A full transition to Presto cards to take effect by January 1, 2019.
The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) has announced the suspension of its Metropass program as a result of a collaboration with Presto.
Starting from Jan. 01, 2019, the new year, TTC users will be required to purchase Presto re-loadable cards.
The phasing out of this program also means that Metropasses will no long be sold on campus at George Brown College (GBC), or anywhere else for that matter.
As such, the last day to purchase Metropasses at GBC will be Friday, Nov. 30, and those passes will be valid until Dec. 31 2018.
TTC will provide a limited number of complimentary Presto cards for staff and students of the college. Those who have purchased Metropasses through the Student Association (SA) at GBC in the past year will be first in line for the free Presto cards.
The passes will be distributed from Dec 10. to Dec. 14. or until supplies run out. There are no plans to put a Presto machine on George Brown College campuses at the moment.
The cards will not come with any value pre-loaded on them, but cost $6.00 when purchased elsewhere. These cards can be purchased from select TTC stations, Shoppers Drug Mart, or Loblaws, as well as other locations and of course, online at prestocard.ca.
Reloading of the cards, however, can only be done online or at Presto stations across the city.
For students who currently purchase post-secondary monthly Metropasses, the switch to Presto is likely to be a simple one, with prices remaining the same. However, for those currently purchasing the discounted adult VIP Metropass, the change may be a challenge.
The VIP Metropass program will not be continued with the Presto cards. However, there are other options to consider.
“They can go to the MDP (Metropass Discount Plan), which is the TTCs monthly discount program, but you do have to commit to a whole year” said Robert McMechan, senior coordinator, collaborative programs and special projects at the SA.
The MDP plan requires purchasing a 12-months pass at once.
“For some students and staff in the college that isn’t the best system, if there are times of the year where you may bike or walk,” McMechan added.
If the yearly commitment does not work for you, the second option is to purchase monthly Presto passes. This pass will provide the same unlimited travel as a regular Metropass at the existing cost of $146.25 for adults and $116.75 for post-secondary passes.
However, you can also simply use the pay-as-you-go route, by pre-loading money onto the Presto card online and paying for each ride individually.
Don’t forget that the TTC now allows a two-hour transfer window with Presto —you can hop on and off without being charged another fare.
Given that Presto passes are only re-loadable electronically, it replaces the need for persons to sell the passes. SA employees who sell Metropasses at GBC will remain employed until December, assisting with the transition and distribution of the complimentary Presto cards.