By: Zaid Noorsumar
Students and Metropass holders will be relieved to learn that they will retain their monthly discount plans with unlimited rides when PRESTO is completely rolled-out in 2017.
Brad Ross, TTC spokesperson, confirmed that there will be a “Metropass-like product” in the future when PRESTO becomes the singular mode of payment. According to the TTC website, commuters will be able to load a Metropass onto their PRESTO card.
Ross also confirmed that the discounted plans will be available to post-secondary students, who currently only enjoy the reduced fares on Metropass and not on PRESTO. Though the details of how this would work and how students will be able to obtain a student ID to work with PRESTO are as yet unknown. The TTC assures us however that we will have “plenty of notice” before the complete switchover to PRESTO.
According to its website, the TTC is also considering introducing a “non-calendar specific” PRESTO monthly pass that stays valid for a 30-day period, regardless of the date it is purchased on.
The PRESTO rollout was expected to be completed by the end of the year but considering that many subway stations and buses are still not equipped with PRESTO gates, it appears that the goal will not be achieved.
Last month, the Star reported that the $255 million budget for the project had already been overrun by $22 million, with the cost to taxpayers set to balloon further as upgrades to the system continue. The final estimate of the project is yet to be publicly disclosed.
How much does a PRESTO Card cost and where can I get one?
$6 per card, available;
•Online at prestocard.ca
•By phone at 1-877-378-6123 (follow options 7-1-1 for TTY)
Customer Service Centre at Davisville Station, 1900 Yonge Street
• At certain Gateway Newstands with a list of available stations on the TTC website.
Where can I currently use a PRESTO card?
•All TTC streetcars,
•Many TTC buses.
•Certain subway stations (check the TTC website for an up-to-date list)
•GO Transit, Union Pearson Express, Brampton Transit, Burlington Transit, Durham Transit, Hamilton Street Transit, MiWay, Oakville Transit, York Region Transit/VIVA.
How do I register my card and do I need to?
•You can register your card online at prestocard.ca.
• Registered PRESTO cards can be replaced if lost or stolen and the cash balance will be restored.
•Allows you to claim the Federal Public Transit Tax Credit.
•Can use the autoload feature, which means you’ll never have to worry about not having money on your card.
Where can I fill up my PRESTO card for TTC?
• Autoload – automatically loads money to your card whenever your balance falls below a set minimum chosen by you.
•By phone – 1-877-378-6123 (see TTC website for more information).
•Customer Service Centre at Davisville Station, 1900 Yonge Street.
•Self-Serve Reload Machine located at some subway stations (see TTC website).
The minimum amount is $10, the maximum is $1000. Online transactions can take up to 24 hours to take effect.
When do I tap my card and can I transfer using PRESTO?
You always need to “tap on” when you begin your trip. To tap on, touch your PRESTO card to the green PRESTO reader located inside the vehicle or on the turnstile/new fare gates in the station. To transfer from surface transit or to subway, tap again and you will only be charged once if it is a valid transfer. Standard two-hour transfer conditions apply. See TTC website for more details.