Kids travel free on GO Transit just in time for March Break

Starting March 9, kids 12 and under can ride free on all GO trains and buses.

Among the largely Toronto-bound office workers on the early morning Kitchener line, Lucas Andrade and his siblings stand out.

Dragging school bags, and rubbing sleepy eyes, they’re about half the size – and a great deal younger – than most of the other regular customers finding seats.

But the three children – shepherded by their watchful grandmother, Floriana Pereria – are veterans of travelling in and out of the city on GO Transit. The family lives in Brampton, and 6-year-old Lucas, along with Mia, 8, and Tristan, 11, go to school in Toronto.

A young girl, Mia Andrade, sits on a GO train, while playing with a phone. Other commuters are sitting nearby.

Mia Andrade, 8, sits playing on a phone as she, her siblings and their grandmother head to Toronto on GO Transit’s Kitchener line. (Photo by Thane Burnett)

“It costs a lot,” says Pereria, as Mia focuses on the small screen of a phone, Lucas fiddles with his gloves and Tristan naps during today’s commute. “It would be wonderful to save that.”

While this morning is much the same as others for the family, and everyone else on the train – a hectic hustle before relaxing during the ride – the grandmother is about to get her wish about saving the cost of paying for the children.

After a successful Kids GO Free pilot on the Barrie line, Metrolinx is implementing the fare policy change for kids across the entire GO Transit system.

Starting March 9, 2019, kids 12 and under can ride free on all GO trains and buses, making it easier and more affordable for families to take transit throughout the region. While some families already regularly use GO to get around, the change will be just in time for March Break.

Taking a stress-free train or bus trip will be the obvious choice for a whole world of activities, like family visits, fun days in the city, and trips to major attractions and events.

Every parent – and grandparent – knows, there’s a lesson in almost every activity. Pereria says it’s a good thing that her grandchildren are becoming familiar with the benefits of public transit and GO.

Kids under 12 do not need to tap with a PRESTO card or purchase a paper ticket to ride on GO Transit.

This change creates a more seamless, connected transit experience for customers. Kids ages 12 and under can already ride free on the TTC and UP Express.

So while Lucas and his siblings are used to taking their place among other customers, they’ll soon have another reason to stand out a bit.

Story by Aman Gill, Metrolinx communications advisor.