Imagine being able to get from Stoney Creek to Hamilton downtown non-stop in less than 10 minutes and being able to do it for not much more than an HSR fare. That could be a real scenario with news that Metrolinx is reducing short-distance fares by as much as 40% to only $3.70—while increasing long-distance fares by 4%, starting April 20.The PRESTO fare for GO trips shorter than 10 kilometres are being reduced to $3.70 — which is a 21 per cent reduction from the lowest GO fare of $4.71. In Hamilton that could mean commuters would be able to board a GO train when the new Confederation station opens and reach downtown Hamilton non-stop via the West Harbour station for $3.70. The distance between the two stations is just under 10 kilometers. For some trips, the current GO fare levels are reduced by as much as 40 per cent, down to the new $3.70 fare. This new, lower fare will apply to trips made between any GO stations or bus stops across the region that are within roughly 10 kilometres of each other. Those who pay with single-fare paper tickets will also benefit from reduced fares, going from the lowest paper fare of $5.30 to $4.40.

“These significant reductions in short-distance fares, by at least 21 per cent and by as much as 40 per cent for some journeys, is a huge step towards making public transit even more affordable and more attractive for the people in our communities,” said Metrolinx President and CEO Phil Verster. “This gives our GO customers a better, faster and easier way to get across town for work, trips to the mall, family visits or a night out.”

The previous GO fare increase was on Sept. 20, 2017, approximately 20 months ago. “We are actively reducing our costs and expenses every year, by 5.2 per cent last year and another 5 per cent this year,” said Verster. “Having kept fares unchanged for nearly 20 months, inflationary pressures require us to make a fare adjustment now.”

John Best has had a lengthy media management career, in television and radio and now print. As Vice President, News at CHCH in Hamilton, John oversaw a significant expansion of the news operation. He founded Independent Satellite News, Canada’s only television news service providing national content to Canadian independent TV stations. John is a frequent political commentator on radio and television, a documentary producer and author of a book and numerous articles on historical and political subjects. John is a past recipient of the New York Festival’s award for writing in the International TV category.

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