source CBC The Toronto Star is reporting that a lot of Canadians are just not doing their homework when it comes to how they can get to and from Toronto.
The Star reports that Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) data indicates that almost 90 per cent of people don’t have the time or resources to do their own research before boarding their flights.
“You’re not going to catch a bad flight from here to the US or Europe,” says Michael Ching, executive director of the Canadian Council of Independent Colleges.
“And if you don’t know where you are or what time it is, you’re not taking the best advantage of your trip.”
While that’s true, there are many other factors that go into getting to and returning to Toronto, Ching adds.
“When you’re flying, it’s just like any other airport.
People are going to be there and you’re going to see the people that you are going for.
You can’t just say, ‘Well, I’m going to take a taxi, so I’ll wait here for two hours,'” says Ching.
The TTC data also indicates that the number of Canadians who have purchased tickets to and spent money on tickets to the United States is more than double the number who have bought tickets to Canada.
“We’ve got about 2.7 million people in the United Kingdom.
We’ve got 2.2 million in France, 1.7 in Italy, 1 million in Germany and about 1.2 in the US,” says Chant.
The TTC is hoping that people are aware of the different costs associated with travel and the benefits of not flying.
“So when we talk about the benefits that we’re giving our people in terms of quality of life, that’s really a great benefit that we can offer,” says TRC spokesperson Michael Chant about the new, low-cost fares.
“If you look at what we’re doing in terms the service we’re providing, we’re offering an excellent service.”
While the new low fares may seem attractive, it comes with a caveat.
“There are some benefits to the low fares that people might not understand,” says Mike Mckenzie, executive vice-president of the University of Toronto’s Department of Transportation, who has studied the impact of lower fares.
For example, he says people might be less likely to drive and spend money on gas to get to their destination.
“The reason we’re having these fares is because people can pay the lower fares and drive to their destinations, but they can’t drive to Toronto and spend the same amount of money,” says Mckenda.
The lower fares may not make up for the loss of other benefits of flying, like cheaper hotel rates and discounted ticket prices.
“It might make it easier to fly, but it doesn’t really change the fact that you’re spending more money,” adds Mckenderys.
“That is the key point: It’s a cost.”
The TTC will be rolling out new low-fare fares this week, but many of the new fares are only available in select areas of Toronto.
Those areas include major shopping centres like York Mills, Yonge and Gerrard Streets, the University District, and Yorkville, as well as downtown Toronto.
In all, TRC is rolling out three low-price fares per hour: a 10-minute ride from the airport, a 20-minute taxi ride, and a 20 per cent discount on a $60 flight.
“These fares are being rolled out to our most popular routes at this time and will be available in all our major destinations,” says an TTC spokesperson.
“All new low fare fares will be on the TTC website, so if you’re in a rush, you can still buy them at the TTC counter.”
While most of these fares are available to passengers who are paying by phone or online, the TRC has added some other fares, like the free, 30-minute subway ride, that only work in select parts of the city.
Mckendys says that TRC wants to give people an advantage when booking their trip.
“In the next couple of months we’ll be rolling these out for all our popular routes, so people will be able to book the fare for those routes without having to call TRC and then you can book the subway ride from any time zone.”
In the meantime, the TTC is looking into how to give passengers more options.
For now, they’re only offering a 20 minute discount on the free ride, but you can also take a trip to your destination without paying the $10 fare.