Unified transit fare system launched in Toronto region

Presto fare smart card will function across transit systems

News The Toronto Star June 27, 2007
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Transportation officials are claiming the new green Presto fare smart card, set to begin testing in July, will revolutionize public transit in the Toronto region, the Toronto Star reported.

Presto will be launched on Mississauga Transit, with GO and the TTC starting in mid-July, giving riders the ability to move across the three systems with only one fare card, according to the Star.

"We're making public transit as seamless and convenient as possible," said Transportation Minister Donna Cansfield today at the Cooksville GO station in Mississauga, according to the newspaper.

The plastic, wallet-sized Presto fare smart cards contain a computer chip that deducts the amount of a transit fare when it is tapped or held close to an electronic reader. The electronic readers show users how much has been deducted from their card and the remaining balance.

When the user's balance is depleted, the transit rider can easily replenish it at a sales kiosk or online, the paper reported.

If the card is lost or stolen, users will be able to register for a replacement.

Mississauga Transit has begun recruiting about 500 regular riders on the Cooksville and Meadowvale shuttle buses who transfer to GO and the TTC to test the card and help work out any bugs, the Star reported.

The card should be available from Hamilton to Durham Region by 2010, according to the newspaper. The TTC is the only area transit authority that still hasn't officially signed on to the project.

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