Commuters in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area can now tap their credit card to pay for public transit on PRESTO devices.
The government announced on Monday that the ability to pay with credit cards instead of a PRESTO card has expanded to Durham Region Transit, York Regional Transit, Burlington Transit and Hamilton Street Railway (HSR).
Riders on those transit systems can simply tap their physical credit card, or credit cards on a smartphone or a smartwatch, to pay their fare.
“This latest milestone in the continuous advancement of the PRESTO system will provide users greater ease and convenience when travelling for work, school, leisure, and more,” Associate Minister of Transportation Stan Cho said in a statement on Monday.
The credit card payment expansion began back in 2021 but was only available on the Union Pearson (UP) Express in 2022, it extended to all GO Transits as well as the Brampton, Mississauga and Oakville transit systems.
As of Jan. 11, more than 518,000 boardings have used credit cards instead of PRESTO cards on these transit routes.
“Transit users have been asking for simple ways to pay the fare and this delivers by allowing people to use a credit card. Providing more payment options supports both existing and potential new transit riders, including those who are first-time transit users who may not carry cash,” Burlington Mayor Marianne Ward said in a statement.
“This includes tourists and passengers who want the added convenience of alternative payment methods. By removing one more barrier to ridership, we help increase the number of passengers using our transit system,” she added.
Ontario is working to expand additional payment methods to the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) and to eventually introduce debit capabilities on all transit systems in the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area.