UP PRESTO device with a a female hand holding PRESTO card to be tapped

PRESTO card price to drop by $2 on August 8

The cost to buy a physical PRESTO card will soon be lowered from $6 to $4.

Aug 2, 2023

On August 8, Metrolinx is making it easier to take transit by lowering the cost of a PRESTO card to $4 from the current price of $6.

PRESTO cards can be used to pay fares across 11 different transit agencies in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area and Ottawa – including GO Transit and UP Express.

They are available at various transit customer service outlets, Shoppers Drug Mart stores, fare vending machines and ticket vending machines.

After purchasing a PRESTO card, customers can create a PRESTO Account by following the steps in a Metrolinx YouTube video, before loading money onto the card. It may take up to 24 hours after purchase before this can be done.

PRESTO Card open payment

Metrolinx makes most local transit fares free for passengers connecting between participating agencies and GO Transit. When a customer uses a PRESTO card for both legs of a trip, the discount will be applied automatically.

Some transit agency discounts – including those for youth, post-secondary students and seniors – are only available with a PRESTO card.

Cardholders can also access discounts from PRESTO Perks partners to major attractions and events.

Since the start, Metrolinx has charged a price for the physical PRESTO card manufacturing and distribution costs.

Customers also have the option of tapping with an Interac® debit or credit card, including those on a phone or watch, to pay fares on GO Transit, UP Express and participating 905 transit systems. Later this summer, it will be possible to tap a credit or debit card to pay TTC fares.

Coming soon, Metrolinx will offer the option of using PRESTO cards in smartphone wallets.

by Mike Winterburn Metrolinx communications senior advisor