Single PRESTO Card to Work in GTHA and Ottawa


PRESTO card (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Metrolinx, the Ontario Government‘s agency that deals with transit in the province, and specifically in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA), has decided to merge its two PRESTO card operations into one.

Currently Metrolinx operates two PRESTO card systems: one for the GTHA, and another for Ottawa’s OC Transpo.  However, after difficulties with the system in Ottawa, it has been decided to operate both PRESTO systems as one.  The new single system will also mean that users can have one PRESTO card that will work anywhere that PRESTO operates.

The PRESTO card was implemented in the GTHA starting in November 2009, after a trail period in 2008.  However, a separate card, and system, has been used in Ottawa.  Issues in Ottawa included long waiting periods for the system to update when funds were added to the card, to change the pass option on the PRESTO card, cards that may not always work, etc.  Also, as there are two systems, cards issued for the GTHA do not work in Ottawa, and vice-versa.

Both the GTHA and Ottawa systems are going to be merged into one system.  Also, the newest version, 2.2, will be implemented for both systems.  This means that PRESTO’s website will be down from January 10th to 12th, 2014 so that Metrolinx can merge the two systems together.  However, people will still be able to use their PRESTO cards in both areas.  It is recommended that if  users wish to top up their PRESTO cards online that they do so before January 8th.  Users will still be able to top up their cards in person.


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