GO Transit is putting its money where its mouth is: starting Thursday riders will get a full fare credit if their train is more than 15 minutes late.

“It’s very important for [GO customers] to have a comfort level that they’ll arrive at their destination on time and we believe this will provide more of an incentive for people to leave their cars at home and take GO Transit,” Transportation Minister Bob Chiarelli said.

About 75 per cent of all GO train delays will be covered by the service guarantee, except those caused by “factors outside our control,” including extreme weather and medical emergencies.

GO will be shelling out about $1 million a year to provide the fare credits, the transportation minister said. GO trains were on time 87.6 per cent of the time in 2008 and by 2011 that record had improved to 94 per cent.

Chiarelli said it will be easy for customers to get their refunds. Presto users can access their fare credit online and those who pay by cash can visit a GO customer service representative.

Bruce McCuaig, president and CEO of the provincial transit agency Metrolinx, said customers will be credited for delays caused by technical malfunctions that cause trains to arrive more than 15 minutes late, including switch problems, signal issues or problems with rail car doors.

“Also within our control would be late trains due to train traffic on the corridor,” he said. GO shares corridors with CP, CN and VIA Rail.

“We want to be accountable to our customers,” he said.

Read more about the service guarantee program here.