Presto

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A Presto card.
A YRT bus wrapped for Presto.

Presto, stylized PRESTO is an electronic transit fare payment system for the Greater Toronto Area, Hamilton, and Ottawa. The card is the size of a debit card and is made of durable plastic. One can load up to $1000 (originally $320) on their card. The card was initially only configured for adult fares. In late 2010, Presto announced period passes were now available on the card, and on January 4, 2011, announced reduced fares for seniors, students or children are available.

A Request for Qualifications was issued in December 2004 for the design, build and operation for the smart card system then known as the GTA Farecard. Four firms were deemed qualified in early 2005 and a request for proposals was issued late that year with three firms submitting proposals. In October 2006, the $250-million contract was awarded to Accenture who scored the highest in evaluation.

The Toronto Transit Commission only committed to select stations with Presto readers, and was looking into their own electronic fare payment system that would accommodate open payments.[1] The Commission moved towards the implementation of Presto at their November 2011 meeting. Substantial implementation of Presto will be in advance of the 2015 Pan Am Games.[2] The TTC will be launched with the next-generation Presto system.

Presto Next Generation (PNG) will have the option for open payments with contactless credit cards and near field communication for mobile devices. Presto will be expanded to include private partnerships to offer services such as bike-sharing and parking. PNG began development in 2010 and will first be rolled out in Ottawa.[3] The Société de transport de l'Outaouais's own smart card system and Presto will be compatible with each other. Next-generation Presto cards are not currently interoperable with the system in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. These cards are distinguishable by the horizontally placed graphics.

Trial

In March 2007, it was announced the first use of the card would be a trial involving GO Transit (GO), Mississauga Transit, and the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). The trial began in July 2007 and recruited around 500 commuters to test out the new fare system using their journey from downtown Toronto to Meadowvale and Cooksville. Because this commute includes a network of GO shuttles, it was found to be a prime area to test the fare card.[4] The trial lasted until the end of September 2008.

The card was able to be used on the TTC at Union subway station. On GO, Union Station, Meadowvale, and Cooksville station had the readers for the card. Mississauga Transit equiped a few buses with readers for dedicated use on the GO shuttles servicing the station.

