More than four years after it began working on the kind of regional fare card already used on transit systems around the world, the GTA’s Presto smartcard has finally gone live at the Oakville GO station, soon to be followed by the rest of GO Transit’s busy Lakeshore West corridor.
“Electronic cards are already in use — if you’ve been to London, Hong Kong, San Francisco, Seattle, Holland — to great success. So we know this is technology people want, we know it’s technology people need,” Transportation Minister Kathleen Wynne said yesterday at the launch.
The 12,000 GO riders who use that station daily can now load a dollar value onto their Presto card and tap on the green readers at stations and on buses to have the correct fare deducted on each leg of their trip, including their municipal bus, GO Transit and some TTC stations.
Wynne acknowledged the Toronto region lags behind others in embracing the smartcard technology. While traversing municipal borders is supposed to be the great advantage of Presto, Wynne also conceded that the TTC, which carries more than 80 per cent of transit users in the Toronto area, isn’t a full partner in the project.
Twelve of the TTC’s 69 stations will be installing Presto readers, which are the stations most used by GO commuters, she said.