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The Presto card (stylized as PRESTO) is a contactless smart card automated fare collection system used on participating public transit systems in the province of Ontario, Canada, specifically in Greater Toronto, Hamilton, and Ottawa. Presto card readers were implemented on a trial basis from June 25, 2007, to September 30, 2008. Full implementation began in November 2009 and it was rolled out across rapid transit stations, railway stations, bus stops and terminals, and transit vehicles on eleven different transit systems.

Presto card
PRESTO card. Note the Braille letter P.
LocationGreater Toronto, Hamilton and Ottawa
LaunchedQ4 2009
CurrencyCAD ($10 minimum load, $1000 maximum load)
Stored-valuee-purse, period pass
Credit expiryNone
Auto rechargeAutoload
  • Online
  • Participating transit agencies

A variant of the Presto card is the Presto ticket introduced on April 5, 2019, which is a single-use, paper ticket with an embedded chip. The Presto ticket can only be used for the services of the Toronto Transit Commission.[1][2]

One of the 10 strategies of The Big Move, the GTHA's regional transportation plan, was to create an integrated transit fare system amongst the 10 public transit agencies in the GTHA. The Presto system was designed to support the use of one common method of fare payment on various participating public transit systems, comparable with other systems such as London's Oyster card and Hong Kong's Octopus card.[3] Presto is an operating division of Metrolinx, the Ontario government agency that manages and integrates road transport and public transportation in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA).



In 2002, the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO), in conjunction with GO Transit and GTHA municipalities, began investigating the merit of a regional fare card. In October 2006, the Ministry of Transportation signed a 10-year, $250-million contract with Accenture to design, develop and operate the base Presto system for the GTHA.[4] Two major transit agencies, OC Transpo and the TTC, agreed to adopt the fare card system in 2007 and 2009 respectively. The larger anticipated userbase prompted the MTO to decide on developing a new system, called Presto Next Generation (PNG). Auditor General of Ontario criticized this move, suggesting that the base Presto system should have been expanded to accommodate OC Transpo and the Toronto Transit Commission.[4]

Thales Group and Accenture were awarded the contract to supply this system in October 2009. Implementation is the responsibility of Metrolinx, of which Presto became an operating division in 2011.

The Presto project was strongly criticized by the Auditor General of Ontario in 2012 for "roll-out glitches, cost escalations and untendered contract extensions" and warned the system could become the world's most expensive fare-card implementation project.[4][5][6] Instead of putting the development Presto Next Generation out to competitive tender, Metrolinx simply increased the size of the original base contract awarded to Accenture in 2006. By 2012, the cost of the system ballooned to $700 million.[7]

The Presto rollout on the TTC's surface transit fleet have been marred with abnormally high failure rates of the readers themselves[8] and cost overruns.[9] A TTC position paper noted that faulty Presto card readers used by fare inspectors on the proof-of-payment streetcar system is making it "difficult to get customers to comply with inspections" and costing the TTC in lost fare revenue.[10]

A June 3, 2017, story in the Toronto Star first reported that customers' Presto travel histories were provided to police authorities 12 times in the previous year, with a warrant having been required for only two of those disclosures and customers typically not having been notified that their records had been shared.[11] The figures were confirmed by Metrolinx in later reports, stating that they had granted 12 of 26 requests received from various police agencies.[12] In response to calls for reforming the data sharing system from experts and transit riding advocates, Metrolinx launched a formal review of its privacy policies.[13]

The rollout of the fare system and accompanying replacement fare gates on the TTC's subway network was met with poor reliability[14][15] and issues with processing transactions. Presto was forced to use its existing software back-end for other municipal transit partners that have completed the roll-out, as the TTC has yet to develop its own dedicated infrastructure to process the larger volume of transactions it typically handles.[16] The new fare gates suffered from persistent mechanical and software problems, prompting the TTC to suspend the rollout for a month to work with the contractor, Scheidt & Bachmann, to resolve reliability issues.[17] As a result, over 2,000 motors on more than 1,000 gates had to be replaced in addition to numerous hardware and software updates.[18] The June 2018 deadline for the complete roll-out of Presto for the TTC will be further pushed to 2019 due to these ongoing issues, prompting a delay in the phasing out of cash fares, tokens and other legacy fare media.[19] As a result, the TTC will face higher fare collection costs as it incurs "transitional costs" of operating parts of Presto and the legacy fare regimes concurrently over the next few years.[20][21] A situation TTC board member John Campbell describes as "totally inefficient".[22]

In its annual report released in 2018, Metrolinx indicated it expected the cost of the Presto system to reach $1.2 billion, with $1 billion already spent in the development and implementation the system between 2002 and March 2018.[23] While Presto was designed for complex fare transactions between GTA transit agencies, the system has so far proved to be unable to support the payment of special surcharges for TTC express downtown buses and TTC trips that enter Mississauga and York Region. As of late 2018, the TTC Presto system at large continues to experience abnormally high failure rates.[24]

