Tapping in to TTC: Debit, credit cards to pay for fares starts Aug. 15

Aug. 11, 2023
Users will have the option of tapping their debit or credit cards, phones or smartwatches on a PRESTO device to board TTC services.

The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) will launch fare payments by debit or credit cards on Aug. 15. The expansion of fare payment options on TTC follows the start of debit and credit payments on transit services throughout the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) in May 2023.

“The launch of credit and debit payment on the TTC is just another way our government is making life easier for people across the Greater Toronto Area,” said Ontario Associate Minister of Transportation Stan Cho. “Whether travelling for work, appointments or anything in between, the transit experience should be as convenient as possible.”

Riders can use their debit and credit cards, as well as their smartphone and smart watches to pay for transit fares at any PRESTO device. Debit and credit card fare payment options are available on GO Transit, UP Express, Brampton Transit, Burlington Transit, Durham Region Transit, Hamilton Street Railway, MiWay in Mississauga, Oakville Transit and York Region Transit, as well as paratransit services in Burlington, Durham Region, Hamilton, York Region, Oakville and Ottawa.

“We are thrilled to offer expanded payment options on the TTC. The addition of contactless payment via Interac Debit for adult fares on all TTC buses, streetcars and at fare gates, gives customers more choice and convenience when they travel,” said Rick Leary, CEO, TTC. “Tapping on with a debit or credit card is a feature we know our customers want and will help make their commutes easier.”

UP Express started the region’s move toward debit and credit card fare payment options with a pilot program that began in 2021. The option was then extended to the GO Transit network, as well as transit systems in Brampton, Mississauga and Oakville in August 2022.

A 2022 survey across Canada by Interac found the nation has a growing appetite for contactless payments on transit. Two-thirds (67 percent) of Ontarians polled said they would be likely to use contactless payments if the option was available to them, while seven in 10 (69 percent) identified Interac Debit as a convenient way to pay for transit.

“When transit agencies enable Interac Debit payments, they’re offering riders a payment method that almost 30 million Canadians use for day-to-day transactions.” said Andrew Yablonovsky, AVP, group product strategy and growth, Interac. “As ridership continues to catch up to pre-pandemic levels, transit agencies are increasingly realizing Interac Debit payments can be a key component of ridership recovery by making transit more convenient and accessible for Canadians.”

The next evolution of the PRESTO platform will include a virtual PRESTO card for mobile wallets, which is under development and will be introduced in the coming months.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.