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Paying for transit just got easier. You can tap with debit on GO and other transit agencies

Debit payment options give customers even more choice and convenience.

Taking transit just got easier. PRESTO offers you the freedom to pick the payment method that’s right for you, and PRESTO’s newest contactless payment option – tap to pay with your credit or debit card – gives you one more choice and makes it even easier to travel

Transit users can now tap their debit or credit card on PRESTO devices to travel across pay their transit fare on the following transit systems: GO Transit, UP Express, Brampton Transit, Burlington Transit, Durham Region Transit, Hamilton Street Railway, MiWay in Mississauga, Oakville Transit and York Region Transit. 

PRESTO’s newest contactless payment option – tap to pay with a debit card – gives you more options to pay for transit. 

How tapping with debit works

Just like a PRESTO card, now you can simply tap your debit card on a PRESTO device at participating transit agencies. And like credit cards, you can also add your debit card to a mobile wallet and tap with your phone or watch. 

It’s important to know that PRESTO devices can accept PRESTO, credit and debit cards, so only tap the card you want to use. Remember to take the card you want to pay with out of your wallet, purse or phone case every time you tap. This will ensure that you pay with the right card.

GO Transit and UP Express customers, you will need to off when you arrive at your destination. Other transit agencies that accept tap to pay with debit may not require a tap off, please check with your transit agency before you travel. 

When taking GO Transit and UP Express make sure to use the same method of payment to tap on and off for a trip. If you use a debit card to tap on, you cannot tap off with a mobile wallet, even if your mobile wallet is connected to the same debit card you used to tap on. If you tap off with a different payment method, the PRESTO device will read that as a new trip with a different card and you will be charged another fare.

What you pay

When tapping with a debit or credit card, what you pay will depend on what transit system your travelling on. GO Transit and UP Express customers will be charged the adult PRESTO fare and the price of your trip will be based on the distance your travel. On other transit systems that accept debit taps, you will be charged a flat fare that is the same as a cash fare.

When customers pay with a debit card on GO Transit or UP Express, they will be charged a temporary pre-authorization amount that may be more than the cost of the expected trip – customers should make sure they have sufficient funds on their debit card to cover the pre-authorization. The difference between the exact fare and the pre-authorization amount will be returned by your bank.

Some banking plans may charge additional fees for paying with a debit card. Before tapping, check with your bank to see if there are debit transaction limits and fees associated with your account and whether transaction limits apply to public transit purchases. 

In some cases, you may still benefit from using your PRESTO card and receive PRESTO discounts such as Youth, Post-Secondary Student and Senior fares.

If you’re a frequent GO Transit rider you will only get the loyalty ‘multi-ride’ discounts if you tap on and off with the same card for all your trips each month, whether it’s a debit, credit or PRESTO card.  

Customers should always check with their bank as well as the transit agency they chose to travel with beforehand to determine if debit is the best payment option for them. There’s a handy chart on the New to PRESTO website page can help as well.

PRESTO debit
There’s more ways to pay with PRESTO. (Metrolinx photo)

More helpful travel tips.

Setting up default trips for GO train travel

GO Train customers, who travel between the same two GO Train stations consistently, you can set a default trip on your physical credit card, physical debit card or credit card on a mobile wallet. Setting a default trip is not available when using a debit card in your mobile wallet.

A default trip means you only tap on a PRESTO device at the beginning of your train trip and you don’t need to tap off at the end of your train trip. Default trips are only for GO Train trips, not for GO Bus trips. 

For web stories: Learn how to set up a GO default trip on your Visa card

Transfers

If your trip requires you to transfer to a different transit agency, be sure to check ahead if they accept debit or credit taps on a PRESTO device.

If not, you will have to use a PRESTO card or another accepted payment method upon transferring.

What’s next

Now that paying with both debit and credit cards is available for travel on participating transit agencies, Metrolinx is working with the TTC to implement these payment options for Toronto transit riders this year. 

For more information on these new payment options and where to currently use them, visit prestocard.ca/contactless. 

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