The public transit system within the city is overseen by Toronto Transit Commission-TTC(Tel: +1 416 393 4636. Hrs: 8am-5pm), the third largest of North America, just behind New York and Mexico DF, which covers 1 200 km (754 mi) of routes. The TTC is greatly utilized by people who live in or close to the city and consists of an extensive network of buses, streetcars for the downtown and the modern subway.
Although the system is quite good (fast, regular and safe), congestion during the rush hours is inevitable, except in the subway that is the most efficient form of traveling to the city's centre and major tourist destinations.
A single trip of any length on the TTC has a flat fare that costs $2 CAD (students and seniors pay $1.50 CAD, and little children travel free) and tickets (or metallic tokens) are available at all stations. If this involves more than one kind of transport, it is compulsory to get a paper transfer.
A day-pass costs $7 CAD, and provides an unlimited TTC travel from 9am to 5am. There is also the alternative to buy a Metropass ticket for $95 CAD that allows travel to one adult for an entire month.
By TTC trains
Toronto’s subway has two principal line systems. The Bloor-Danforth line that cuts Bloor east to west, and the Yonge-University-Spadina line that forms a loop from Union Station, along University Av. and Yonge.
There is another minor subway line called Sheppard that runs along Sheppard Av. and one Light Rapid Transit (LRT or RT) – a quasi-subway, which serves primarily to the suburb of Scarborough.
The subway of the TTC operates regularly from 6am to 1am every day.
Toronto has an additional streetcar system which has 11 routes concentrated in the main streets of the Downtown, connected to the railway. The Toronto's streetcar is the second largest in the world, behind Melbourne and one of the few enduring in North America.
Visitors who use the service should make sure that traffic is stopped in the adjacent lane when getting on and off streetcars to avoid accidents. Streetcars, called colloquially the Red Rockets, runs from 5am to 12am from Monday to Saturday (on Sundays start at 9am).
By TTC buses
The city of Toronto is mainly served by a network of around 150 bus routes, many of them creating a grid along principal streets. Buses link to one or more subway or RT stations.
Buses travel in the same hours than streetcars but there is also a special late-night service, named Blue Night Network, which operates from 1am to 5 am. The Request Stop Program allows women traveling on their own late at night can get on and get off the bus anywhere.
Passengers can request the TTC Ride Guide, which contains a regional map of TTC services and other agencies.
The Government of Ontario (GO) operates exclusively a wide rail and bus transit system called GO Transit in the neighboring region to the city - Greater Toronto Area (GTA), transporting about 200 000 passengers per year on its 7 train lines and buses. All of them departing from Union Station.
Unlike TTC, this service is mainly oriented to weekday commuters traveling to and from downtown Toronto. Go Transit, which has spurred the development in sprawling neighborhoods, counts with large and comfortable trains. It has fares that vary by distance with occasional discounts but the regular cost to Scarborough or Mississauga is $4 CAD.
These trains run just on rush hours, at other times of the day, they are replaced by bus services. Most GO buses depart from Union Station Bus Terminal (contiguous to the railway station).
Bus passengers have to wait on designated stops and flag the bus raising a hand to be picked up. Note that the GO Transit Guards are very strict and can punish to offenders with a fine of $200 CAD.