Toronto

Presto card balances could be coming to TTC vehicles soon

If you ever find yourself nervously wondering if you have enough money in your Presto account to pay for your TTC trip, your daily scare may soon be a thing of the past.

TTC spokesperson confirms talks with Metrolinx, but no timeline confirmed

A woman uses her Presto card at a paddle-style fare gate. The TTC says it is in talks with Metrolinx to make card readers display balances. (Radio-Canada)

If you ever find yourself nervously wondering if you have enough money in your Presto account to pay for your TTC trip, your daily scare may soon be a thing of the past.

Toronto's transit agency is in talks with Metrolinx staff to change the card readers across the city's transit system so they can display Presto balances.

But it's still unclear when that change will happen.

The two sides are discussing logistics, "but no definitive timeframe has been identified for when this will be available," TTC spokesperson Heather Brown said in an email to CBC Toronto.

Presto card balances are already visible when riders tap on GO Transit and the UP Express.

"Presto staff can make it happen for TTC as well upon request," Metrolinx spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins said in an email. She added that including the fare-display feature has always been available, but it's at the discretion of each transit agency.

The TTC had previously cited privacy concerns among its reasons for not showing riders their balance.

However, TTC Chair Jaye Robinson said many riders have been asking for that ability as more and more people begin using the cards.

"As we continue to roll out Presto, we want to use the technology to our advantage," she told CBC. "That is part of the technology."

Robinson acknowledged the rollout of Presto on the TTC has not gone smoothly, with widespread reports of card problems as well as serious glitches including one that allowed some cards to shut down fare gates and card-loading machines.

Robinson suggested the changes could come into effect as early as this spring or summer.  

Meanwhile, commuters who don't want to get caught with a low Presto card balance can always sign up for the auto-reload feature.  

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