Increases in transit fares are necessary to keep up with the growing cost of operating the service and maintaining the fleet. The new fares represent an average increase of approximately 3%. Adjusting fares align with City Council’s multi-year budgeting process.
Administration provides fare structure recommendations to City Council as part of the Operating Budget process. February 2017 fare changes were approved by City Council in December 2015 for the 2016-2018 Operating Budget. Council and Committee meetings minutes and reports are available to the public.
Much like other major cities, ETS offers lower fares to youth and seniors in order to meet the need for accessible and affordable transit, while providing a social benefit. ETS’ subsidized fare structure is approved by City Council.
ETS monitors fare changes from other transit systems across the country. ETS fares have been consistently lower than industry averages for most fare categories in Canada. Even with the fare adjustment, Edmonton remains very competitive compared to other municipalities of a similar size. Calgary’s adult monthly pass fare is $101, while adult 10-pack tickets are $32.50. Ottawa offers an adult monthly pass for $113.75, while Mississauga’s adult monthly pass is $130 and $31 for a 10-pack of adult transit tickets.
Starting February 2017, prices of an Adult Monthly Pass, Senior Monthly Pass, Post-Secondary Pass and DATS Monthly Pass will change. February passes purchased in January will reflect new prices. The price of an Adult Ticket Pack, Youth/Senior Ticket Pack and Day Pass will change as of midnight January 31, 2017.
Prices of the Senior Annual Pass and Low Income Senior Annual Pass will change in April 2017. The Youth Monthly Pass will be adjusted in September to align with school calendars.
Cash fares, the Assured Income for Severely Handicapped (AISH) monthly transit pass and the Universal Transit Pass (U-Pass) for eligible post-secondary students are not increasing.
Fare products are sold through approximately 275 retail distributors throughout the City along with about 275 schools. Find these locations at Where to Buy.
Changes in store ownership, payment types, sales levels and other business considerations beyond the control of ETS may result in changes to the availability in a particular area. If you find that ETS fare product is difficult to purchase in your community, use our ETS Commendations or Concerns form to send your suggestions to ETS and we will follow-up with a review of the area.
For added convenience, most fare products can also be purchased through our online store. Online purchases will be delivered to your location of choice within 3-5 days for a nominal fee.
The introduction of electronic fare equipment will enable new payment options. We are currently working toward implementing such a system and hope to award a contract in the near future. More information about SmartFare can be found under Future Transit.
As part of the introduction of the smart fare system, ETS is researching annual adult passes. Under a SmartFare system, customers would be protected from the financial loss if their annual pass was lost or stolen.
As our current system uses physical products, customers would be out the money they paid for the pass if it was lost or stolen; and the financial loss associated with an annual pass would be significantly larger than for a monthly pass. A smart fare system will also allow Edmonton Transit to introduce other payment options that customers might find attractive, for example a five-day pass or a 30 day pass that begins on the first day of use rather than a defined calendar period.
For business travellers looking for a receipt for transportation costs to the airport, we recommend that you purchase a strip of adult tickets. Tickets can be purchased via our online store. ETS is currently unable to provide receipts for one-time fare purchases.
Edmonton Transit works with each municipality to coordinate transit services. However, each municipality has authority over their own fare policy since transit fares help offset the operating costs and the tax levy that subsidizes the service provided.
The fares for inter-municipal transit trips are typically higher than local fares because of the longer distances and the higher operating costs to provide these services. Most ETS fare products can be used to travel to surrounding areas with an additional cross border surcharge. The surcharge is necessary to ensure that the sale of regional fare product is not undermined.
The introduction of electronic fare equipment will is supported by the Capital Region Board and will enable better and more convenient integration of transit fares throughout the region. For more information on each individual region, see Regional Service.
Canada Revenue Agency allows a tax deduction on Monthly Transit Passes. This deduction currently only works on monthly transit passes, not tickets, day passes, convention pass or any other special event fare. The retailer where a pass purchased should provide a receipt for purchase. In combination with the pass itself, which should also be kept, the purchase receipt provides sufficient support for the tax claim. Further information can be found at the CRA website.
Schools will provide receipts for Youth Monthly Passes purchased through that school. Post-Secondary institutions will also provide a receipt for the U-Pass, post-secondary discounted pass and our regular monthly Adult pass.
You need to present your new pass on the 1st of that month. Your pass is valid from the 1st to the last day of that month. There is no grace period policy. All patrons boarding a transit vehicle are expected to present valid fare. Bus Operator's however are encouraged to use their discretion regarding fare enforcement; the driver’s decision is final. Be sure to have your proof of payment on you, or you may incur a fine. Your pass, ticket or transfer is your proof of payment, receipts will not be accepted as valid proof of payment.
ETS transfers (or time stamped tickets) expire 90 minutes from time of issue. Currently, the longest single unlinked trip on ETS takes about 75 minutes. A 90 minute transfer therefore allows sufficient time to transfer between vehicles for those that need to do so to complete their trip. Unlike in many other cities, transit users in Edmonton can use their transfer to make a return trip so long as they board within the 90 minute transfer period. ETS continually monitors trip times and will reevaluate the transfer period as trip distances and times increase with the City’s growth.
The AISH pass is a special subsidized transit pass for recipients of the Provincial AISH (Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped) supplement who live in Edmonton. For more information about the AISH pass, visit the AISH Subsidized Transit Pass Program.
The U-Pass provides eligible students at participating institutions with unlimited travel on regular ETS service (including DATS), as well as on St. Albert Transit and Strathcona County transit systems. For more information about the AISH pass, visit U-Pass.
On a per trip basis, ticket users pay less than cash users and pass purchasers pay less than ticket users. ETS offers a discount to riders purchasing a strip of tickets, as they are pre purchasing ten trips.
Authorized ETS Outlets are not permitted to charge more for ETS Fare product than the price set by the City of Edmonton. However some outlets have implemented fees to offset the cost of processing credit and debit card payment. While we discourage retailers from charging these extra fees, we are unable to directly control this inconvenience. If you encounter an outlet charging such fees, you are encouraged to purchase your fare product elsewhere.
ETS currently has a Day Pass available to families that accommodates one adult and up to four children twelve and under to travel. If there is more than one adult traveling at a time, those adults will be required to purchase an adult fare. The Day Pass allows for unlimited travel on all ETS buses and LRT for one full service day. See Day Pass for information.