In just three weeks, public transit riders across the Greater Toronto Area will not have to pay double or triple the fare as they traverse the region.

On Monday, officials, including Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow, announced the launch of the “One Fare” program, which will permit riders to transfer between different regional transit agencies for free.

Participating agencies include the TTC, GO Transit, Brampton Transit, Durham Region Transit, Mississauga's MiWay, and York Region Transit. The program comes into effect on February 26, and will be in place for the "long term."

For trips connecting between the TTC and GO Transit, the TTC fare will be deduced from the overall cost of the trip. For trips connecting between the TTC and other local transit systems, the second portion of the trip will be free. The program will permit a two-hour transfer window across all systems, and customers must tap on and off with the same PRESTO card.

"This One Fare program is a godsend, because it means that someone from Etobicoke can take the GO Train via Long Branch or Mimico, come down to Union, jump on Line 1 and take the TTC," Chow said. "It just opens up a lot of opens up the system completely."

"It's more convenient. It's more affordable. The City of Toronto has been talking about this for two decades...[and] finally it got done."

Last year, the provincial government eliminated local transit fares for riders transferring from GO Transit to several agencies across the Greater Golden Horseshoe, including Milton Transit, Guelph Transit, and Oakville Transit. The TTC was not included, though.

Calling One Fare a "game changer for transit riders," Ford said the program, which will be fully funded by the Province, will save public transit users an average of $1,600 per year.

“Our government is on a mission to keep costs down for the hardworking people of Ontario,” Ford said. “We’re providing commuters with real, tangible relief.”