Guelph Transit adjusting bus fares, introducing pay-as-you-go program

Changes come into effect September 1, 2023

Guelph, Ont., July 10, 2023 – Guelph Transit is making changes to its fare pricing and introducing a new monthly pay-as-you-go fare cap program starting in September. Both changes are part of Guelph Transit’s Fare Strategy which was approved by Council in April.

Bus fare pricing changes

Current fares

Fare structure Cash Single ride Day pass
Adults (18-64) $3.00 $2.80 $8.00
Youth (13-17), Seniors (65+) $3.00 $2.25 $8.00

New fares

Fare structure Cash Single ride Day pass
Adults (18-64) $3.25 $2.80 $8.40
Concession (Youth (13-17), Seniors (65+),
$3.25 $2.25 $8.40

Transit riders who use a day pass will see an increase from $8 to $8.40. The weekend transit pass will be discontinued. There are no changes to the price of single ride tickets; these remain $2.80 for adults and $2.25 for discounted (or concession) fare holders. There are no changes to the affordable bus pass program.

Monthly passes will change to reflect a pay-as-you-go monthly fare cap model. The fare cap is available for full-fare and concession fare trips and applies to paying riders of all age categories (adult, youth, seniors and post-secondary). University of Guelph student passes will continue to be provided by semester through the City’s agreement with the Central Student Association.

“We’re making paying for transit more convenient and flexible for our riders with these changes,” says Courtney McDonald, manager of Business Services for Guelph Transit. “We’re always focused on providing the best level of service to transit riders and fare-capping is a model being used by more transit service providers everyday including those in Edmonton and New York City.”

Once you’ve tapped, your fares are capped

Instead of a monthly pass, riders simply load their OnYourWay card with money and pay as they go.

This new pay-as-you-go system lets riders load their OnYourWay fare card with as much money as they want, whenever they want; there’s no need to buy a monthly pass upfront each month. Any balance remaining on a fare card at the end of the month will remain on the card for future use—the balance doesn’t expire, and the new system will help monthly pass holders who ride less save money.

With the monthly fare cap, riders pay for the first 32 single rides in a month, then tap and ride free for the rest of the month.

  • An adult will pay $2.80 each time they ride the bus with 32 rides costing $89.60.
  • A customer paying the discount fare will pay $2.25 each time they ride the bus with 32 rides costing $72.

After 32 rides in a month, they’ll ride free for the rest of the month.

Currently, more than one third of customers who purchase a monthly pass don’t ride enough to maximize the monthly pass spend; they’re spending more than they need to and leaving money on the table. Based on rider data, many adult monthly pass holders would pay, on average, $65 a month compared to the proposed rate of $89.60 a month (based on 32 rides).

This 32-ride fare cap means riders never pay more than the maximum they would pay for the cost of a monthly pass.

The monthly cap begins at 12 a.m. on the first of every month and ends at 11:59 p.m. on the last day of each month.

Extended transfer time

Riders will also get 30 extra minutes for transfers starting in September. Transfer time is the time during which a rider can change buses free of charge following a paid ride; it’s being extended from 60 minutes to 90 minutes. After 90 minutes have passed, rides will be considered new and fare cards will be charged for the ride.

Why fares increase

Fare increases help offset the increase in service costs when service improvements or expansions are made. Regular transit fare increases help Guelph Transit improve services and pay for rider-focused projects including new shelters and digital bus stop displays that share important information.

Since the last fare increase in 2016, we’ve expanded routes, increased Sunday service hours, added more buses in peak periods, and returned regular service for the Hanlon Creek Business Park.


Media contact

Courtney McDonald, Manager of Business Services
Guelph Transit
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2708
[email protected]