In early 2018, Metrolinx detailed a plan to increase transit ridership by use of a mobile app (available for Android and iOS devices) which it released to the public for testing in beta version in late 2018. The app will eventually allow transit users to pay directly from their mobile device.[25][26][27]

Card useEdit

Presto cards are available at transit stations, over the phone and online.[28] Beginning in Stage 3, cardholders will also be able to load passes for up to three transit systems at a time on to their Presto card. When boarding, riders tap the prepaid card, embedded with an RFID chip, on to a reader. The reader will then check for either a valid transit pass, or automatically deduct the lowest available fare from the card's balance stored in its e-purse ("stored balance"). GO Transit and Union Pearson Express riders, whose fares are calculated by distance, must also tap their cards at the end of a trip. The readers can display one of several messages, depending on transit system and type of fare:

  • TTC readers show only that a card is or is not accepted.
  • Readers for most other local systems show a large white check mark on a green background, accompanied by one of several messages. For a monthly pass, the expiry date is shown. For a stored-balance fare at initial tap-on, the reader shows the fare deducted, balance remaining, and transfer period allowed. For subsequent taps within the transfer window, the transfer time remaining is shown.
  • GO Transit and Union Pearson Express readers, at both tap-on and tap-off, show much of the same information as those of a local system other than TTC for a stored-balance fare at initial tap-on.

Loyalty programs are also available on some transit systems, where frequent use of the system results in greater discounts on fare payment.

The Presto card works on several transit systems and has other features:

  • Autoload: The autoload feature allows cardholders to have a predetermined value automatically loaded onto their Presto card, when the stored balance value reaches a specified threshold. It will charge the cardholder's credit or debit card.
  • Autorenew, for monthly passes: Six days before the end of the current month, the next month's pass is automatically loaded onto the card. The new pass becomes effective the first day of the new month. Payment is charged as for an autoload.
  • Lost card replacement: If a registered cardholder loses their Presto card, they can have their lost card blocked within 24 hours of reporting the loss, and the remaining balance transferred to a replacement card.
  • Underpayment allowance: If a registered card has insufficient funds to pay a fare, but the balance is greater than $0 and has sufficient funds to cover the minimum base fare, the cardholder can incur a negative balance for one trip for a fee of $0.25.
  • Transit usage reports: Through an online account, a user can track transit usage, customize the data, and download it to a spreadsheet in CSV format.

A Braille letter "P" was placed on the Presto card to help distinguish it from other cards in a wallet, after consultation with feedback from visually impaired customers.[29]


Presto card readers and self-serve vending machine at Oriole GO Station

The following transit service providers use Presto:


In July 2007, 500 commuters who normally commuted from Meadowvale and Cooksville GO stations in Mississauga to Union Station in downtown Toronto received a free card and tried the system under a trial termed "Launch 1".[30] Officials decided to test the fare system on Mississauga's neighbourhood shuttle service in Meadowvale and Cooksville that transports passengers to GO Transit. During the Launch 1 trial, the Presto card could be used at:

The Launch 1 trial concluded September 30, 2008.[31]

The Presto card has been introduced in stages beginning in the fourth quarter of 2009.

Presto Card Rollout (detailed table)
Stage Date GO Transit Local systems
(field trial)
November 30, 2009 Union, Oakville, and Bronte stations
  • TTC subway station:
  • Oakville Transit routes:
    • 22: Upper Glen Abbey
    • 32: Burloak North
    • 110: West Industrial North
Two May 2010[32]

Lakeshore West rail line:

June 2010 Lakeshore West rail line:
July 2010 Lakeshore West rail line:

Milton rail line:

August 2010 Milton rail line:
September 2010 Milton rail line:
October 2010 Georgetown[a] rail line:
November 2010 Georgetown rail line:
Three[53] December 2010 Lakeshore East rail line:
January 2011


  • Concession fares

Georgetown rail line:

Lakeshore East rail line:

  • January 3: Concession fares for:
    • Burlington Transit
    • Oakville Transit
  • January 25:
    • Finch subway station
    • MiWay routes:[55]
      • 32: Lisgar GO
      • 62: Cooksville Shuttle - Webb
      • 64: Meadowvale Shuttle - Montevideo
February 2011

Lakeshore East rail line:

Barrie rail line:

March 2011

Barrie rail line:

Lakeshore East rail line:

Richmond Hill rail line:

Stouffville rail line:

April 2011

Stouffville rail line:

Richmond Hill rail line:

May 2011

Stouffville rail line:

  • May 4: Hamilton Street Railway[56]
  • May 30:
    • adult fares for MiWay[57]
    • Brampton Transit[58]
June 2011

