New PRESTO devices go live on GO – Digital fare machines are a glimpse into technology to come for customers

You’ll start seeing some new PRESTO payment devices on GO Transit today (Feb. 6). This means changes for the better for PRESTO customers.

For just a moment, Erica Pauze hesitated – looked at a nearby station attendant – then tapped her PRESTO card on the high-tech device.

“OK, now this is awesome,” the Midland resident said as she used the new digital fare pillar today (Feb. 6) inside Union Station, shortly after the first of the next generation of devices were unveiled.

Metrolinx has introduced a number of the new PRESTO payment devices on GO as part of a trial.

Image shows Erica tapping her PRESTO card.

Erica Pauze tries out a new PRESTO machine inside Toronto’s Union Station – stopping to look through some of the new options. (Thane Burnett photo)

GO customers can now use them at Union Station, with more coming online next week at Burlington, Appleby, Clarkson, Aurora, and Newmarket stations. Metrolinx is also testing a new unit on a GO bus.

They have a new design, including larger screens that display information in a clearer and more intuitive manner, enhancing both user experience and accessibility.

In-station devices have a slightly different feature. Pauze and other PRESTO customers can use the new ‘mode’ button to override a default trip or reverse a tap instead of using separate buttons to do that. By pressing the mode button, they can also check a card balance, rather than having to find a separate balance-checking device.

The new devices are designed to process one card at a time, so make sure you’re tapping only your PRESTO card against the designated spot on the reader to pay your fare – not your entire wallet filled with cards.

Image shows the new PRESTO devices, including a closeup of thge screen.

Following a trial period, the new PRESTO devices will be fully rolled out on all vehicles and stations across GO as well as local transit systems in the 905. (Metrolinx photo)

What’s perhaps most interesting is future capabilities. There are plans in store for modernizing PRESTO that will give customers more ways to pay and these new devices already have the built-in capability to support these enhancements, including the capability to read e-tickets and supporting payment by credit, debit and mobile phones. This is currently in the planning phases.

The trial period also includes 905 transit agencies – some of which already have the new devices in service with the remainder rolling out in the coming weeks.

Following this trial period, the devices will be fully rolled out on all vehicles and stations across GO as well as local transit systems in the 905.

For Pauze, coffee and PRESTO in hand, it was a welcome introduction to something new.

“So cool,” the pharmacy technician said, as she continued on with her journey.

For more information, visit the PRESTO new devices webpage.