Metrolinx Board approves GO Transit fare increase

TORONTO, Feb. 19, 2010 /CNW/ - At its February 19 meeting, the Metrolinx Board of Directors approved a fare increase and a more equal discount structure that will enable GO Transit to continue offering the best possible service and to meet the needs of its growing ridership.

The changes that will take effect on March 20 include two primary components:

    
    -   a flat-rate increase of $0.25 that will apply to every adult single-
        ride ticket, regardless of trip origin and destination, and
    -   a change to the discount structure for multiple ride tickets and
        passes so that these discounts will be equal across GO Transit
        fare zones. All 10-ride tickets offer a 7.5% discount over 10 single-
        ride tickets and monthly passes offer a 17.5% discount over 40
        single-ride tickets.
    

"A fare increase this year will help to ensure that GO Transit can continue to offer high quality services to its riders in a fiscally responsible fashion," said Metrolinx Chairman Rob MacIsaac.

More information about current and new fares for specific trips and ticket types is available at gotransit.com.

This fare increase is in line with GO Transit fare increases from previous years, and with increases implemented by other transit systems.

GO Transit has one of the best cost-recovery ratios in the world in comparison to other transit systems. GO Transit has two major sources of operating revenue - customer fares, which will make up about 81% of operating costs for fiscal year 2010-11, and a provincial subsidy.

GO Transit remains a strong, high-quality travel option for residents of the Greater Toronto and Hamilton areas, offering financial, environmental, and lifestyle benefits over driving to work.

GO Transit is the Province of Ontario's interregional public transit system linking Toronto with surrounding regions of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). GO Transit carries nearly 55 million passengers a year in an extensive network of train and bus services that spans over 10,000 square kilometres. GO Transit is a division of Metrolinx, an agency of the Province of Ontario. Follow GO Transit on Twitter and Facebook.

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Backgrounder

GO Transit customer service improvements

GO Transit is listening to its customers and is making more efficient use of budget dollars to meet their growing and changing needs. GO Transit's vision is to be the preferred choice for inter-regional travel in the Greater Golden Horseshoe, and recent improvements across the system are steps towards achieving this goal.

GO Transit has added the following customer service improvements over the past year:

    
    -   the addition of approximately 5,000 new parking spaces at stations
        across the network in 2009;
    -   two new weekday train trips began running daily on the Milton line in
        June 2009;
    -   daily bus services to Peterborough, Niagara Region, and Kitchener-
        Waterloo which began in September and October 2009;
    -   a seasonal excursion train service to Niagara Falls on weekends in
        summer 2009
    -   more weekday train trips using longer, 12-car trains, which increased
        GO Transit's capacity by offering an extra 300 seats compared with
        the previous 10-car trains;
    -   additional vehicles - railcars, single and double-decker buses, and
        new, more- powerful locomotives - to our fleet;
    -   more frequent customer surveys to provide us with timely feedback so
        that we can respond more effectively to customers' needs;
    -   LCD information signs at all stations, and improvements to the E-News
        email notification system to enhance the communication of transit
        information to customers to help them plan their trips;
    -   dedicated customer service staff onboard GO Trains to enhance the
        customer experience;
    -   a more user-friendly GO Transit website with intuitive navigation;
    -   a partnership with Google to participate in the Google Transit trip
        planner program, offering customers another way to find trip
        information and plan their trip; and
    -   a new multi-level parking structure opened at Whitby GO Station on
        February 16, 2010.
    

Further customer service improvements planned for the coming year include:

    
    -   expanded parking across the network, including several multi-level
        parking structures;
    -   accessibility upgrades at stations, including improved access for
        pedestrians and cyclists, and weather protection enhancements;
    -   track infrastructure upgrades, resulting in smoother GO Train
        operations and greater reliability; and
    -   continued customer communication and customer service improvements.
    

SOURCE GO Transit

For further information: For further information: Media enquiries - Vanessa Thomas, (416) 869-3600 ext. 5264, or Robin Alam, (416) 869-3600 ext. 5640

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