With COVID-19 restrictions easing, more people are getting ready to re-enter the workplace. To help make the transition easier, Metrolinx is offering more flexibility to help organizations incorporate transit into their plans as they welcome back employees. We break down the details to help you stay on track.
For much of the past two years, office-based employees have turned their homes into makeshift workspaces.
But with most of the pandemic restrictions now lifted, more and more employees will be returning to the office and using public transit to get there.
Offering more convenience, and to help alleviate some of the transit costs, Metrolinx has developed the GO Transit Return to the Office program to help customers save money on commuting costs when travelling across GO’s network no matter the day, time, or location.
Metrolinx Chief Marketing Officer Mark Childs said staff can’t wait to safely welcome back customers for business trips on GO Transit and UP Express.
“While we understand that commuting to and from work, business meetings, and conference travel needs may have changed, we are confident that our Return to Office program can help make the transition easier and more convenient for employees,” Childs said.
Here’s how it works.
Employers enrol in the GO Transit Return to the Office program and can choose from two plans: The Unlimited Three Month Pass or the Preferred Discount Fare.
For each program, employers have the option of covering the costs for employees, or have staff cover the costs directly. Here’s the breakdown of each plan:
The Unlimited Three Month Pass
- Unlimited rides on the GO network for three months
- $441 per three month pass
- Nominal organization program fee
Preferred Discount Fare
- 25 per cent increased discount off cash fare offered for three months
- Nominal organization program fee
So just how much money are employees saving with the Unlimited Three Month Pass?
It depends how far you’re travelling and how often you’re coming into the office. Let’s say you’re traveling from Oakville GO Station to Union Station using PRESTO three times a week, which works out to $8.16 per GO train ride. That equals $195.84 per month, or roughly $587.52 for three months.
So, the savings through the GO Transit Return to the Office program are substantial.
The GO Transit Return to the Office program is available to any organization that feels their employees can benefit, regardless of where the business is located throughout the GO Transit network.
No matter which option is chosen, the GO Transit Return to the Office program includes flexible start dates, an employee commuter survey conducted by Metrolinx, health, and safety information for GO Transit and UP Express to share with staff, and the ability to pause the program if COVID-19 restrictions and conditions change during the time period.
And speaking of health and safety, all of the 40+ safety measures – such as hand sanitizers, plexiglass dividers, air purification, and dozens more – remain in place on trains, buses, and in stations.
Here are some other safety tips for passengers:
- Stay home and off transit if ill or potentially exposed to COVID-19
- Wear a face covering – preferably N95 or medical grade – and ensure both the nose and mouth are covered at all times
- Wash hands regularly and use hand sanitizer found on buses, trains and in stations
For organizations looking for more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Story by Fannie Sunshine, media relations advisor