Lakeshore East rail line:

  • June 27: co-fares for Durham Region Transit
July 2011

Georgetown rail line:

  • July 18: York Region Transit[59]
August 2011

Lakeshore West rail line:


  • August 23: GO Transit buses[60]
Q4 2011
February 2012

Barrie rail line:

Kitchener rail line:

  • GO Bus co-fares for MiWay[b]
March 2012
  • March 17: Yorkdale subway station
  • March 26:
    • York Mills subway station
    • GO Bus co-fares for Brampton Transit[b]
  • regular fares for Durham Region Transit
Four Q2 2013
  • OC Transpo
  1. ^ Now known as the Kitchener line
  2. ^ a b Exclusive for Presto cardholders only

Stage 1Edit

The first stage of the production rollout schedule was launched on November 30, 2009 and included a limited number of recruited customers to test the system.[66] Stage One included Oakville, Bronte and Union GO Stations, TTC Union Subway Station, and ten Oakville Transit buses on three routes.

Stage 2Edit

The second stage of the production rollout schedule was launched on May 10, 2010. In this stage, the Presto system became available to the general public and transit users were able to purchase Presto cards and use them at participating stations and transit systems. Stage Two was launched similarly to Stage One, but with full participation from Oakville Transit and Burlington Transit. GO Transit continued its system-wide rollout, with the Lakeshore East, Milton and Georgetown lines coming online at a rate of a few stations a week. The Toronto Transit Commission added six downtown stations (St. George, Queen's Park, St. Patrick, Dundas, College, Bloor/Yonge) to the Presto system. Two more stations (Kipling and Islington) were added in mid-2010. The third stage of the production rollout schedule was scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2010 to bring more transit systems and stations into the Presto system.

Stage 3Edit

The third stage of the rollout schedule expanded the rollout to a larger scale, covering the entire 905 region and Hamilton. GO Transit completed its rollout for trains and buses in mid-2012. Since then, all new GO Train stations and buses have had Presto readers on the first day of service.

In the end of this stage, all but two local transit systems had completed their rollout. Hamilton Street Railway was the first to roll out in this stage on May 3, 2011. Brampton Transit became fully Presto-enabled on May 30, 2011. On the same date, MiWay made the farecard available to adult passengers only.[55] Durham Region Transit launched Presto card for co-fares with GO Transit on June 27, 2011. Almost a month later, York Region Transit launched the Presto card in all of its Vivastations and buses. The TTC added Presto card as fare payment option in Don Mills, Downsview, Finch, Yorkdale and York Mills subway stations. In this stage, concession fares were added for GO Transit, Oakville Transit, Burlington Transit, Brampton Transit, York Region Transit and MiWay; and co-fares for GO buses have been offered by MiWay and Brampton Transit exclusively for Presto cardholders. Also in this stage, only Durham Region Transit remains to roll out its regular fares.

Presto's self-service kiosks debuted at Union Station for a pilot project during this period. Reception of the pilot kiosks was found to be favourable.[67] The pilot kiosks have since been removed and a widespread rollout of automated reload systems is ongoing throughout GO, TTC, and Union Pearson Express stations.

Stage 4 and Presto Next GenerationEdit

The fourth stage of the rollout added Ottawa's OC Transpo, commencing as a soft launch in the second quarter of 2012 and as a full rollout on May 18, 2013. It is the only agency to receive the Presto card so far outside the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area. This stage involved the initial rollout of Presto Next Generation (PNG). OC Transpo's Presto readers are compatible with the Société de transport de l'Outaouais's new Multi farecards and Presto cards are compatible with pass readers on STO buses, thus facilitating transfers between the two.

Stage Four also marked the extensive rollout of the Presto fare system on the TTC, also using the Presto Next Generation system, while the participating transit systems that had already fully rolled out in the earlier stages were to receive Presto Next Generation cards late in the fourth quarter of 2012. Payment by other means, such as open payment and mobile payment systems, will also be made compatible with this updated version of Presto card.[68]

Stage Four and Presto Next Generation had been criticized for numerous delays with launching OC Transpo service. Metrolinx set July 1, 2012 as the Presto launch date for Ottawa, but in June 2012, it was postponed to February 1, 2013. City staff decided to launch Presto in several stages for 2013, the last of which occurred on May 18, 2013.[69]

The first major addition of Presto on the TTC took place in the fourth quarter of 2014, with the introduction of Presto card machines in several more Toronto subway stations, and the launch of new streetcars equipped with this system (see below).

