The Toronto Region's transit systems are poorly integrated, resulting in fare inequities and inefficient distortions in transit usage. For example, those who live on the borders between municipalities are often forced to pay double fares when travelling short distances, as they switch between two transit systems. This has equity impacts as border populations tend to be economically marginalized.
To address this, this report outlines the creation of a Toronto Transit Federation, which would combine regional integration with local autonomy. The federation would coordinate regional fare structures, scheduling and public information, while municipal systems would build, fund and administer their own transit systems.
The COVID-19 pandemic severely disrupted transit usage and forced governments to radically reconsider their existing systems. Meanwhile, housing unaffordability is pushing workers to municipal margins, where gaps in regional transit integration are most keenly felt. For these reasons, now is the time to push for a new transit federation.