Implementation

Date Transit system Service description Notes
Fall 2009[5] GO Transit Bronte GO Station, Oakville GO Station, and Union GO Station First Lakeshore West line stations to go live.
Oakville Transit Three routes
Toronto Transit Commission Union Station
May 10, 2010 Burlington Transit Full system, adult fares only.[6] Part of official launch at Oakville GO.
GO Transit Oakville GO Station
Oakville Transit Full system, adult fares only.[7]
May 17, 2010[8] GO Transit Bronte GO Station
May 24, 2010[9] GO Transit Appleby GO Station
May 31, 2010[10] GO Transit Burlington GO Station
May 2010 Toronto Transit Commission Bloor-Yonge, College, Dundas, Queen's Park, St. George, and St. Patrick Stations
June 7, 2010[11] GO Transit Aldershot GO Station and Hamilton GO Centre
June 17, 2010[12] GO Transit Clarkson GO Station
June 24, 2010[13] GO Transit Port Credit GO Station
June 30, 2010[14] GO Transit Long Branch GO Station
July 7, 2010[15] GO Transit Mimico GO Station
July 14, 2010[16] GO Transit Exhibition GO Station Last Lakeshore West line station to go live.
July 26, 2010[17] Toronto Transit Commission Islington and Kipling Stations
July 28, 2010[18] GO Transit Milton GO Station First Milton line station to go live.
August 9, 2010[19] GO Transit Lisgar GO Station
August 13, 2010[20] GO Transit Meadowvale GO Station
August 19, 2010[21] GO Transit Streetsville GO Station
August 23, 2010[22] GO Transit Dixie GO Station
August 30, 2010[23] GO Transit Kipling GO Station
September 23, 2010[24] GO Transit Cooksville GO Station
September 24, 2010[25] GO Transit Erindale GO Station Last Milton line station to go live.
October 5, 2010[26] GO Transit Mount Pleasant GO Station First Georgetown line station to go live.
October 14, 2010[27] GO Transit Etobicoke North GO Station
October 19, 2010[28] GO Transit Malton GO Station
November 11, 2010[29] GO Transit Bloor GO Station
November 17, 2010[30] GO Transit Weston GO Station
December 6, 2010[31] Toronto Transit Commission Don Mills Station
December 20, 2010[32] GO Transit Ajax GO Station First Lakeshore East line station to go live. Originally set for fall 2010.[33]
December 23, 2010[34] Toronto Transit Commission Downsview Station
January 4, 2011[35][36] Burlington Transit Added students, seniors, children ticket fares
GO Transit Added students, seniors, children fares for all previous stations activated
Oakville Transit Added students, seniors, children ticket fares
January 11, 2011[37] GO Transit Bramalea GO Station
January 17, 2011[38] GO Transit Oshawa GO Station
January 18, 2011[39] GO Transit Georgetown GO Station
January 19, 2011[40] GO Transit Eglinton GO Station
January 25, 2011[41] GO Transit Rouge Hill GO Station
January 25, 2011[42] Toronto Transit Commission Finch Station
January 25, 2011[43] MiWay 32 Lisgar GO, 62 Cooksville, and 64 Meadowvale Shuttle-Montevideo
January 27, 2011[44] GO Transit Guildwood GO Station
February 3, 2011[45] GO Transit Whitby GO Station
February 16, 2011[46] GO Transit East Gwillimbury GO Station and Barrie South GO Station First Barrie line stations to go live. Originally set for fall 2010.
February 17, 2011[47] GO Transit Bradford GO Station
February 22, 2011[48] GO Transit King City GO Station
March 2, 2011[49] GO Transit York University GO Station
March 3, 2011[50] GO Transit Scarborough GO Station
March 7, 2011[51] GO Transit Newmarket GO Station
March 11, 2011[52] GO Transit Rutherford GO Station
March 15, 2011[53] GO Transit Maple GO Station
March 17, 2011[54] GO Transit Aurora GO Station
March 22, 2011[55] GO Transit Langstaff GO Station First Richmond Hill line station to go live. Originally set for fall 2010.
March 24, 2011[56] GO Transit Oriole GO Station
March 29, 2011[57] GO Transit Old Cummer GO Station
March 31, 2011[58] GO Transit Kennedy GO Station First Stouffville line station to go live.
April 18, 2011[59] GO Transit Centennial GO Station
April 20, 2011[60] GO Transit Richmond Hill GO Station Last Richmond Hill line station to go live.
April 21, 2011[61] GO Transit Agincourt GO Station
May 4, 2011[62] Hamilton Street Railway Full system, all fares and passes Originally set for fall 2010
May 11, 2011[63] GO Transit Lincolnville GO Station
May 18, 2011[64] GO Transit Unionville GO Station
May 30, 2011[65] GO Transit Milliken GO Station Last Stouffville line station go to live.
May 30, 2011 Brampton Transit Full system, all fares and passes Originally set for fall 2010, delayed to March 2011, then May 23.
May 30, 2011 MiWay Full system, adult ticket and co-fares only Originally set for fall 2010, then winter 2011.
June 2, 2011[66] GO Transit Pickering GO Station Last Lakeshore East line station go to live. Delayed due to construction.
June 27, 2011 Durham Region Transit Full system, co-fare only (adult by default) Originally set for winter 2011, pushed back to May 2.
July 13, 2011[67] GO Transit Brampton GO Station Last Georgetown line and GO station system wide to go live. Delayed due to construction.
July 18, 2011[68] York Region Transit Full system, all fares except monthly passes Originally set for winter 2011, pushed back to March 28. Soft launched approx a week before official launch.
August 5, 2011[69] GO Transit Niagara Falls
August 8, 2011[70] GO Transit St. Catharines
August 22, 2011 GO Transit GO bus network Originally set for winter 2011, delayed to spring then summer
October 2011 MiWay Added students, seniors, children ticket fares Originally set for fall 2010, then winter 2011.
January 1, 2012 Oakville Transit Ticket price instead of cash fare charged
February 2012 MiWay Added co-fare
February 21, 2012 GO Transit Allandale Waterfront GO Station, Guelph Central GO Station, Kitchener GO Station Last Barrie line and Kitchener line stations to go live.
March 17, 2012[71] Toronto Transit Commission Yorkdale Station
March 26, 2012[72] Toronto Transit Commission York Mills Station
February 1, 2013 OC Transpo Soft launch Initially set for July 1, 2012, but delayed.
May 18, 2013 OC Transpo Full system rollout
August 20, 2013 York Region Transit Adult monthly passes
October 15, 2014 Toronto Transit Commission Spadina Station
November 30, 2014 Toronto Transit Commission 510 Spadina Available on the new streetcars only.
December 5, 2014 Toronto Transit Commission Added students, seniors, children ticket fares
March 29, 2015 Toronto Transit Commission 509 Harbourfront Available on the new streetcars only.
April 28, 2015 Toronto Transit Commission Dundas West Station
May 22, 2015 Toronto Transit Commission Bathurst Station
May 25, 2015 Toronto Transit Commission Broadview Station
May 28, 2015 Toronto Transit Commission St. Andrew Station
June 3, 2015 Toronto Transit Commission Osgoode Station
June 6, 2015 Union Pearson Express Full system
June 11, 2015 Toronto Transit Commission King Station
June 19, 2015 Toronto Transit Commission Sheppard-Yonge Station
June 22, 2015 Toronto Transit Commission Scarborough Centre Station
June 24, 2015 Toronto Transit Commission Museum Station
June 25, 2015 Toronto Transit Commission Davisville Station
June 26, 2015 Toronto Transit Commission Queen Station

Devices

Station Fare Transaction Processor

A GO Transit Fare Payment Device at Port Credit GO Station.

