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PRESTO and the TTC

Using Ontario's Transit Fare Smartcard on Toronto's Public Transit System


Image of the PRESTO fare card used in the GTA

The PRESTO card is a wallet-sized fare card which can be used on multiple transit systems in Ontario.

Marilyn Campbell

PRESTO is a smartcard fare payment system which is used by many public transit systems in the Greater Toronto Area and other parts of Southern Ontario. The TTC is slowly making moves to also allow Toronto transit riders to pay their way using a PRESTO Card.

Using PRESTO on the TTC

Currently, the TTC only has PRESTO card readers available on the turnstiles at fourteen subway stations:
  • Bloor-Yonge Station (Bloor-Danforth line, Yonge-University-Spadina line)

  • College Station (Yonge-University-Spadina)

  • Don Mills Station (Sheppard line)

  • Downsview Station (Yonge-University-Spadina)

  • Dundas Station (Yonge-University-Spadina)

  • Finch Station (Yonge-University-Spadina)

  • Islington Station (Bloor-Danforth)

  • Kipling Station (Bloor-Danforth)

  • Queen’s Park Station (Yonge-University-Spadina)

  • St. George Station (Bloor-Danforth, Yonge-University-Spadina)

  • St. Patrick Station (Yonge-University-Spadina)

  • Union Station Station (Yonge-University-Spadina)

  • Yorkdale (Yonge-University-Spadina)

  • York Mills (Yonge-University-Spadina)

TTC Fares Using PRESTO

For customers paying using other methods, the TTC offers a variety of fare categories, with discounts for seniors, students and children. Depending on your travel habits, you may also be able to save by purchasing a TTC Daypass, a weekly pass, a monthly Metropass, or subscribing to the Metropass Discount Plan (MDP).

Unfortunately, none of these savings are available yet to PRESTO customers. So far the TTC's PRESTO system is only set up to deduct the current cost of a token, no matter what the age of the rider or how many trips the card is used for in a month. This is not the case with other PRESTO-using transit systems, for which cards can be designated as belonging to a senior or youth, and for which some discounts are available based on the number of trips you take. Eventually the TTC should be adding this capability, but at present a PRESTO ride will always cost you the same as a token.

Transferring With PRESTO

Again, the TTC is behind other transit systems in this regard due to the limited availability of PRESTO card readers. On most PRESTO-ready systems, no paper transfer is required to move between buses - the card is tapped a second time but the system recognizes the transfer and deducts no fare. However since there are no card readers on any surface routes, TTC riders using PRESTO to enter one of the twelve TTC subway stations listed above will need to remember to get a paper transfer when they enter the station if they will need to exit the station and board a second vehicle to complete the trip.

PRESTO Customer Service in Toronto

You may speak to a PRESTO representative or purchase or load a PRESTO card at any staffed GO Transit train station, the Union Station GO bus terminal, or the Yorkdale GO bus terminal.

There is also a PRESTO Self-Service Kiosk located in the lower level of Union Station, near the PATH connection to the Air Canada Centre. You can't buy a PRESTO card at the kiosk, but you can check your balance or add money to your account using a credit card or debit card.

TTC staff are not yet able to provide any PRESTO-related customer assistance. If you run into any problems and can't get to a representative at a GO station you'll need to contact PRESTO directly by calling 1-8-PRESTO-123 (1-877-378-6123) or using the "contact us" form on the PRESTO website.

So When Will PRESTO Really Be Coming to Toronto?

Although no date has been formally announced, in December of 2011 a National Post report on a TTC fare increase quoted TTC chief general manager Gary Webster commenting on the PRESTO system. Webster indicated that the PRESTO system is not expected to be fully implemented until 2016, but the TTC is aiming to have as much done as possible in time for the Toronto Pan Am Games, which are slated for the summer of 2015.

Learn More About PRESTO Online

For updates on the TTC's implementation of PRESTO, visit the "Fares and Passes" section of ttc.ca. To learn more about PRESTO, you can:
  1. About.com
  2. Travel
  3. Toronto
  4. Getting Around Town
  5. TTC - Toronto Public Transit
  6. Using PRESTO Smartcard Fare Payment System in Toronto

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