Residents of Toronto who meet the criteria for discounted transit passes may soon find relief in bicycle rentals as the city explores the possibility of extending reduced Bike Share fares to individuals with low incomes. In December, the Toronto Parking Authority (TPA), responsible for overseeing Bike Share Toronto, launched the Reduced Fare Pass Program for community housing tenants, allowing most tenants to qualify for $5 annual memberships.
Reduced fares for TCCH tenants
That meant Toronto Community Housing tenants can now take advantage of a special offer—the $5 reduced fare Annual 30 Membership. In addition, market TCHC tenants are eligible for a 20 percent discount on any annual membership of their choice. The $5 Annual 30 Membership comes with various benefits, including the standard perks of the Annual 30 Membership, such as unlimited 30-minute classic bike trips, a 50 percent discount on the e-bike per minute rate (equivalent to $0.10 per minute), and no unlock fees. This initiative is designed to enhance the accessibility and affordability of cycling for TCHC tenants, promoting sustainable transportation options within the community.
Expansion of progam
On Tuesday, the city’s infrastructure and environment committee will deliberate on whether to expand the $5 pass to individuals already enrolled in the Fair Pass Transit Discount program, providing discounted TTC passes to low-income Torontonians. This potential extension could take effect later in the year. These developments are part of a new fare structure introduced by the city last spring. With the increasing popularity of Bike Share in recent years, fares were adjusted in 2023 for the first time since 2017, primarily to cover the growing service costs. When the city council adopted the updated rate structure, amendments were included to address low-income pass considerations.
The growth of Toronto Bike Share
“We know that Bike Share has been growing exponentially year over year,” Bike Share director Justin Hanna said to the CBC. “Part of Toronto Parking Authority’s commitment in terms of providing this service to as many people as it can, is just making sure that income level is not a barrier.”
In November, the TPA anticipated a 23 percent increase in ridership for 2023, projecting it to reach 5.5 million, compared to the figures from 2022.
Hanna said that implementing fare reductions for those facing affordability challenges will not impact Bike Share’s ongoing…