Toronto

All streetcars to be Presto-enabled by year's end

The Presto prepaid electronic fare card now works on 100 of the TTC's 230 older streetcars and transit officials say all streetcars will be Presto enabled by year's end.

Move away from tickets, tokens more convenient for customers, TTC Chair Josh Colle says

The TTC hopes to have Presto machines installed and working in all of its streetcars by the end of the year. (CBC)

The Presto prepaid electronic fare card now works on 100 of the TTC's 230 older streetcars and transit officials hope all streetcars will be Presto enabled by year's end. 

At a news conference this morning, Ontario Transport Minister Steven Del Duca said Presto machines will be added to 10 to 15 of the older streetcars each day until the entire fleet is Presto-enabled.

Passengers can pre-load the electronic card with money at special kiosks inside stations or online. Riders can then pay their fare by tapping card readers at TTC stations and as they board buses and streetcars. 

Byford expects customers will embrace Presto

TTC CEO Andy Byford said he expects passengers who currently use tokens or cash to embrace the shift to Presto. 

"Very rapidly people come to realize the absolute benefit and convenience of tapping and not having to fiddle around with cash and tokens," he said. 

TTC Chair Josh Colle said currently Presto accounts for about 2.5 per cent of all TTC trips. He said it will likely take some time for passengers to break the habit of paying with tokens or cash.

"People in Toronto have been using the same fare media for … it seems like 100 years," he said. 

Colle said Presto adds convenience for customers and saves the TTC money, as staff will increasingly have less cash and fewer tokens to count and store. 

"It's an inefficient way for us to operate and far less convenient to our customers," he said. 

Presto allows the TTC to set different fares based on the time customers travel. Colle said the TTC is looking at peak-hour pricing, which means passengers travelling during rush hour would pay more. 

The idea is to encourage more customers to travel at off-peak times to ease the rush-hour burden on the system.

​Tickets and tokens will be sold until the end of 2016 and accepted until mid-2017. 

The TTC's 11 new streetcars, which are currently only in service on the 510 Spadina and 509 Harbourfront route, come Presto enabled. 

Transit riders will be able to use Presto on all TTC subway stations, streetcars and buses by the end of 2016.

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