One-fare transit test launched

prestocard

TORONTO

The Star

No more change, no more tickets and transfers.

Transportation officials are promising that the new green Presto fare smart card being rolled out in a test  next month will revolutionize public transit in the Toronto region. Presto will be launched on Mississauga Transit, GO and the TTC, starting in mid-July, allowing riders to move across the three systems with only one fare card.

“We’re making public transit as seamless and convenient as possible,” said Transportation Minister Donna Cansfield today at the Cooksville GO station in Mississauga.

The plastic wallet-sized cards are embedded with a computer chip that deducts the value of a transit fare when it is tapped or held close to an electronic reader.  The readers show riders who much has been deducted from their card and the balance they have remaining.

When the user’s “e-purse” is empty, the transit rider needs only top up the amount at a sales kiosk or online.

Users will be able to register their card for replacement if it is lost or stolen.

Mississauga Transit will begin tomorrow 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.

By 2010 the card should be available from Hamilton to Durham Region. The TTC is the only area transit authority that still hasn’t officially signed on to the project.

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