The TTC is planning to distribute free PRESTO cards this summer, as part of its transition to restart and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the transit commission’s report, Transitioning from Response to Restart and Recovery, as part of an effort to further encourage customers to use PRESTO, the TTC will distribute free PRESTO cards to customers this summer and fall.
And, 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.
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“The cards will be distributed at no charge to customers from existing stocks held by the TTC,” the report noted.
The TTC added that a similar program of complementary distribution was carried out in November 2019 at selected subway stations.
“As always, customers can continue to pay with cash, tickets, and tokens for the foreseeable future,” the transit commission added.
With TTC seeing an 85% decline in ridership due to the pandemic, resulting in $20 million of weekly lost revenue, the public transit system is creating incentives for residents to get back to using subways, buses, and streetcars.
Measuring PRESTO taps, a significant decrease was reported, with pre-COVID-19 hitting 1,717,443 weekdays, with only 232,787 reported on April 24 and then a slight increase of 304,898 on May 29.
When contacted, the TTC said that the details are being worked on.
The TTC Board is meeting on Wednesday, June 17.