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Metrolinx working to introduce virtual Presto cards

The Ontario government announced it is working with Metrolinx to introduce virtual Presto cards for mobile wallets in the coming months.

Metrolinx also announced that starting August 8, Metrolinx is cutting the price of Presto cards from $6 to $4.

The Ontario government announcement came during the announcement that starting Tuesday, August 15, riders can use credit or debit cards to pay fares, including cards on a smartphone or smartwatch on TTC.

It said the launch of credit and debit payment on the TTC follows the successful introduction of more payment options across many local transit systems in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Areas. In addition to the TTC, riders can also use credit or debit to pay fares on GO Transit, UP Express, Durham Region Transit, Brampton Transit, Burlington Transit, Hamilton Street Railway, MiWay (in Mississauga), Oakville Transit and York Region Transit.

Meanwhile, Metrolinx said Presto cards allow commuters to travel between 11 different transit agencies, including GO Transit and UP Express. Cards are available at various locations, such as transit customer service outlets, Shoppers Drug Mart stores, fare vending machines and ticket vending machines.

After purchasing a Presto card, customers can create a Presto Account by following the steps in a Metrolinx YouTube video, before loading money onto the card. It may take up to 24 hours after purchase before this can be done, said a Metrolinx statement.

It said most local transit fares are free for passengers connecting between participating agencies and GO Transit. When a customer uses a Presto card for both legs of a trip, the discount will be applied automatically.  Some transit agency discounts – including those for youth, post-secondary students and seniors – are only available with a Presto card.

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