The Metrolinx board of directors approved a fare hike for GO Transit riders on Wednesday and agreed to make Toronto’s downtown relief line a priority.

The fare hike comes just one week after the TTC approved a fare hike for its users. GO Transit riders will see fares for a single ride go up by 35 to 55 cents as of Feb. 1, 2013.

The increase is less for Presto card customers, who already receive a discount for purchasing rides in bulk.

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The provincial transit agency also decided to make the downtown relief line a “top priority,” meaning it will be considered in the next 15 years instead of in the next 25 years.

“I can’t be more specific about the actual timeline,” CEO and president Bruce McCuaig said during a news conference Wednesday.

“We need to do more work with city of Toronto and the TTC and York Region about how these projects work together.”

Making the relief line a priority will have an impact on extending the Yonge subway line into York Region, but the subway line is still considered a priority.

The line will take pressure off the existing TTC subway, which is expected to see a huge increase in ridership in the coming years.

By 2031, transit ridership into the downtown is expected to grow by 51 per cent, the TTC said, and the population south of College Street from Bathurst to Parliament will surge by 83 per cent, according to a TTC staff report.

The number of morning peak-period trips into downtown will also jump from 155,000 to 236,000, the TTC said.

Toronto transit riders are facing a five-cent TTC fare hike that takes effect Jan. 1, 2013.

The fare increase would apply to single adult tokens and other fares, including adult metro passes, which would cost an extra $2.50 to $128.20. The hike will not apply to cash payments.

The Big Move project, which will include light rail transit (LRT) in Mississauga, Brampton and Hamilton, and bus rapid transit (BRT) in Durham, Toronto, Peel and Halton, as well as investment in the GO Transit rail network, is expected to cost $50 billion.