Come the year 2027, TTC users may no longer be tapping their Presto passes to ride the city’s transit system.
In a report released in advance of their February board meeting, the TTC stated that their PRESTO agreement with Metrolinx is set to end as early as 2027 and that staff are prepared to procure a new fare collection system.
If a new system is selected, the report says, “preparations would need to begin as early as 2022, allowing for a minimum of three years to transition from PRESTO to a new fare collection system.”
The TTC is currently undertaking a Fare Collection Request for Information (RFI), which will help the transit company learn about new service providers and what other technologies are being used by different transit systems around the world. They’ll then use the findings to create a new fare collection strategy, which should be complete by the end of this year.
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This doesn’t mean that TTC’s partnership with Metrolinx and their PRESTO system is done for good, though. The TTC still has the option to extend their contract by one year and then by an additional four years.
According to the report, Metrolinx is currently in the process of trying to modernize its PRESTO system. As part of their already ongoing 2022 re-procurement contract, Metrolinx is working to create open payment systems throughout the TTC, which would allow riders to swiftly tap their credit card, debit card, or phone on a PRESTO reader to pay their fares.
Whether that’s enough to get them another contract with the TTC remains to be seen. The TTC board is meeting on February 10.