Metrolinx staff are testing out limited-use PRESTO tickets.
According to spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins, a small number of Fare Vending Machines are testing out the disposable tickets. There are two machines at St. Clair West Station and two at Union Station.
The tests will allow Metrolinx to see how the ticket function works “in a real-life setting.”
But these tests are currently only being done by staff, and not the public as of yet.
For now, the four machines will be supplied with the new PRESTO tickets and the option to “Buy/Query Tickets.” Upon finishing the testing, Metrolinx will be removing all the disposable tickets from the machines.
When the tickets do roll out, they will be the equivalent price of a cash fare. And the added bonus to these tickets is, like PRESTO card users, it will work for the two-hour transfer as well.
“While a PRESTO card is the ultimate way to travel, tickets will provide transit riders with an additional way to pay,” Aikins said.
The plastic PRESTO card will still provide a lower fare, $3 versus $3.25, but tickets will be accessible to those who don’t own the cards.
The timing of the testing of the disposable tickets also happens to be around the time the TTC begins to phase out tokens and cash at the stations.
“Because the TTC will soon no longer accept tokens or cash at their subway stations, PRESTO tickets will offer an alternative to these options, making them a key part of the PRESTO rollout on the TTC,” Aikins told Daily Hive.
Aikins also added that Metrolinx expects the tickets will be used by about 10% of customers, “namely occasional TTC riders or visitors to the city who don’t have PRESTO cards.”
The new tickets, which should be available next year, will eventually be available at Shoppers Drug Mart locations in addition to vending machines at subway stations.
As for when exactly, that timing is still being worked out, according to Metrolinx.
Beginning on August 3, 2019, you will no longer be able to purchase tickets and tokens and riders are now being encouraged to purchase PRESTO cards.