The TTC Is Finally Letting You Pay With A Debit Or Credit Card & Here's How It Will Work

No need to worry about forgetting your PRESTO card.

A PRESTO machine to reload your card. Right: A PRESTO tap machine on the TTC.

A PRESTO machine to reload your card. Right: A PRESTO tap machine on the TTC.

Taking the TTC is about to get a bit easier thanks to an update coming to all PRESTO pay machines.

The Ontario government announced Thursday that transit riders will soon be able to pay with a debit or credit card on board the TTC — a feature that people have long been asking for.

"Starting Tuesday, August 15, riders can use credit or debit cards to pay fares, including cards on a smartphone or smartwatch," the government said in a press release.

The TTC put out a heavy hint of some type of pending announcement on Wednesday morning.

As of Thursday, it seemed the system had already been rolled out across some TTC vehicles, with people posting pictures online of the feature being available.

"THE DAY HAS COME," wrote Rodney in a Tweet.

According to the government, the official launch of these updates to the PRESTO pay system comes after more payment options were introduced on other transit systems in the GTA and Hamilton area, including on services like the UP Express.

Using a credit or debit card to pay for a public transit fare will be available across the Metrolinx system later this month, which includes GO Transit, UP Express, Brampton Transit, Burlington Transit, Durham Region Transit, Hamilton Street Railway, MiWay (in Mississauga), Oakville Transit and York Region Transit.

"We are continuing to improve PRESTO services by introducing new and innovative payment options that make fare payments easier," said Ontario Transportation Minister, Caroline Mulroney.

The government added that along with this tap pay feature, it is working with Metrolinx to create a virtual PRESTO card for mobile wallets which will be available "in the coming months."

So, starting August 15 you won't have to worry about having your PRESTO card with you to take public transit in Toronto.

If you choose to pay using a credit or debit card, the same card you use will serve as your proof of payment.

When you tap on a PRESTO device, it will show an "Accepted" screen once the payment has gone through. Like with a PRESTO card, your credit or debit card won't be charged if you are tapping for a second time within the two-hour transfer window.

These and other details about how this new process works can be found on the PRESTO website here.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Stuart McGinn
Stuart McGinn was the Money Editor for Narcity Media and focused mainly on covering topics ranging from personal finance, to real estate, and careers. Stuart is from Ottawa and is now based in Toronto.