Toronto Metropolitan University
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Impacts of subway pricing on fare equality among passengers: a Toronto case study

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posted on 2021-05-25, 07:15 authored by Michael Lok Kan Chung
This project examines fare equity amongst socio-demographic groups of passengers who use Toronto Transit Commission’s subway system. Existing literature theorizes and demonstrates that flat fare pricing strategies are inequitable between transit users. Disadvantaged groups, who often travel on off-peak hours and on short trips, typically subsidize transit users who travel on peak hours and long trips. Surveys were used to collect socio-demographic and trip characteristic data from n = 93 subway passengers. Correlation was drawn between various socio-demographic variables and transit fare per kilometer travelled (which represented length of trips) and time of day in which the trips were taken. Using linear and binomial logistic regression modeling, the study found that subsidization were indeed occurring between passengers, but socio-demographic variables played no role with distance travelled or time of usage. The study concludes that the flat fare pricing policy employed by the TTC is likely equitable across socio-demographic groups of passengers, but it appears that a differentiated fare policy (instead of the current flat fare policy) might improve fairness between passengers.



  • Master of Planning


  • Urban Development

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type

  • MRP