The TTC is upping its incentives to get people back on transit. According to a new report, free PRESTO cards will be handed out this summer. The initiative hopes to increase PRESTO use in parts of the city where it remains low.

"A plan is being developed to distribute these cards in areas of the city where PRESTO use is relatively low, and where customers could benefit from receiving a PRESTO card," reads a statement by the TTC.

The report states that the cards will be "distributed at no charge" to certain customers. Narcity has reached out to the TTC for more details about who qualifies.

The transit agency offered a similar service back in November 2019 when it distributed complimentary cards at select subway stations.

"This is another way to ensure as many people as possible are able to get on the system," Stuart Green, TTC spokesperson, told Narcity.

It's worth noting that customers will not be forced to use the free cards. Cash, tickets, and token remain available.

The TTC will also be offering PRESTO customers pro-rated credit for the months of March and April. The transit agency, which typically had a strict no-refund policy, is providing riders with credit based on the days the pass was not used.

"During this unprecedented time, the TTC recognizes the impacts the pandemic has had on customers and is recommending a temporary change to the current refund policy, which will allow customers to receive a pro-rated PRESTO credit for March and April Monthly Passes," the agency added.

They believe that commuters who have avoided public transit in recent months deserve their money back.

The TTC released a chart that shows just how drastically their PRESTO uses plummetted since March.


The TTC saw an 82% dip in ridership due to the pandemic, which resulted in $21 million of weekly lost revenue.

The agency is now looking to convince Toronto to jump onboard again, recognizing that "public confidence in the safety of public transit will factor into decisions to return to transit."

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