TTC participationEdit

In 2007, the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) committed to implement the Presto system at 14 of its major subway stations. In 2008, the TTC approved the use of a smartcard system[70] and worked with Presto in addressing the TTC's business requirements for "full" system participation.[71] An initial funding allocation of $140 million was earmarked by the provincial and federal governments and the City of Toronto; however, the TTC estimated in its 2009-2013 budget that the project would take $365 million to complete.[71] At a provincial funding announcement in March 2011, it was announced that Presto would become the TTC's fare card of choice, though details of financing were still to be worked out.[72]

On November 28, 2012, TTC CEO Andy Byford, TTC chair Karen Stintz, and Metrolinx signed the master agreement committing the TTC to the Presto fare payment system. The agreement fell under another master agreement that for the next ten years the new four LRT lines would be built by Metrolinx and operated by the TTC. The TTC was the last system to commit to Presto, while also being the largest system with the most users in Canada.[73] On November 30, 2014, the new low-floor Flexity Outlook streetcars became the first surface vehicles on the TTC to be equipped with this system. The older Canadian Light Rail Vehicle (CLRV) and Articulated Light Rail Vehicle (ALRV) streetcars would follow one year later on December 14, 2015, when those cars were retrofitted with Presto machines as well, and all remaining surface vehicles (including buses) and at least one entrance of all subway stations were equipped with this system by December 23, 2016.[74][75]

In April 2016, Main Street was the first station on the Toronto subway system to have the new paddle-door fare gates which replaced the old tripod turnstiles. All subway stations (at least one entrance per station) became fully Presto-compatible by December 22, 2016.

From May to December 2016, Presto readers were installed in TTC buses from west to east. As of May 31, 2016, all Queensway division buses were equipped with Presto readers. This was followed by Wilson and Arrow Road divisions in August 2016 and Malvern and Mount Dennis divisions in October 2016. Birchmount and Eglinton divisions were the last two divisions to have the Presto readers rolled out, with installations completed by December 23, 2016.

By September 2016, frequent reports emerged that Presto loading machines, fare gates, and the units for tapping cards were not functioning as initially expected.[76] The prevalence of these outages had the TTC calling the situation "unacceptable", although Byford noted the situation was improving.[14] Across 2016 and 2017, faulty Presto devices resulted in 1.4 million free rides on the TTC, each ride representing forgone revenue for the Commission.[77] The TTC estimated that from January 2016 to February 2018, it had lost $4.2 million in fare revenue as a result of problems with Presto readers, for which—as per the master agreement of 2012—Metrolinx was obligated to reimburse the TTC.[78]

In June 2017, the TTC made their monthly Metropasses available on the Presto card; initially, only the adult and senior versions were available; by the fourth quarter of 2018, student, youth, post-secondary student, and 12-month discount Metropasses were available to load to Presto cards.[79]

On January 7, 2018, the TTC and Metrolinx introduced a discounted double co-fare for customers transferring between Union Pearson Express, GO Transit and the TTC. The discounted fare is only available to Presto card customers who pay single fares using a stored card balance and is not available to customers who pay by cash, paper tickets, tokens or a Presto card with a digital monthly TTC pass loaded on it.[80]

Since June 2018, Presto readers have been widely available on all TTC buses and streetcars, as well as in all subway station entrances (including both the main/staffed and unstaffed/automated entrances) across the TTC transit network.[65][81] In late 2018, the TTC began internal testing of single-use paper Presto fare cards, called Presto tickets (which include one-ride, two-ride and day pass tickets), to replace concessionary tickets and tokens. They were officially made available to the public at Lawrence West and Yorkdale stations on April 6, 2019, and were later made available at all Line 1 Yonge-University-Spadina subway stations between Lawrence West and Vaughan Metropolitan Centre on May 3, 2019.[2] They will be made widely available in all subway stations and at select Shoppers Drug Mart stores later in 2019.[82][83][84]

On August 26, 2018, the TTC introduced a two-hour time-based transfer, in line with other local GTHA transit agencies. It is currently available only to Presto card customers who pay single fares using a stored card balance.[85]


  • Toronto Transit Commission: Expansions in the TTC will be Presto-equipped in the opening day, which includes all of the stations in the Spadina subway extension and Line 5 Eglinton.
  • GO Transit: All future GO stations will be Presto-equipped as early as the station opening.
  • Other transit systems: Requirements are being developed in order to incorporate additional transit agencies into Presto card. Many transit systems in the Greater Golden Horseshoe have expressed interest in adopting the Presto card as a fare payment system:
    • Milton Transit, the only transit system in the Greater Toronto Area that has not participated during the first phase, is working with Metrolinx to adopt the farecard.[86]
    • Guelph Transit is exploring its options in adopting the Presto card as a fare payment system.[68]
    • Grand River Transit expressed interest in participating with the rollout of the Presto card but now has decided to go to another system.[68][87]
    • Negotiations with Barrie Transit are ongoing with regards to the adoption of Presto card.[88]
    • Niagara Falls Transit's new fareboxes are designed to be capable of handling Presto cards, and are now participating for those transferring from a GO Bus or Train.[89]
    • Discussions in St. Catharines Transit are underway for participation in Presto.[90]
    • Niagara Region Transit's operators are also interested in adopting the farecard.[90]


