Metrolinx lowers PRESTO minimum loads from $10 to a nickel

Sep 17 2019, 1:05 pm

For those looking to load PRESTO cards soon, all you’ll need is five cents.

Metrolinx announced on Monday that PRESTO is getting rid of its $10 minimum load requirement when you buy or reload a card at Shoppers Drug Mart and in person at customer service outlets.

According to the transit agency, starting on October 28, PRESTO users will only need to load five cents when they buy the card, which will remain at $6.

“We know the minimum load requirement is a concern among our customers, who see it as a barrier to switching to PRESTO,” said Annalise Czerny, Executive Vice President of PRESTO. “By taking this first step in lowering it to five cents across in-person retail and service outlets, we’re making it easier for more people to discover the many benefits of getting a card, whether it’s automatic top-ups when funds get too low or balance protection on lost or stolen cards.”

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Metrolinx says the change comes as the TTC prepares to phase out older payment options like tickets and tokens.

The new minimum load will take phased approach, starting with in person outlets. For self-service machines and online transaction, minimum load amounts will be decreased “in the near future after additional software changes are tested and rolled out.”

Metrolinx can’t get rid of the five cents entirely as its a requirement that’s programmed into the system.

“Lowering the minimum load to five cents is the lowest option available since the penny is now obsolete. Removing it entirely would require substantial technical changes that would take a while and be costly to roll out, and this solution is something that can be put in place immediately,” Czerny said.

“While we would have liked to remove the requirement entirely for new card purchases, this change is a big step in the right direction.”