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Everything you need to know to go back-to-school with PRESTO

Before you hop back on transit, discover how students can save with PRESTO.

Aug 30, 2023

Students taking transit this fall can tap into a number of PRESTO benefits to make their transit experience easier and more affordable.

Check out the latest improvements and helpful reminders for students who might have taken a break over the summer, and for other riders who are returning to work.

PRESTO card now just $4

Metrolinx recently dropped the price of a PRESTO card from $6 to $4.

Riders can purchase a PRESTO card by visiting select Shoppers Drug Mart locations, a Fare Vending Machine (located in all TTC subway stations), select Ticket Vending Machines (located in all GO Transit and UP Express stations) or a PRESTO customer service outlet. Click here for a list of locations.

After purchasing a PRESTO card, users can set up a PRESTO account and register their card to take advantage of benefits like balance protection and autoload. For those who already have an account, this is a good time to ensure your account information is up to date.

Setting a fare type to save big

PRESTO users between the ages of 13 and 19 are encouraged to set up their card with a youth fare type. They can set the youth fare type on their PRESTO card at participating Shoppers Drug Mart locations or customer service outlets.

Riders between the ages of 20 and 64 may be eligible for a post-secondary fare type. If they are a full-time student attending an approved post-secondary institution in Ontario, they can receive discounts on GO Transit, UP Express and TTC.

Youth and post-secondary riders can save up to 40% off the standard adult fare.

Don’t forget to bring proof of age when setting your fare type and when you travel with your PRESTO card.

For more information about how to set up a student discount on GO Transit, click here.

Load funds and passes

By using the NFC (near-field communications) feature on the PRESTO app, riders can load their PRESTO card(s) with funds or transit passes from anywhere and the funds and transit pass will instantly be available.

Alternatively, to always stay topped up with funds, PRESTO users may consider setting up Autoload. Autoload automatically loads funds to a PRESTO card whenever the balance falls below the minimum balance set, so riders always have the funds needed to travel.

For more information on how to load a PRESTO card, click here.

Lost a PRESTO card?

Those who have lost or damaged their PRESTO card can have their balance, passes, fare type and settings transferred over to another card on the same account, or to a new replacement card.

For more information on how to cancel a lost, stolen, or damaged PRESTO card and transfer your balance, click here.


Did you know that PRESTO cardholders can get discounts on events, entertainment, attractions, and more with PRESTO Perks?  

Cardholders can save big time with perks such as 20 per cent off at the Ontario Science Centre, 20 per cent off at the Toronto Zoo, 15 per cent off the Royal Ontario Museum and $25 off a first trip with Turo, GO Transit’s official car sharing partner.  

Learn more about the Perks available for PRESTO cardholders. 

GO customers train and bus

Getting to campus 

Metrolinx offers several bus routes that help students get right to campus. This includes the recently added GO Bus Route 17, which connects students to McMaster University, University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier and University of Guelph. This route also connects riders to GO Train service in Guelph, Hamilton, and Aldershot as well as the ION LRT line in Kitchener-Waterloo.

Find out which colleges and universities we serve here.

New ways to pay

Transit riders can now tap their credit or debit card on any TTC vehicle or fare gate to pay an adult PRESTO fare. Some discounts such as youth, post-secondary student and senior are only available with a PRESTO card. However, for those heading back to work and who may have forgotten their PRESTO card or who only come into Toronto on occasion, this is a great alternative.

Credit and debit cards are also accepted as fare payment on GO Transit, UP Express and participating transit agencies in the 905 region.

Check out the PRESTO website or take advantage of the Live Chat feature for any questions.

by Isabella Krizman Metrolinx communications planning co-op student