To shorten lineups and make it easier to visit Toronto Island, Mayor John Tory announced a new ticket purchase option for the Toronto Island Ferry through popular mobile app, Ritual, that will increase the number of passengers pre-purchasing tickets online for the month of August. The City is also providing additional signage and staff to make it easier for passengers to access express kiosks.
Toronto Island Park is Toronto's largest downtown park and the City ferry service transported 1.3 million passengers to Toronto Island in 2015. This year, that number is expected to increase by as much as 15 per cent.
The City is taking the following steps to make it easier for people to get to the Toronto Island Park:
– Residents and visitors can avoid ticket-kiosk lineups at the ferry terminal by purchasing tickets online at toronto.ca/ferry or through the Ritual app, printing at home or displaying on a smart phone, and heading straight to the terminal gates.
– There will be one kiosk, kiosk #9, dedicated exclusively to pre-purchased tickets.
– There will be improved signage and wayfinding at the ferry terminal to make it easier for people to find the appropriate gate when tickets are purchased online.
– Staff will be deployed at the ferry terminal to help people get to the ferry gates and to make sure advance ticket holders go straight to kiosk 9.
Introduced earlier this year, the online ticket purchasing system is currently used for just 25 per cent of ferry ticket sales. To promote the purchase of online tickets, the City is working with Toronto-based Ritual, a native app that allows users to skip the line by pre-ordering and pre-paying for food and beverage items.
Starting on Saturday, Ritual will be the first mobile app to allow in-app purchases for ferry tickets conducted through a mobile friendly connection to the City's existing online ticket system throughout the month of August.
“Toronto Island Park is one of our most beloved destinations for residents and visitors of all ages,” said Mayor Tory. “As demand continues to grow, we want people to have fast, convenient options to purchase ferry tickets, and I’m happy to work with Ritual to improve the ferry experience.”
Online tickets as well as those purchased through Ritual can be used any time on any day the ferry service is running, and purchases of 10 tickets or more are discounted by 10 per cent. Other mobile apps are also invited to work with the City of Toronto to promote and encourage online ticket purchases.
“The Ritual app helps tens of thousands of Torontonians save time every day on food and drink purchases by eliminating lineups, loose change and paper receipts. We're delighted to work with the City of Toronto to offer our seamless experience for buying ferry tickets this summer. We hope thousands of people will now spend less time in long ferry kiosk lines and more time enjoying Toronto Island Park,” said Raymond Reddy, CEO at Ritual.
Rates, schedules (including peak busy times) and tickets are available at toronto.ca/ferry.
The City is in the process of procuring new ferries with improved efficiency. The first new ferry is expected to be in service in 2018.
In 2015, Waterfront Toronto held a design competition for the redesign of the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal and has since held public consultations on the winning design. Though the project is not yet funded, the long-term plan aims to increase the terminal's capacity and improve the ferry experience.