Participating transit systems have different fares and fare policies when using the Presto card compared to traditional fare media; generally, passengers receive a discount using Presto compared to cash fares. The implementation of the Presto card has also unified the fare categories of GO Transit and local transit agencies, with local transit agencies adopting the GO Transit standard: local transit agencies used to have different age limits for child and senior fares and different types of students that may use student fares (some excluding post-secondary students while others do not). Registered Presto card holders are assessed the senior or child fares as appropriate. Student fare classification must be activated by the card-issuing transit authority through its normal procedures, which differ between transit systems. For example, post-secondary student fares are classified as students in only GO Transit and MiWay, while the rest classify them under the adult category.

Agency Adult Senior Child Student/Youth GO co-fare Period Pass Loyalty Program Notes
Brampton Transit $3.00 $1.60 $2.00 $2.55 $0.80 Yes No Fares are comparable to transit ticket levels. The senior cash fare is only $1 with a Brampton Transit senior ID card for Brampton residents.
Burlington Transit $2.70 $1.85 $1.85 $1.85 $0.70 Yes Yes1 Fares are comparable to transit ticket levels. Passengers taking more than a specified number of non co-fare trips in a calendar month (32 for seniors, 36 for adults, and 38 for students) may ride the system for free for the remainder of the month.
1 Except Child
Durham Region Transit $3.15 $2.10 $2.10 $2.80 $0.80 Yes No Fares are comparable to transit ticket levels.
GO Transit $5.30 $2.70 free $5.30 N/A No Yes Minimum fare required to begin travel. GO Transit fares depend on originating and destination fare zones and must be tapped on when starting travel and tapped off upon completion of travel on a GO bus. Fare adjustments will be reconciled upon tapping off. As of March 9, 2019, passengers under the age of 12 can ride GO Transit for free without a Presto card or ticket.[citation needed] Users can set a default trip, usually a daily commute, requiring tap-on only. For trips other than the default, a user can push an override button on the reader before tapping on and must tap off at the other end. Doing so will reset the card to the default trip.
Hamilton Street Railway $2.40 $2.00 $2.00 $2.00 $0.65 Yes Yes Fares are comparable to transit ticket levels. All HSR passes, except day passes, HSR Golden Age Bus Pass, and Summer Youth Pass, may be stored as period passes on Presto. Passengers taking more than 11 non-co-fare trips in a calendar week (starting in Monday and ending the following Sunday) may ride the system for free for the remainder of the week.
MiWay (Mississauga) $2.90 $1.90 $1.65 $2.25 $0.80 Yes Yes Fares are comparable to transit ticket levels. Passengers taking more than 12 non-co-fare trips in a calendar week (starting in Monday and ending the following Sunday) may ride the system for free for the remainder of the week. Presto Cards cannot be used on the TTC's 52 Lawrence West buses in Mississauga.
Oakville Transit $2.80 $1.80 $2.20 $2.20 $0.75 Yes Yes Passengers taking more than a specified number of non-co-fare trips in a calendar month (28 for child/student, 29 for seniors, and 35 for adults) may ride the system for free for the remainder of the month.
OC Transpo (Ottawa) $3.45 $2.60 $1.75 $3.45 N/A Yes No Youth passengers are offered a discounted monthly pass.
Toronto Transit Commission $3.00 $2.05 free $2.05 $1.50 Yes Planned Fares are identical to ticket and token prices. From September 2018, digital monthly TTC Metropasses along with the new 12-month pass have been available to purchase and upload onto Presto cards, with costs the same as the regular TTC monthly Metropass or the Metropass Discount Plan. Since early 2018, those with disabilities or who are low-income are eligible for the Fair Pass discount, which allows those with the discount to pay a $2.00 fare instead. Since August 26, 2018, Presto also provides a two-hour time-based transfer providing unlimited travel to those paying single fares using their stored balance, similar to that used by other Presto-enabled local transit systems.[91] (see Toronto Transit Commission fares for details)
Union Pearson Express $9.00 $5.64 free $9.00 No No No Presto use offers discounts compared to cash fares.[92]
York Region Transit $3.75 $2.35 $2.35 $3.00 $1.00 Yes Planned Fares are comparable to transit ticket levels. Fares shown are for travel within one fare zone. Presto Cards are not accepted for TTC operated routes in York Region.[93]
Presto reader at Unionville GO Station.

