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Toronto Transit Commission to pilot mobile payment system this summer

In what could be the beginning of the end for the old cash-and-token system on the TTC, the Commission is to roll out a pilot project with Presto this summer that supports contactless payments from a smartphone, credit card or debit card.

The test will be limited to College Station but, if successful, it will be rolled out to Dundas and then Yonge-Bloor. The goal is to have all TTC stations, as well as GO Transit and Hamilton Transit, running on Presto by the end of 2015. GO Transit stations are currently using a first-generation reader that does not support the same contactless technologies as what will eventually roll out across the TTC, but will be replaced in the coming years.

The governing body of the rollout, Metrolinx, plans to install contactless Presto readers at all TTC stations and on all vehicles by the end of 2015, in time for the Pan-Am Games in Toronto.

Source: The Star
(image credit)

  • Sam

    about time.

  • Pablo Moses

    Presto failed in Ottawa with OC Transpo and my Ecopass is in limbo now.

    • vn33

      I heard it was because of hardware issues. the card-readers in Toronto and Ottawa were made by different vendors.

    • Fish

      Presto in Ottawa has problems with the card reader AND the backend system that handles the payments and transactions with your bank. It’s a big mess.

  • roman20

    I’ve got a presto card for the GO.
    When I touch it to the back of my phone, it beeps but nothing happens.
    It would be pretty cool, if i could board a bus with an app.

    • Corey Owen

      The phone just doesn’t know what the tag is. It can read it.

      You’d need to clone and rebroadcast, which wouldn’t be hard I don’t think, seeing as you have the source card.

      Just test on the balance check machines so nothing goes sideways. XD

  • gurtej08

    I was wondering how they plan on tackling the issue of using multiple transit systems in the future. I use to work in Markham when I lived in Toronto and had to buy a metro pass so i could use all the transit systems (TTC, YRT (VIVA and YRT busses)). It seems like this could be a problem on VIVA buses which don’t require you to show the driver your ticket.

    • OgtheDim

      VIVA actually has the swipe beside a few of their blue machines already and have integrated it somewhat. The idea will be you tap before you get on and the VIVA cops will have a go swipe checker with them.

  • Kelvin

    won’t be a problem on viva, they will still be honour system but now your ticket will be on the phone when the transit authorities do their inspection.

    speaking of payments i am in sweden now and when you forget your pass you text a mobile number and get a reply with your ticket receipt and expiration time.

  • John

    So no cash payments accepted now?

    • OgtheDim

      Nobody is talking cashless. People already pay a premium for cash. This won’t change.

  • vengefulspirit99

    Seems kinda weird… I don’t like depending on my phone that much… What happens if I lose it or no charge?

  • andy c

    one word that Cash and tokens are not going away any time soon

    Ttc union

    • Gus83

      I guess that’s why I failed grade 1 Math…

    • OgtheDim

      Tokens are going away, as will tickets.

      Cash will never go away, and that has nothing to do with unions – some people will always want to pay with cash.

  • Memischap

    Vancouver is getting a system that will be entirely tap on tap of using a “compas card” but I assume the card would be using an NFC system so they could probably implement something like this system wide having your phone e your pas but that would probably only happen if the next iPhone has NFC then they could put it into the pasbook app then maybe after they’ll have it for Android oh and windows phone 8 because that is packing NFC too

  • mattyu007

    That took a while. It’s so inconvenient at the moment for the YRT riders that rely on Presto who have to take the North / South buses that are run by the TTC because they don’t have Presto readers…

    Better late than never, I guess.

  • Bill

    Presto works really well on Brampton Transit. I think more than half of the riders use it when I’m on the bus. It’s a shame ttc is taking years to implement this on all stations. Brampton has all their buses on this system already.

    • OgtheDim

      To be fair, Brampton’s daily rider total is equal to 2 of Toronto’s streetcar routes – 60K.

      Its a LITTLE more difficult to put it in thousands of buses, streetcars and entrances.

  • alex

    Finally NFC on those phone get some use.

  • Goran

    Wow this is taking long enough. I first saw presto terminals at Union Station in 05/06. It will take a good 10 years for it to finally be fully rolled out. 3 from today from the new gen terminals. Montreal’s opus system took under one year to be installed. There’s really no excuse to take so long. The STM is almost as big as the TTC

  • Koni

    Presto is delayed in Ottawa by 7 months. Sadly they only mentioned Presto cards, no NFC or other proximity technology. I only hope that the device which are being installed at the moment will be capable of that…but my guess would be that they will replace them in the future with new ones.

  • mpars023

    The Ottawa system has now been delayed by 7 months while they work out the glitches. It is a good idea but having dated technology and being required to use the Presto system (at least in Ottawa to get gas tax $) means there really isn’t a “plan B” so for that reason I hope it works out better for Toronto when they do the roll out. Paying by phone would be great; I don’t need another card to have to carry with me.

  • Corey Owen

    System is working decently enough in hamilton.

    It’s taking payments that they suck at.

  • Balls O’Steele

    Yet another dam card in my wallet.
    Why can’t I just tap my phone? Or buy a virtual ticket with a mobile app?

  • Wilbour

    The system was a total failure in Ottawa before it even started. When you dig deep enough you find McGinty at the root.

  • animal instinct

    wasting money for no reason instead of improving the transit system. lame

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