Below are a selection of monthly Metropasses taken from 1981 onward. The first Metropass was issued in 1980. Initially, these passes could only be used by the person who bought it and, until 2000, required a TTC-issued photo ID. After 2000, the TTC accepted Ontario drivers’ licenses as acceptable ID.
Reduced-rate senior passes were introduced in 1984, and student passes were added in 1981. Magnetic stripes were added to Metropasses in 1980 which allowed users to pass through automatic turnstiles. These turnstiles were programmed to accept swipes only once, and not again for a certain length of time, thwarting users from passing their passes back to other passengers to use.
Free parking for Metropass users was introduced in 1992, and an annual Metropass was added in 1993. A higher cost version of this pass was transferrable, meaning it could be used by more than one person. Both versions were quickly withdrawn, however, replaced by a 12-month discount plan.
In 2003, the TTC released its Ridership Growth Strategy — a plan using simple, achievable measures to increase its annual ridership from what was then 400 million to half a billion. Among the measures proposed were fare decreases, some of which was achieved by the decision to make the TTC’s popular monthly pass, the Metropass, transferrable. No longer was a single pass only to be used by the passenger who bought it; he or she could now hand it to friends or loved ones to take the TTC themselves, with restrictions (no passing back the pass as you paid your fare). Similarly transferrable weekly passes were also introduced. The result was a dramatic increase in pass purchases, such that the TTC sold out its complement of passes within days during in the first month of the program.