Other Presto card fare notes:

  • Durham Region Transit: DRT/GO Bus integration is not supported with the Presto card. Passengers taking a GO Transit route where DRT fare media is accepted will be charged GO Transit fares.
  • GO Transit: Fares for adult and student passengers between two fare zones are reduced to levels comparable to that of 10-ride tickets formerly offered by GO Transit. The loyalty discount system is in place where passengers frequently travelling between two fare zones will receive further discounts after 30 (student) or 35 trips (adult) in a single month, so the fare paid per month never exceeds that of the corresponding GO Transit monthly pass. Fares for senior passengers do not receive a further discount beyond the same 50% of adult (ticket) prices offered via traditional fare media. See GO Transit fares for more information.
    • Passengers connecting to local transit from GO Transit will only be assessed the co-fare, if applicable, on the Presto card if the GO Transit trip was also assessed to the Presto card; the full local fare will be assessed otherwise. Passengers connecting to GO transit from local transit will have their co-fare discounts assessed when disembarking from their GO Transit trips.
  • Hamilton Street Railway: GO Transit co-fares are done differently for Presto card holders compared to holders of traditional fare media. Passengers transferring to HSR from GO Transit will receive a $1.60 discount on the HSR fare, while passengers transferring to GO Transit from HSR will also receive a $1.60 discount on the GO Transit fare.
  • MiWay (Mississauga): Although MiWay supports period passes on the Presto card, it is expected that period passes will be phased out in favour of expanding the present loyalty program.
  • OC Transpo (Ottawa): Presto cards registered to addresses in Quebec may not use the Presto card when boarding OC Transpo buses, as per existing residency policies between OC Transpo and STO; STO fare media (including the STO Passe-Partout PLUS Card) must be used instead.
    • The "free fares for Seniors category on Wednesdays" is not enforced by Presto systems; a full fare will be assessed. Seniors riding OC Transpo buses on Wednesdays are encouraged to avoid tapping their Presto cards therein, unless intending to transfer to STO buses.
Presto card readers at Finch subway station. Legacy turnstile fare gates like these are being removed and replaced with new paddle-doored fare gates, already in use in many subway stations across the TTC subway network.
  • Toronto Transit Commission: As of January 2018, the TTC has implemented the Presto card machines at all 75 subway stations, and on-board all TTC conventional buses and streetcars. There are no free transfer privileges for Presto card holders when transferring to or from other neighbouring Presto-enabled Greater Toronto Area transit services, meaning a full fare is charged when transferring between these agencies; however, Presto card users transferring between TTC and GO Transit or Union Pearson Express get a $1.50 co-fare discount (or $0.55 for seniors/students). Since August 26, 2018, there is also a 2-hour time-based transfer window available to Presto card holders who pay single fares using their stored card balance; with this transfer, customers are entitled to unlimited travel for two hours across the TTC network, from their first tap of the Presto card, and have the ability to enter and exit any TTC vehicle or station an unlimited number of times, and/or switch directions without having to pay another fare. Unlike the other Greater Toronto transit agencies, the time-based transfer does not apply to customers paying by cash, tickets or tokens; the rules for their paper-based transfers remain unchanged: such transfers are good for a continuous one-way trip with no stopovers or backtracking.[94]
Viva OneRide and Presto machines at a Vivastation
  • York Region Transit: YRT Express fare supplements are automatically deducted.
    • YRT Express fares cannot be assessed on their own; passengers using the GTA Weekly Pass thus cannot use the Presto card for this fare upgrade.
    • YRT fares are assessed when boarding Züm buses in York Region due to fare integration with Viva Orange, even though both YRT and Brampton Transit fare media are accepted for Züm buses in York Region. Passengers holding a Brampton Transit period pass will not be assessed a fare when boarding a Züm bus in York Region, but will be assessed a fare for boarding Viva Orange. As Viva Orange is on a proof-of-payment system while Züm buses are pay-as-you-board, it does not matter whether fares are deducted at the Vivastation vending machine or on board a Züm bus, except in the case of Brampton Transit period pass holders.
    • Currently customers using TTC in York Region are advised not to use Presto, and to continue using cash, paper tickets, passes or the new YRT/Viva pay app; this advice is because the TTC has not yet integrated the YRT co-fare arrangement(s) on TTC buses operated on behalf of YRT while operating within York Region. Also, the YRT does not issue paper transfers to customers who pay by Presto, which means these customers are required to pay again when transferring between YRT and TTC routes, even the ones operating within York Region.

Inter-agency transfersEdit

Local transit systems within the Presto card's service area have always honoured transfers from neighbouring transit systems, and transferring between neighbouring transit systems continues to be honoured with the Presto Card where they were honoured with traditional fare media (except for TTC, GO Transit, Union Pearson Express and OC Transpo).

