s Translink extends free transit service beyond the visually impaired to War Amputees. Windsor gives all Veterans a free ride

Toronto’s TTC might be bigger and more attractive than Mississauga’s MiWay, but TTC fares have a lot of rolling to do to catch up to MiWay. It’s the only system that lets CNIB riders travel free AND lets riders who accompany a disabled passenger paying regular fare on board without a charge (excluding a CNIB rider). On top of that all of MiWay’s discounts are higher than the TTC’s. It offers lower monthly and weekly passes, and a free ride to students at the U of T Mississauga Campus.

With new routes coming along Mississauga might soon speed away.

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Dismal Discounts

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