Ontario's New Democrats are promising to subsidize public transit across the province in exchange for a fare freeze for riders.

Leader Andrea Horwath said Wednesday in Toronto that if elected, an NDP government would match the municipalities' operating costs for transit dollar for dollar.

To receive the funding, municipalities would have to freeze transit fares for four years.

The model would return the province to a subsidy program that was in place until 1998.

The program is expected to cost $375 million a year and would be phased in over four years.

The NDP notes that the Toronto Transit Commission funds 70 per cent of its operating costs through fares, compared to 55 per cent in New York City.