On most transit agencies, paper transfers are not required for Presto card users since the card itself acts as proof-of-payment (POP) which can also be used to transfer from vehicle to vehicle or vehicle to station (vice versa) and/or to show enforcement officers on designated POP routes on which they carry hand-held devices to verify that payment was made (tapped on upon entry to the station or vehicle) except in the following cases:

  • "Companion fares" - using stored value in the Presto card e-purse to pay fares for two or more passengers; paper transfers will be issued for all passengers other than the cardholder.
  • Transferring from a MiWay bus to TTC route 52 Lawrence West in Mississauga, which operates on behalf of MiWay while in Mississauga.[95]
  • Depending on the transit operators involved, transferring from a local transit agency where the passenger has a local period pass to a neighbouring transit agency where the passenger does not (such as from Hamilton Street Railway to Burlington Transit while the Presto Card has a period pass for HSR); a full fare for the second transit agency will otherwise be assessed to the Presto Card.
  • "TTC Times Two with GO Transit and/or Union Pearson Express" - Currently, passengers who use Presto will need a paper transfer if they wish to transfer from the TTC to GO Transit/Union Pearson Express and back on the TTC for their second ride to prevent a second fare from being deducted from their Presto card(s) when boarding the next TTC vehicle to complete their one-way trip as this functionality is not yet supported by Presto. The procedure is as follows:
    • When boarding a TTC bus or legacy (older) CLRV/ALRV streetcar, passengers should board at the front, tap their card on the green fare readers and request a paper transfer from the driver/operator.
    • On the TTC's newer Flexity Outlook streetcars, passengers should tap their card on the green fare readers by the doors to pay their fare, and again at the grey "Fares and Transfers" machine at the second and third doors to receive a paper transfer.
    • When entering a subway station, passengers should tap their card at the fare gates using the main entrance and take a paper transfer from the red transfer box after entering the paid area.[96]

As the Presto card is meant to replace paper transfers along with cash, tickets, tokens and paper passes, local transit operators have generally adopted the Presto card's transfer policies in their paper transfers (in the sense that, with the exception of the TTC, GO Transit, Union Pearson Express and OC Transpo, all local transit operators accept each other's transfers, and will not reissue transfers originally issued by other local transit operators), except for a generally longer transfer window provided by the Presto card.

Use with non-Presto agenciesEdit

  • Barrie Transit: GO Transit users allowed to transfer to Barrie Transit buses for free by presenting their Presto cards at applicable connection points.
  • Guelph Transit: GO Transit co-fares are offered for those who show Presto card or other GO media.
  • Grand River Transit: GO Transit co-fares are offered for Presto card users at Kitchener GO Station.
  • Milton Transit: GO Transit co-fares are offered for Presto Card users.
  • Société de transport de l'Outaouais (STO): Presto card is compatible with STO Passe-Partout PLUS Card readers on STO buses. Passengers may use the Presto card to transfer to STO from OC Transpo; passengers with an OC Transpo monthly pass loaded on the Presto card may also board STO buses without having previously transferred from OC Transpo.
    • Presto cards are not accepted on STO trips departing from Gatineau before 9 am. Passengers are required to obtain the STO-OC Transpo Rider Smart Card, issued by STO to Ontario residents living within OC Transpo's service area, for such trips. Passengers residing outside OC Transpo's service area must pay STO fares.
    • STO Passe-Partout PLUS Card readers are unable to deduct cash fares from Presto card holders. As such, the Presto cards may not be used to board an STO bus directly, nor provide companion fares. Passengers transferring to an STO Express or STO Interzone route must pay any fare supplements in cash.

Presto ticketEdit

A limited-use, one-ride TTC Presto ticket

A Presto ticket is a single-use, paper ticket with an embedded electronic chip. Like the Presto card, users must tap the Presto ticket on a Presto reader when entering a TTC bus, streetcar or subway station. Unlike the Presto card, the Presto ticket is valid only for TTC services; it cannot be used for any other regional service. The Presto ticket is intended for infrequent TTC customers.[1]

There are 3 types of Presto ticket: 1-ride, 2-ride and day pass. Customers can purchase up to 10 Presto tickets at a time from Presto fare vending machines at a limited number of subway stations. Unlike Presto cards, Presto tickets do not support concession fares for seniors, students, youth or children. As with Presto cards, there is a 2-hour transfer period for 1- and 2-ride Presto tickets for TTC services. The Presto day pass expires at 2:59 a.m. on the day following the ticket's first use.[1]

A Presto ticket is not reloadable and is meant to be discarded once the travel period has ended. Because of the embedded chip, the ticket is not recyclable. Presto tickets bought by individuals must be used within 90 days of purchase, although service agencies may purchase Presto tickets that can be used up to one year from purchase. All Presto tickets have an expiry date so as not to overload a central computer system that tracks all unexpired Presto tickets. Presto fare vending machines at subway stations have an inquiry feature to check whether a purchased Presto ticket is still valid.[1]

