A Commuter’s Guide to York U

Posted by York & U on August 23, 2018


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Thousands of students from across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) attend York University every day. Each of these students needs a commuting plan tailored to their individual and scheduling needs. In today’s #YUBlog post, we’ll be sharing everything you need to know about commuting, from PRESTO and public transit to parking and shuttle services, so you can create the perfect commuting plan! Check out our previous #YUBlog post, “Commuting 101 (Featuring Cartoons of the 1990s)” for even more transit tips.

Graphic of map of the GTA that shows important locations by York University
Use Google Maps to plan various transit routes to York U to find one that works for you!


PRESTO is one of the most important tools you need when taking public transit. Please review the information below for everything you need to know about this fare system!

What is PRESTO?

PRESTO is a simple, easy-to-use electronic fare payment system available across numerous transit agencies across the GTHA. This payment card stores funds in a secure account and replaces the need for tickets, tokens, transfers, passes or cash. PRESTO allows you to travel seamlessly across multiple transit agencies.

Where Can I Get a Presto Card?

You can order your PRESTO card online on the Order a Card webpage. There is a one-time $6 fee to pay when you order. You will then need to visit a designated PRESTO Customer Service Outlet to add your student concession onto your card. You can also purchase a PRESTO card at TTC Subway Stations, including York University Station and Pioneer Village Station.

How Do I Use My PRESTO Card?

Before boarding any transit service, you must tap your PRESTO card on a fare payment device. Once you do this, the electronic chip embedded in the card instantly calculates the fare and deducts it from your account or verifies your weekly/monthly pass. You can easily add funds to your PRESTO account by loading your card online using the Autoload and Autorenew options, a Self-Serve Reload Machine or in person.

Public Transit

Every day, thousands of students, faculty and staff travel to and from the campus using York U’s transportation hub. Please review the following transportation providers below to find the best option for you! It’s important to note that each of these transportation providers primarily use PRESTO; however, they also offer tickets, tokens and/or passes.

Success Tip: If you enjoy listening to music while on your commute, be sure to check out the #YUBlog’s post, “A Campus Soundtrack“!

Photo of people standing on a bus.
There are numerous ways to get to York U via public transportation!

GO Transit

If you need to travel anywhere across the GTHA, GO Transit is a great choice! currently, the GO Transit buses can be accessed from Harry Arthurs Common (the bus loop outside Vari Hall). Please stay up-to-date with @GOTransit and @GOTransitBus for further updates!

Success Tip: If you are a full-time student, the GO Student Card is a great way to save money while using GO Transit. After completing the GO Transit – Student Identification Card Application and receiving your identification card, your PRESTO will be charged with the student fare!

A photo of the Campus Walk street sign.
You can pick up your GO Student card at 222 William Small Centre at the Keele Campus, the Glendon Greenhouse at the Glendon Campus or have it mailed to you.

Toronto Transit Commission (TTC)

The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) is responsible for TTC Buses and the TTC Subway. If you live in the downtown core, the TTC is certainly a convenient transit option. You can access TTC buses at Pioneer Village Station and at designated campus bus stops. Meanwhile, students can board the TTC subway using the newly built York University and Pioneer Village Stations.

It’s important to note that starting August 26, the TTC will be implementing a two hour PRESTO transfer fare system. This means that you can hop on and off the TTC system and switch directions at any point without additional charges within two hours from the first time you tap your card!

Success Tip: You can save money while using the TTC with York U’s TTC Metropasses and the York Federation of Students’ TTC Postsecondary Student Metropass. Keep an eye out for these discounted monthly passes to save on transit!

A photo of the exterior of the York University Subway Station.
Be sure to visit our previous #YUBlog post, “Introducing: TTC Subway Stations at York University” for a full overview of the new Line 1 subway extension!

York Region Transit (YRT)/VIVA

York Region Transit (YRT) and VIVA work together to create a convenient transit experience for commuters. Students, staff and faculty living in York Region can use these transit service providers to travel across the GTHA and connect with other transit systems, such as the TTC, GO Transit and Brampton Transit. As of September 2, you can access YRT and VIVA at the Pioneer Village Bus Terminal. Please visit YRT’s York University Service Updates webpage for more details.