These fare payment devices at GO Stations are a stand-alone devices with identifiable green Presto graphics. There is a small screen above the area to tap the card. It asks passengers to tap their card and displays the balance when tapped. Passengers are required to tap off at their terminus station to complete the transaction if they have not set a default trip.

Municipal Bus Fare Transaction Processor

This fare payment device is attached to the bar at the front of the bus in the left windshield. Like the GO Transit station devices, there is a small screen above the area to tap the card. It asks passengers to tap their card and displays the balance and time left when tapped. There is currently no need to tap off with the bus device.

Bus Driver Control Unit

A Bus Fare Payment Device on a Mississauga Transit bus.
Operator's Presto Card.

Municipal Buses are equipped with a unit with a screen for the operator and can print transfers for passengers who do not pay with Presto. The Presto card that looks slightly different from passenger cards are operator cards. Each operator uses the card to sign into the presto control unit. All of the driver's information is automatically connected with the unit.

GO Bus Fare Transaction Processor

This fare payment device looks like the Driver Control Unit, but is also used as the primary interface for the card. Riders tap-on while boarding and must tap-off while alighting to complete the transaction because of GO's zone fare structure. This device can load a small amount onto a card and print tickets for non-Presto users.

It's recently come to light that the GO Bus FTP doubles as a DCU, and has the DCU's weaker, more sensitive RF reader. Thus passengers may encounter problems having the GO Bus FTP devices read their card if not placed very close to or directly on the reader.

BRT Fare Transaction Processor

This fare payment device is available at Viva BRT stations. It allows passengers to tap their card before boarding the bus and because it is used by YRT/Viva, has an option to select the desired fare zone.

TTC Station Fare Transaction Processor

At the select subway stations, the Presto device is incorporated into some turnstiles. There is a small screen above the area to tap the card. It asks passengers to tap their card and displays the balance ad how much time is left when tapped. There is no need to tap off with the subway device.

Card Query Device

Passengers who wish to check their card balance or activate their card can use this device, also called the Balance Checker, to do so. It is available at GO Stations and major terminals. It looks like the GO Station Fare Transaction Processor, but has different graphics in yellow. The graphics were originally in white in the same design as the station fare payment devices, but this was found to be too similar to the station payment devices and was changed later in 2010. The Card Query Device has a large screen over the space to tap the card and displays the balance of the card and when and how much was last loaded.

Self Serve Kiosk

At the end of 2011, a Self Serve Kiosk was installed at Toronto Union Station. This proof-of-concept allows customers to check their balance and load money on their card. Money is added in fixed incraments and is payable by debit or credit card.

v·d·e
Metrolinx logo (2017).png
Divisions
Current Divisions GO Transit - Presto - Union Pearson Express
Projects
Current Projects Eglinton Crosstown LRT - Finch West LRT - Hamilton LRT - Hurontario LRT - Regional Express Rail - Viva Rapidways - Union Station - Union Station GO Bus Terminal
Initiatives
Current Projects Transit Procurement Initiative - The Big Move - Smart Commute
Greater Golden Horseshoe Agencies
Barrie
Bradford West Gwillumbury
Brampton
Burlington
Caledon
Cobourg
Durham Region
Fort Erie
GO Transit
Grand River
Guelph
Hamilton
Lincoln
Metrolinx
Milton
Mississauga
Niagara Falls
Niagara-on-the-Lake
Niagara Region
Oakville
Orangeville
Pelham
Peterborough
Port Hope
Simcoe County
St. Catharines
Thorold
Toronto
Welland
York Region

References

  1. [Rider, David (22 June 2010). http://www.thestar.com/news/article/839074--stick-with-presto-smart-card-board-of-trade-tells-ttc Stick with Presto smart card, Board of Trade tells TTC]. Toronto Star (Toronto). Retrieved on 18 June 2012.
  2. Commission Meeting Highlights. Toronto Transit Commission. Retrieved on 18 June 2012.
  3. Presto Business Plan 2011-12. Metrolinx. March 2012. Retrieved on 18 June 2012.
  4. Fare card tested for GTA transit, thestar.com, retrieved on 2010-07-22
  5. About PRESTO, prestocard.ca, retrieved on 2010-07-22
  6. PRESTO Burlington, cms.burlington.ca, retrieved on 2010-07-22
  7. Oakville Transit Launches PRESTO Smartcard, oakville.com, retrieved on 2010-07-22
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