As of 6 May 2019, Presto tickets are sold only at 10 stations located on Line 1 Yonge–University between Lawrence West and Vaughan Metro Centre stations[2]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d "Presto Frequently Asked Questions". Toronto Transit Commission. Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c "TTC extends sales of Presto Tickets to 10 stations". Toronto Transit Commission. May 6, 2019. Archived from the original on May 7, 2019. Retrieved June 2, 2019.
  3. ^ Metrolinx - PRESTO Archived September 15, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ a b c "2012 Annual Report: Section 3.09 Metrolinx—Regional Transportation Planning" (PDF). Office of the Auditor General of Ontario.
  5. ^ "System builder of Presto fare card had poor track record". Retrieved 2018-09-08.
  6. ^ Lorinc, John (15 January 2014). "Presto Technology sold to Washington DC raises questions". Spacing Magazine. Archived from the original on 18 January 2014. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  7. ^ "Auditor general says Presto smart card cost has ballooned to $700 million". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2018-09-08.
  8. ^ "12% of Presto card readers on buses don't work, Metrolinx audit says". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2016-12-04.
  9. ^ "Presto card rollout on TTC running millions over budget". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2016-12-04.
  10. ^ "TTC internal report on fare evasion raises red flags over lost revenue". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2018-06-09.
  11. ^ Spurr, Ben (June 3, 2017). "Metrolinx has been quietly sharing Presto users' information with police". Toronto Star. Retrieved June 20, 2017.
  12. ^ Pelley, Lauren (June 3, 2017). "Metrolinx provided customer Presto data to police 12 times in past year". CBC News. Archived from the original on June 3, 2017.
  13. ^ Spurr, Ben (June 5, 2017). "Metrolinx to review Presto privacy policy". Toronto Star. Retrieved June 20, 2017.
  14. ^ a b "Failing Presto fare gates madden passengers". Toronto Star. Retrieved 19 January 2017.
  15. ^ "Broken Presto readers cause long lineups at Finch Station". CityNews Toronto. 2018-01-04. Retrieved 2018-06-09.
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  18. ^ "TTC resumes installation of Presto fare gates". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2018-06-09.
  19. ^ "The TTC will keep accepting tickets and tokens for another year and a half". CBC News. Retrieved 2018-06-09.
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  33. ^ a b c d e "Tap, "GO", PRESTO!". Transit Toronto. 4 June 2010. Retrieved 24 July 2010. Aldershot GO Station and the Hamilton GO Centre become PRESTO service agencies this Monday, June 7 ... Oakville GO Station became a PRESTO service agencies, on Monday, May 10. Bronte GO Station became an agency on Monday, May 17. Appleby GO Station became a PRESTO agency on Tuesday, May 25 and Burlington GO Station on Monday, May 31.
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  35. ^ "Port Credit GO Station now a PRESTO agency". Transit Toronto. 28 June 2010. Retrieved 24 July 2010.
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  39. ^ "PRESTO card". 27 July 2010. Retrieved 27 December 2010. Use your PRESTO card at Milton GO Station starting tomorrow!
  40. ^ "PRESTO card". Presto card official Twitter feed. 21 July 2010. Retrieved 24 July 2010. TTC Kipling and Islington stations will be up and running on Monday, July 26
  41. ^ "PRESTO card". 9 August 2010. Retrieved 27 December 2010. Use your PRESTO card at Lisgar GO Station starting today
  42. ^ "PRESTO card". 12 August 2010. Retrieved 27 December 2010. Use your PRESTO card at Meadowvale GO Station starting tomorrow
  43. ^ "PRESTO card". 18 August 2010. Retrieved 27 December 2010. Streetsville GO Station is going online tomorrow
  44. ^ "PRESTO card". 21 August 2010. Retrieved 27 December 2010. Starting Monday, use your PRESTO card at Dixie GO Station!
  45. ^ "PRESTO card". 30 August 2010. Retrieved 27 December 2010. Kipling GO station is PRESTO-equipped today!
  46. ^ "PRESTO card". 23 September 2010. Retrieved 27 December 2010. Cooksville GO Station went live today
  47. ^ "PRESTO card". 24 September 2010. Retrieved 27 December 2010. Erindale GO went live today
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  50. ^ "You can use PRESTO fare cards at Malton GO Station, October 19". Transit Toronto. 18 October 2010. Retrieved 2 January 2011.
  51. ^ "You can use PRESTO fare cards at Bloor GO Station, November 11". Transit Toronto. 10 November 2010. Retrieved 2 January 2011.
  52. ^ "You can use PRESTO fare cards at Weston GO Station, November 17". Transit Toronto. 16 October 2010. Retrieved 2 January 2011.
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External linksEdit