5 things you need to know before returning to GO Transit

Here’s a list of transit tips for people going back to the office & classroom this month.

For some it’s been a while.

The idea of waking up early, getting dressed from top to bottom and physically heading out the door and hopping on GO Transit or UP Express might take some getting used to.

Especially now that there’s been a few changes.

The transit agency has been hard at work improving its network as it welcomes new and returning customers.

Here are a few important reminders as you get ready to ride with GO Transit or UP Express.

Tap and GO with even more payment options

Metrolinx is making it even easier to hop on the GO, Brampton Transit, MiWay and Oakville Transit by providing more payment options – something that will come in handy in case you forget your PRESTO card as you rush out the door.

You can now pay your adult fare by tapping a PRESTO device with your credit card, including those cards on your phone or watch.

Just remember to tap off at your destination with that same card/wallet/phone - this avoids possible duplication of fare payment.

A man taps his smart watch at Union Station. (Metrolinx photo)

If you happen to actually remember your PRESTO card, you can reload instantly with the PRESTO app, or in person at any fare vending machine, customer service outlet or Shoppers Drug Marts across the GTHA.

Customers using their PRESTO cards are also eligible to take advantage of our PRESTO Loyalty Program.

If you want to always stay topped up with funds, you should also consider setting up Autoload.

No cards? No problem.

Buy GO Transit tickets online. Here’s a handy guide on how GO e-tickets work.

Starting Sept. 6, the validation period for GO Transit e-tickets and passes is changing to seven days.

E-tickets and passes purchased on or before Sept. 5, 2022, will continue to be valid for up to one year from the date of purchase, as long as they’re not activated.

Save with new fare discounts

Along with more payment options, Metrolinx is making it more affordable to take transit by introducing new student and co-fare discounts this past spring.

Customers can take advantage of free local transit fares when connecting to and from GO Transit and most local transit agencies with a PRESTO card.

Metrolinx also lowered GO and UP fares for youth and post-secondary students who pay with their PRESTO card. The PRESTO discount increased from 22.5 per cent to 40 per cent off the full adult fare. 

You can learn more about discounts here.

New routine, new destination

Union Station looks a little different.

Metrolinx opened a brand-new Union Station Bus Terminal (USBT), just south of the old terminal, which offers a safe, more comfortable, and convenient space featuring a climate-controlled waiting area, Wi-Fi, bathrooms and more.

A GO Bus travelling along the highway. (Metrolinx photo)

You can learn more about how to get to the new, state of the art USBT by clicking here.

In addition to a new bus terminal, a revitalized Bay Concourse with more space and retail options has also reopened

In addition to a new bus terminal, a revitalized Bay Concourse with more space and retail options has also reopened.

The modernized Bay Concourse makes commuting more convenient for GO Train riders, giving passengers better access to and from train platforms and Toronto’s Union Station.

Continuing to keep you safe

Safety is still – and will always be – Metrolinx’s top priority. 

While masks are optional, Metrolinx continues to encourage wearing them on GO Transit and UP Express vehicles and inside stations, especially during peak hours when it’s exceptionally busy.

Over the last few years, the transit agency has implemented several safety measures like upgrading the ventilation and air filtration systems on GO Transit vehicles and adding hand sanitizer dispensers on all GO Trains, GO Buses and stations.

As always, Metrolinx will continue to follow the direction and guidance of public health officials.

Metrolinx as implemented more than a dozen new safety measures since the start of the pandemic. (Metrolinx photo)

More service coming soon

As you return to the office and to campus, Metrolinx continues to work towards adding more service and adjusting schedules.

In fact, you can read about service changes coming to GO Bus schedule here.

Metrolinx will be ramping up service in phases, with more to come this fall.

As the transit agency gradually adds more trips, be sure to check your schedule in advance and plan your trip ahead of time. 

Here’s hoping these five tips help you smoothly get back on the GO.

Story by Nitish Bissonauth, Metrolinx bilingual spokesperson