Take a free ride on TTC's new subway extension opening today

As of 8 a.m. Sunday, TTC riders will be able to go all the way to Vaughan - at no cost - on six new subway stops.

New stations 'a culmination of years of work' says TTC CEO Any Byford

The interior of the main entrance of Pioneer Village station is shown here. (Toronto Transit Commission)

As of 8 a.m. Sunday, TTC riders will be able to go all the way to Vaughan - at no cost - on six new subway stops.

The entire TTC network is free for the day to mark the occasion.

"This is the culmination of years of work," TTC CEO Andy Byford said Saturday at a special launch event. "I think people are going to be blown away when they see how spectacular this subway is. 

The new stations are:  

  • Downsview Park
  • Finch West
  • York University
  • Pioneer Village
  • Highway 407
  • Vaughan Metropolitan Centre

"All the stations have wi-fi, are presto-enabled, new fare gates, have public parking, commuter parking, bike lots, everything you would expect in a station," TTC board chair Josh Colle said at the event. 

The $3.2 billion project was jointly funded by all three levels of government. The province calls it "the largest expansion of Toronto's subway system in nearly 40 years which will significantly reduce congestion in the GTA."

Riders who got a sneak peek at the new stations Saturday called them 'beautiful.' (Toronto Transit Commission)

"The Line 1 extension will add an estimated 36 million transit trips and eliminate 30 million car trips per year, helping to ease traffic congestion, improve air quality and fight climate change," according to a provincial press release. 

Riders who won the chance to attend Saturday's event in a Twitter competition were thrilled to get a first peek at the historical development, but some had concerns. 

But 12-year-old Andre Zhang says he doubts the province's numbers.

12-year-old Andre Zhang says he doubts the projected ridership numbers for the subway extension. (CBC)

"The stations are beautiful but their problem is that after it goes into York region it just kind of stops. There are no buses that really feed out of it so I don't think it's going to generate the ridership they expect," he told CBC News. 

But the province says the subway's last stop, Vaughan Metropolitan Centre, is a transportation hub that connects directly to the vivaNext rapidway, "part of an extensive rapid transit network of dedicated bus lanes that York Region Transit is building."

There are additional charges to switch to other transit agencies from the extension, but one token — or Presto tap — will take riders all the way up to the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre stop.