All TTC buses, streetcars and subway stations across the city will have Presto by the end of next year as the plan to eliminate tokens and metropasses moves forward.
“It’s a huge change. It’s the biggest rollout we’ve every done,” Metrolinx spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins said. “It’s the biggest transit system in the country so it’s a huge undertaking.”
The rollout was originally expected to be complete by the end of this year.
To make purchasing a Presto card easier for transit users, next year cards will be sold at Gateway Newstands.
Metrolinx says it is also finalizing a deal with major retail chains to sell Presto cards.
— CityNews Toronto (@CityNews) December 21, 2016
The TTC will stop selling tokens next year but will still accept them as payment until 2018.
“Into next year, people will still be able to use cash, tickets, tokens and metropasses while we continue the rollout of Presto,” Heather Brown, senior communications specialist with the TTC, explained. “At the end state when we’re completely finished all of the subway entrances, Presto will replace all of our fare media today.”
Those looking to pay cash will still be able to going forward on buses and streetcars. Brown said there will also be a device at every subway entrance that will accept cash for single ride fares and where people can use cash to load their Presto cards.
About 1.4 million people already use Presto on GO Transit and seven other regional transit carriers, including Oakville, Mississauga, and Brampton. Presto allows users to tap on to transit vehicles with a smart card pre-loaded with credits. It also allows for easier fare integration across networks.
Currently, the TTC averages around 350,000 Presto card taps per week on streetcars and subways combined.