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You can pay fares by tapping debit cards on PRESTO devices aboard most area transit vehicles -- except the TTC

Starting Tuesday, May 2, passengers boarding GO Transit, UP Express, Brampton Transit, Burlington Transit, Durham Region Transit, Hamilton Street Railway, MiWay, Oakville Transit and York Region Transit buses or trains can pay fares by tapping a debit card on a PRESTO device, including debit cards on a smartphone or smartwatch.

You can also use debit payment on paratransit services in Burlington, Durham Region, Hamilton, Oakville and York Region.

The Government of Ontario and Metrolinx say they are also working with the TTC to introduce both credit- and debit-payment options for TTC riders this summer.

Debit - credit - presto.jpg

^ Image, Metrolinx

Just like a credit card or PRESTO card, you have to physically remove your debit card from your wallet or phone cover to tap on a device. the price of the trip will vary depending on how you travel.

For GO Transit and UP Express, the distance of the trip determines the fare. When you pay with a debit card on GO or UPX, you will be charged a temporary pre-authorization amount that may be more than the cost of the expected trip you expect to take - make sure you have enough funds on your debit card to cover that amount. Your bank will return the difference between the exact fare and the pre-authorization amount. And be sure to “tap off” — tapping another PRESTO device at your destination — or you’ll be charged the full amount for a trip to the end of the train line or bus route.

For all other Greater Toronto and Hamilton area transit systems, you will be charged one flat fare.

Depending on the bank and card, paying with debit might differ from paying with a credit card. Some banks have transaction limits or additional banking fees that apply when paying with a debit card. In some cases, you may get a discount if you continue to use a PRESTO card.

After a successful test run in 2020 on UP Express with credit cards, PRESTO expanded the contactless-payment program to Brampton Transit, MiWay and Oakville Transit, starting Thursday, August 11, 2022. In January 2023, it expanded credit-card payment to most other area systems, except the TTC. As of January 11, 2023, 518,475 passengers have boarded using credit cards on these transit systems.

PRESTO has about 4.4 million active customers.

In other news, PRESTO reports a million card taps on its devices since it launched credit-card payment in August 2022.

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