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PRESTO is the electronic fare payment system that seamlessly connects 11 transit agencies across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area and Ottawa. PRESTO was first conceived through a Request for Proposal issued by MTO in 2006.

PRESTO makes it faster and more convenient to take transit. With a PRESTO card, customers can access vehicles and stations with a simple tap and avoid lineups by adding funds or passes online. Customers who sign up for a My PRESTO account can set their accounts to top up funds when they get too low, or renew passes before they expire. They can also protect their balances if their cards are lost, stolen or need to be replaced.

The PRESTO rollout began in 2009 with the installation of payment devices at select GO Transit stations and on select municipal transit buses. In July 2011, PRESTO became an operating division of Metrolinx.

Key Facts

  • Number of users: ~2.2 million in 2017-8 —nearly three times the amount from five years ago (just under 750,000).
  • Number of taps per year: ~350 million—nearly three times more than five years ago (~117 million) - more than 1 million taps every weekday.
  • Adoption: The overall adoption rate across all agencies that use PRESTO has increased by nearly 300% in five years—37% compared to 9.5%, with large increases expected in the next year with the completion of the TTC rollout and the retirement of legacy TTC fare payment methods. Several agencies have very high adoption rates—for instance GO Transit is at 87.7%, Brampton Transit is at 89.2%.
Number of unique users 749,961 2,211,105
Number of taps per year 116,996,527 349,667,424
Adoption rate (total) 9.5% (with TTC)
29.8% (w/o TTC)
37.2% (with TTC)
63.2% (w/o TTC)
Self-serve loads 1,100,003 (6.8%) 13,348,717 (62.5%)
Number of PRESTO devices 4,956 (2011) 17,696

Major Achievements


  • PRESTO card services expand beyond Toronto locations to all Shoppers Drug Mart locations across all PRESTO-enabled municipalities, with nearly 200 Shoppers Drug Mart locations now online. Approximately 118,000 PRESTO cards have been sold at Toronto locations.
  • Customers begin receiving a discount when they use their PRESTO card to make a journey that combines the TTC with either GO Transit or UP Express. These customers now pay $1.50 for the TTC leg of their journey when transferring within the eligible transfer time windows. With the implementation of this new program on TTC, all local transit agencies in the GTHA now have a discount program in place for customers who transfer to GO Transit using PRESTO.
  • Nearly 200 ticket vending machines across the GO Transit and UP Express networks are now retrofitted with enhanced PRESTO features. The majority are now able to load and check balances on PRESTO cards, and 37 can dispense PRESTO cards in addition to having loading and balance-checking functionality.


  • The retail network for PRESTO card services expands significantly through a partnership with Loblaws, bringing them to over 90 Shoppers Drug Mart stores in Toronto.
  • New Fare Vending Machines are introduced along the TTC’s Line 1 extension subway stations.
  • TTC monthly passes become available on PRESTO.
  • Web chat support is available through the PRESTO website.


  • PRESTO is available in all the TTC’s 75 subway stations and on all 2000+ surface vehicles—a year ahead of schedule.
  • The PRESTO website receives a major upgrade, featuring a new responsive design that adapts to different screen sizes and an improved online shopping cart.


  • UP Express launches with PRESTO fully enabled.


  • The OC Transpo rollout is completed.


  • The GO Transit rollout is completed.


  • PRESTO becomes a division of Metrolinx.
  • The PRESTO rollout to Brampton Transit, HSR in Hamilton, Durham Region Transit, Miway in Mississauga, and YRT in York Region is completed.


  • The PRESTO rollout to Burlington Transit and Oakville Transit is completed.

Learn more about PRESTO.