Time-based TTC transfers took a big step closer to reality for riders on Tuesday after the TTC voted to further study the idea.

The new system would allow riders to get off a bus (or streetcar or subway), run an errand, and then make the return trip with the same transfer.

The current system allows for a single continuous trip.

Andy Byford, the CEO of the TTC, said the transfer system would cost the transit system $20-million. Before being approved the idea would have to go back before the Board to see how it would fit into the TTC budget.

Byford admits that the time-based transfer system is great for riders.

He said that implementing it would be easy once the Presto system is up and running because then it’s done electronically.

“It is possible to do it without Presto,” Byford explained. “I think realistically, we will probably wait until the Presto system is in place.”

Byford said the commission doesn’t have the money needed to implement the system.

In fact, there is a $6-million dollar gap as it is.

Stintz plans to ask council for $3-million to help close that gap at Wednesday’s council meeting.

Stintz said Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly supports her.

The decision to study the system was made at a meeting on Tuesday.

If the time-based transfer system is approved, it could be implemented in a matter of months.

The meeting was the last one chaired by councillor Karen Stintz. She is set to step down next month to run for mayor in October’s municipal election.