Success Tip: A single fare price, or one ticket or PRESTO tap on YRT or VIVA gives you two hours to use the service – you can hop-on and hop-off as many times as you like within this time!

Brampton Transit Züm

Züm is a great transit option if you live in the Region of Peel! Brampton’s Bus Rapid Transit service runs on Queen Street from downtown Brampton to York U. Züm can currently be accessed at Ian MacDonald Blvd. Please stay up-to-date with @BramptonTransit for updates and review the Brampton Transit and September Service Improvements webpages for all the information you need!


A photo of a person driving a car
Make sure to allocate enough time for traffic if you’re travelling to campus during rush hour!


York U is home to thousands of parking spaces at the Keele and Glendon Campuses combined. All community members and visitors are required to pay for parking on campus, either by purchasing a parking permit or by paying the daily fee at the visitor lots and garages. Be sure to review Parking Services’ Daily Rates webpage and Parking Permits webpage for details about parking at York U!

An annotated Keele Campus map that shows each of the parking lots and spaces.
Use this map of on-campus parking spaces to find the perfect parking spot for you!


Carsharing is a program that offers cars by the hour or by the day for any of your commuting needs. Once you make your account online, you’ll have access to numerous rental cars at a low hourly rate! Please visit the Enterprise CarShare and Zipcar webpages for everything you need to know about carsharing as a student, staff or faculty member at York U.


Carpooling is a great way to reduce the cost of gas and parking fees! Students, faculty and staff who would like to find a carpool partner on their way to York U can use the Smart Commute Tool. This online service also provides a great range of travel options for your trip and can match you with other commuters who have a similar travel plan. Be sure to visit York U’s Carpool webpage for more information about this service.


Cycling is a great alternative to driving to York U! You can plan various cycling routes to Campus using the Cycling Network Map, use on-campus bike racks to store your bicycle and even visit a DIY Bike Repair Station. It may also be convenient to combine your bike ride with any number of public transit service providers. Be sure to visit Cycling at YorkU for more details!

Shuttle Services

A photo of the York University shuttle bus.
Commute time, whether it be on a shuttle bus or subway, provides a great opportunity to get some work done on the go or to relax.

Village Shuttle

York U provides free shuttle services to “The Village”, an off-campus housing area south of the Keele Campus. Please visit York’s Village Shuttle webpage for more information about this service.

Keele-Glendon Shuttle

The Keele-Glendon Shuttle Service offers a free shuttle-bus service between the Keele and Glendon Campuses. Seating is limited on these buses and are available on a first come, first served basis, so make sure you arrive on time!

York University GO-Train Shuttle

York U students can access the York University GO Train Station with the York University GO-Train Shuttle. This shuttle service follows a strict schedule, so familiarize yourself with the GO Train Shuttle Service webpage!

An image of an approaching GO Train.
The GO Train is a convenient way to travel across the city!


VanGO is a mobility service that offers on-campus scheduled shuttle buses to help persons with disabilities get from one on-campus location to another. This service is available all year around, Monday to Friday from 8am to 10pm to help students, faculty and staff with mobility needs. Be sure to review York’s VanGO service webpage for more information!

Now that you know each of the transit options available to you, you can make an informed commuting plan! If you have additional questions, please contact York U’s Transportation Services for any information you may need.

If you have questions about York U’s Transportation Services, please comment below or tweet us @YorkUStudents!

  • Avatar

    The very fact that YRT will no longer travel into,the campus has added an additional $6.00 a day for a student travelling on route 20. It is not safe to walk from the campus to the pioneer station not is it feasible to do so with winter coming.

    It’s incomprehensible that this was allowed to happen. Something must be done to solve this additional,cost and inconvenience …not to mention the safety of students.

    • Avatar
      Trevor Lowden

      Hi Sarah,

      The easiest way to connect to YRT would be to hop on the subway at York University Station and proceed to Pioneer Village Station.

      If you are ever feeling unsafe on campus at night, I’d like to point you to our GoSAFE program, a complimentary service where a team of York students will walk with you to and from any on-campus location between the hours of 6:00pm to 2:00am in the winter and from 8:00pm to 2:00am in the winter.

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