McGuinty Government Unveils New Fare Card



    Mississauga Transit Riders First To Test New Smart Card

    MISSISSAUGA, ON, June 25 /CNW/ - Commuters will soon be able to tap onto
transit with the new Presto card - the first regional fare card for public
transit in Canada, Transportation Minister Donna Cansfield announced today.
    "Presto is a smart card that will revolutionize public transit," said
Cansfield. "When the system is fully implemented, commuters will be able to
replace tickets, transfers and passes with the Presto card on nine transit
systems across the GTA, from Hamilton to Oshawa."
    The Presto card looks like a debit or gift card and can fit into a wallet
or purse. Presto contains smart technology that allows fares to be easily
calculated and collected on public transit. The card simply needs to be loaded
with a dollar value and tapped onto a fare card reader in a transit station,
on a bus or train.
    Beginning this July, Presto is being introduced on a limited basis in the
City of Mississauga for regular GO Transit riders who start their trip at the
Cooksville or Meadowvale stations and take Mississauga Transit shuttle routes,
or Toronto Transit Commission outbound at Union Station.
    "Presto is an easy way to get around the GTA," said City of Mississauga
Mayor Hazel McCallion. "Mississauga riders are eager to get their Presto
cards. Commuters who travel into other major urban centres for work, school or
play will enjoy the freedom and convenience that comes with using this
innovative card."
    Greater Toronto Transportation Authority (GTTA) will assume
responsibility of the Presto fare system as it gets rolled across the region.
    "Presto will make it easier for people who use transit to travel across
the GTA and Hamilton," said GTTA Chair Rob MacIsaac. "This is a great start to
knitting together a sustainable and efficient public transit system." "Using
the latest technology will simplify public transit and offer riders greater
flexibility," said Mississauga Centre MPP Harinder S. Takhar. "More convenient
transit in Mississauga and across Ontario will encourage people to leave their
cars at home, resulting in less traffic congestion."
    In late 2008, the use of the Presto fare card will be expanded to include
Burlington and Oakville commuters including the GO Transit Lakeshore West
line. By 2010, Presto will be fully implemented on Brampton, Burlington,
Durham Region, Hamilton, Mississauga, Oakville, Toronto, York Region and GO
transit systems. The TTC will accept the Presto card at five subway stations,
including Don Mills, Downsview, Finch, Islington, and Union stations.
    The Presto card will help create a seamless transit network, making it
easier for people to take public transit. Presto complements the McGunity
government's recently announced MoveOntario 2020 multi-year $17.5 billion
rapid transit action plan for the GTA and Hamilton.
    "This is just one more example of how, working together, Ontarians are
creating sustainable transportation," added Cansfield. "The Presto card will
improve travel across Canada's largest urban region."
    Please visit www.prestocard.ca for more information about the new Presto
card, or phone 416-235-4686 or 1-800-268-4686 and for TTY (teletypewriter
users) 1-866-471-8929.

    
    Disponible en français

                              www.mto.gov.on.ca


    Backgrounder
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

                 FARE CARD WILL LINK NINE GTA TRANSIT SYSTEMS
    

    The McGuinty government is creating a sustainable transportation system
to get people out of their cars and onto public transit to reduce congestion
across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and Hamilton. To make public transit an
easier choice for commuters, the Province, GO Transit, and the City of
Mississauga are introducing Presto - a simple way to pay public transit fares.
When fully implemented, the Presto card will be available on nine different
transit systems across the GTA.

    How does the Presto card work?
    ------------------------------
    Presto is the size of a debit card. Transit riders scan the card when
entering the transit station or bus. The fare system will calculate the fare.
The fare is automatically deducted from the card account. Money can be added
to the Presto card at train and bus station wickets, selected retail outlets,
via pre-authorized payments, by telephone or Internet.
    Personal privacy is fully protected. The GTA fare system meets all
provincial and municipal privacy guidelines.

    Where can I use the Presto card?
    --------------------------------
    By 2010, the Presto card can be used on the following transit systems:

    
    -   GO Transit
    -   Brampton
    -   Burlington
    -   Durham Region
    -   Hamilton
    -   Mississauga
    -   Oakville
    -   Toronto (at five subway stations)
    -   York Region
    

    How can I get a Presto card?
    ----------------------------
    A limited number of regular GO Transit riders will use the fare card in
the first year of implementation.
    GO and Mississauga Transit are recruiting potential fare card users at
Meadowvale and Cooksville GO stations.

    Where is the Presto card accepted?
    ----------------------------------
    Beginning in July, the Presto card can be used at:

    
    -   Meadowvale and Cooksville GO Transit stations on the Milton GO Train
        service
    -   Four Mississauga bus routes that link to Meadowvale and Cooksville GO
        Transit Stations
    -   Union Station for GO Transit and Toronto Transit Commission (TTC)
        riders.
    

    In late 2008, GO Transit Lakeshore West, Burlington and Oakville
commuters can take advantage of the single card to pay their public transit
fare.
    By 2010, nine participating municipalities will fully implement the fare
system. The TTC will participate initially at five subway stations: Don Mills,
Downsview, Finch, Islington and Union. These five stations serve over 10
million cross-boundary trips each year.

    Greater Toronto Transportation Authority (GTTA)
    -----------------------------------------------
    GTTA is the agency responsible for creating a seamless transportation
network in the GTA and Hamilton. The GTTA will assume responsibility of the
system as it is implemented.
    The GTTA's mandate is to ensure that all levels of government work
together to develop a long-range transportation plan for the Greater Toronto
Area, in consultation with a broad range of stakeholders, including students,
seniors, people with disabilities, businesses and industry.

    Other Fare Systems
    ------------------
    Hong Kong's Octopus system has proven to be an outstanding success with
the original transit agency partners now counting over 300 clients including
parking facilities, fast food outlets and vending machines using the cards for
non-transit applications. In operation since 1997, the system has 13 million
cards in circulation with over 9.5 million transactions per day.
    London's Oyster card went into full operation in late 2004 and represents
one of the largest transport fare card schemes in Europe, with over
3.6 million cards in use facilitating over two million journeys a day.
    While a number of cities in North America - including Washington,
Chicago, San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, and Montreal - have contracted
for electronic fare card systems, none have been fully deployed to date.
However, they have all met with enough initial success in their pilots that
all have signed major contracts for system-wide implementation.

    
    Contact:
    Bob Nichols
    Ministry of Transportation
    416-327-1158

    Disponible en français

                              www.mto.gov.on.ca
    





For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: Jamie Rilett, Minister's
Office, (416) 327-9134; Bob Nichols, Communications Branch, (416) 327-1158;
Public Inquiries: (416) 235-4686 (GTA), (800) 268-4686 toll free, (866)
471-8929 TTY

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