The Toronto Transit Commission is planning to roll out the Presto program across the city’s transit system by the end of 2016, a year ahead of the scheduled implementation of 2017.
The accelerated plan, developed by the TTC and regional transportation agency Metrolinx, would make the tap-and-pay fare card system available at 26 subway stations by July 2015 and at all 69 subway stations by the end of 2016, the agencies announced on Tuesday. Currently, Presto is available at 15 subway stations.
By the end of 2015, all old streetcars would be outfitted with the Presto system at the front door, and by the end of 2016, all buses would accept Presto cards.
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“What we are saying today is we are working with Metrolinx to see if we can shave a year off that program,” Byford told reporters on Tuesday. “I really want to get Presto in. It will make a massive difference.”
The Presto system allows users to preload a card with money and pay their fare by tapping the card against an electronic reader.
The system is already in use throughout the GO Transit lines and some regional transit systems. Currently 15 TTC stations and three of the new Streetcars on Spadina Avenue are outfitted with the Presto system, Byford said.
The Presto equipment used to outfit the old streetcars under the accelerated plan would be diverted from the new streetcars, the delivery of which have been delayed, the agencies said.
New fare gates also coming
Byford said the introduction of the Presto system to London’s transit system has caused “a huge transformation.”
“We want Torontonians to have that same experience,” he said.
Byford added that time is needed to manufacture all the equipment. Additionally, the vehicles need to be rewired so the Presto system can be connected to the database, and cables need to be added to the stations to power the system.
In addition to the accelerated Presto rollout, the agencies also said that TTC is planning to install brand new fare gates at all stations.
The plans are subject to approvals, the agencies said.