A PRESTO card and TTC tokens on a person's hand.

Moving to PRESTO as TTC stops selling tokens

Majority of TTC customers now use PRESTO as TTC prepares to stop selling tokens, tickets and passes.

Nov 29, 2019

It’s a routine that Chris Jenkins has adopted for nearly four years during his commute – tapping his PRESTO fare card before entering a TTC bus or subway.

Once an avid token user, he made the switch because it was easier and more convenient.

“If I’m rushing, I can just tap and get on but if I had to buy tokens, I had to wait in line,” says Jenkins.

According to the TTC, the PRESTO adoption rate among customers, including Jenkins, is 83 per cent.

For most TTC customers, tickets and tokens are already a distant memory. Customers have been able to use PRESTO across the TTC network since the end of 2016, with the rollout of the fare system to all subway stations and more than 2,000 TTC surface vehicles.

Since then, Metrolinx has been offering an expanding array of self-serve options for customers. They can load funds, buy monthly passes or purchase cards at one of several self-serve machines in all subway stations or use the PRESTO App to buy a card, plus load funds and monthly passes onto their card wherever they are.

TTC PRESTO fare gates at Union Station

In addition to these self-serve options, customers can purchase and load cards in-person at any Shoppers Drug Mart in Toronto or at the TTC’s Customer Service Centre at Davisville Station. And Metrolinx is continually looking at ways to make it even easier to purchase and load PRESTO cards.

So when, on Nov. 30, the TTC will stops selling tickets, tokens and its remaining pass products, it will be business as usual for the majority of customers.

However, while most of them are already PRESTO users, Metrolinx and the TTC are working together to encourage remaining customers to switch over during the transition period to avoid frustration come Dec. 1.

There are many great benefits to having a PRESTO card – customers can use their card to travel on 10 other transit systems across the greater Toronto area and the city of Hamilton, as well as Ottawa. Customers who register their cards online can set their accounts to top up with funds when they get too low, or renew passes before they expire.

A PRESTO card and TTC tokens on a person's hand.

By registering their card, they can also protect their balances if their cards are lost. Customers can also tap on the TTC and travel an unlimited number of times, in any direction, within a two-hour window – a benefit exclusively available on PRESTO.

Metrolinx is also continuously adding to the PRESTO Perks program, which gets you discounts on major events and attractions throughout the region, just by showing your card.

For visitors, occasional riders, or customers who’ve forgotten their PRESTO card, they have the option of using a PRESTO Ticket. One-ride, two-ride and day pass PRESTO tickets can be purchased at any subway station or Shoppers Drug Mart in Toronto.

Customers will still be able to purchase TTC tickets and tokens from third-party retailers.

As for TTC rider Jenkins, he’ll just continue to tap and keep going.

by Aman Gill Metrolinx communications planning senior advisor