If you ride the TTC chances are you've heard of the Metropass Discount Plan. Often advertised inside stations and vehicles, the MDP promises to deliver a monthly Metropass to your home for less than you pay when you have to remember to pick one up each month. If you find yourself buying a Metropass on a regular basis, it may be time to look into the MDP.
You Don't Need a Credit Card
The TTC withdraws the monthly fee directly from a chequing account on the first of every month, so if you're concerned about putting anything more on your credit card right now, no worries. Of course, you'd better be sure you have enough in the bank each month to cover the automatic withdrawal, because there is an extra fee for any "transaction not honored".
Don't have a chequing account? The MDP can be connected to a savings account, but you'll have to take the form into your bank to have it completed.
You Can Pay in Advance
Don't think you have the discipline to make sure the money's in the bank every month? You can pre-pay for twelve months at a time. This is also handy if you want to give someone a year's worth of transit as a gift (University and college parents take note however; there's actually a cheaper Metropass for Post-Secondary Students which isn't available as part of the MDP).
If you're paying in advance you have more options for how to pay including Mastercard or Visa, certified cheque, money order, debit or good old cash.
It Can't Be a Last Minute Decision
If you want to subscribe you need to do it by
you want the subscription to start. (By January 5th to subscribe for February, for example).
You Can Share Your Metropass
Okay, it's highly likely you did know this since the TTC pushes pass transferability as a major selling point. But really, this is worth repeating. Whether you're going out of town or want to split the cost with friends or family on a regular basis, as long as the person you want to share with is in the same fare category as you (adult or senior/student), you can hand over the pass any time you're not using it. But the 'not using it' part is key - the TTC does not look kindly on "pass backs" which is when you enter a station or vehicle and then try to hand your pass to someone else.
You've Got Snail Mail!
Hey, in these days of e-everything don't underestimate the fun of having something in the mailbox each month that isn't a bill.
Sometimes There's More Than Just a Pass in Your Envelope
Every once in awhile your monthly Metropass is delivered with a promotional offer just for MDP customers, such as discounts to a current stage show.
But Parking is No Longer Free
For a long time, MDP customers got free parking at TTC lots before 3 pm on weekdays (parking is free for everyone after 3 pm and on weekends). Sadly, this perk was discontinued as of April 1st, 2009.
The Price Is Locked (for a Little While)
Unlike fluctuating interest rates, it's a pretty sure thing that TTC fares will only ever increase. But when the fare is hiked MDP subscribers continue to pay the rate they signed up at until their twelve-month renewal comes due. If you're unlucky, a fare increase will be implemented at the end of your twelfth month and you'll be paying the increased rate right away, but if you're lucky you can get nearly a year of transit for cheaper than almost everyone else.
The Government Rewards Pass Purchasers
When you're figuring out if the MDP is the right financial choice for you, don't forget about the Federal Government's tax rebate for transit users. By hanging onto your passes (and signing the back!) you can claim a deduction each year.
You Can Always Quit
Based on completely unscientific research (otherwise known as asking a few of my friends), this seems to be the least known fact about the MDP program. If you sign up for it and change your mind because you move, get a job within walking distance or for any other reason, you aren't on the hook for the remaining months. You can cancel, and all that will happen is the TTC will automatically deduct the amount you had already saved from your account, canceling out the discount. So you won't have saved money, but you also won't be spending any more money than if you had bought the passes you already used individually.