If you’re a regular GO transit commuter, you might have noticed new PRESTO machines being rolled out this week. Prototypes of the new devices can now be found across the GO network, as part of the agency’s new trial run for modernizing the much-used payment method.

The updated machines come equipped with barcode readers, which will eventually give them the capability to read e-tickets.

They also feature a new contactless card reader capable of supporting payments by credit, debit, and mobile phones.

However, don't pull out your phones just yet. In order to enable these new payment options, Metrolinx needs to upgrade the system, which is still in the planning phases. So, for now, just tap as you usually do.

The trial period will allow Metrolinx the opportunity to test out the new devices before installing them on all vehicles and stations in 2020.

The devices will be easy to spot for customers as they feature several distinguishing features, including a larger screen, which is said to improve its interface. 

According to Metrolinx, in-station devices will also allow travellers a more straightforward way to override a default trip or reverse a tap.

A new ‘mode’ button will give customers a short cut to checking their balance. This means you no longer have to hunt for another PRESTO machine to see how much money you have left on your card.

All in-station devices also have an audio mode with text-to-speech for enhanced accessibility.

To activate, all customers have to do is plug in a 3.5mm headset jack beside the screen.

So, where exactly are these new wonder devices being installed?

At the moment, the machines will only be pushed out to select a number of buses and stations with Burlington, Appleby, Clarkson, Aurora, and Newmarket, all making the first cut.


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