Toronto

Thinking about drinking on New Year's Eve? Ride TTC, GO Transit for free

Provincial police say they hope free transit options on New Year's Eve will curb drinking and driving after a deadly year on Ontario roads. More than 7,400 drivers were charged with impaired driving across the province in 2016 — and December's figures aren't even in yet.

Provincial police hope free transit options curb impaired driving after deadly year on Ontario roads

The city says the agreement gets it one step closer to completely fare integration across the region's transit services. (CBC)

Partygoers can expect another New Year's Eve of free transit service across the Greater Toronto Area — and that's welcome news to provincial police, who say 2016 has been another deadly year on Ontario's roads because of impaired driving.

TTC, GO Transit free after 7 p.m.

On all TTC routes, free service is available from 7 p.m. on Saturday until 7 a.m. on New Year's Day. 

"Get right on a bus or a subway or a streetcar anywhere in the system that night, and we'll get you where you need to go safely," TTC spokesman Stuart Green said.

It's the same situation on GO Transit, with free rides starting at 7 p.m. on Saturday, coupled with extra late-night service and beefed-up security.

"There will be no excuse to drink and drive," Metrolinx spokeswoman Anne Marie Aikins said.

More than 40 killed by impaired driving in 2016

That's good news to the Ontario Provincial Police, who are trying to hammer home the dangers of driving under the influence.

Const. Rob Visconti told CBC Toronto that more than 7,430 drivers have been charged with impaired driving across Ontario this year — and December figures aren't even in yet. 

More than 40 people have also been killed in drug or alcohol-related crashes on Ontario roads, he said.

While those numbers are down from last year, Visconti said people still aren't getting the message. The solution, he adds, is to simply plan ahead.

"Stay at a friend's house. Take the free TTC. Call a taxi. Have a designated driver."

now