PRESTO is the new home of TTC Monthly Pass

Switching to PRESTO offers benefits including­­ balance protection, automatic pass renewals, discounts on attractions and other special features to make sure you’re never caught short on your transit fare. Let’s take a trip to see how easily you can make the switch.

This is about you.

And how your transit journeys around Toronto – and beyond – are about to change in 2019. We think for the better.

 You may have heard Metropass is being discontinued at the end of this month (Dec), and that monthly and yearly passes will be available on PRESTO.

 But change means questions and new habits. So let’s walk you through how easily a switch of cards can be made.

 So we’ll start with the most important part – you.

 To make this journey of discovery easier to follow, let’s say that you are a young professional who works downtown. You have been commuting with TTC for a few years, from Finch subway station to a workplace on Queen Street East. Tucked in a sleeve of your mobile phone protector, Metropass is the card that’s gotten you around town.

 Perhaps you have been seeing PRESTO machines and readers at subway stations and even considered getting a PRESTO card. But you never took the plunge. This coming week, let’s change things up and help you make the switch.

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Vancouver filmmaker Antonio Viaud works a ticket and PRESTO machine during a holiday journey in Toronto. (Thane Burnett photo)

 Monday, December 24

 5:30 p.m. — On the way home, you see an ad on the subway about the discontinuation of Metropasses at the end of December. A bit later, you decide to check out prestocard.ca to find out more.

 6:45 p.m. —You get the information you need from the site within minutes. You plan to go to the nearest Shoppers Drug Mart to buy a PRESTO card.

 Thursday, December 27

 8 a.m. You are now set and have your brand new PRESTO card in hand – or rather tucked in that spot in your phone case. The black card looks pretty good.

 Friday, December 28

 7 p.m. — It’s been over 24 hours since you bought your PRESTO card, so you can now register it online. To get prepared for the New Year, you decide to purchase a January Monthly Pass online.

 Wednesday, January 2

 8:15 a.m. — The moment has arrived. Today, you are going to use your PRESTO card for the first time. You tap at the Finch Station fare gate, it opens, and you are now ready to catch the subway.

 8:45 a.m. — You get on the Queen streetcar, tap again, the terminal beeps, shows a big green checkmark, and that’s it. Technology is great.

 Friday, January 4

 12:30 p.m. — You were on PRESTO’s website last week, and saw you could save 20 per cent off a regular admission at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) by simply showing your PRESTO card. You want to enjoy that perk and so do your friends.

 Sunday, January 6

 12:15 p.m. — Yesterday was great. Everything worked. From the ride to the admission at the ROM, using PRESTO was seamless. It’s now time to meet friends for brunch. You get ready and look for your PRESTO card, but it seems to be misplaced. You might have lost it last night. Does that mean paying the full amount of a new monthly pass?

 Nope. You remember that all you need to do is report a lost card online, buy a new one, and go online or call the PRESTO contact centre to transfer the January Monthly Pass from the lost card to the new one. It means buying a new card for $6, but that’s a small price to pay considering that you didn’t lose over a hundred dollars.

 Wednesday, January 23

 4 p.m. ­- From easily tapping to protecting a balance, you have been enjoying your PRESTO card. You go online to see what else you can find out about your new favourite travel companion. You now can’t wait to take advantage of other PRESTO perks when you go out next weekend.

 At the same time, you discover the Autorenew feature, which means once set up online, a monthly pass is automatically loaded each month. With February around the corner, you set it up on your account so you never have to worry about forgetting to buy your pass again.

 With PRESTO, and new habits, you’ll never run short.

 So you’re well on your way in 2019.

 Story by Amandine Viaud, Metrolinx bilingual communications coordinator.