Bus and train travel made easier for Mississauga, Brampton, Hamilton and Durham residents


Published September 22, 2022 at 12:26 pm

New payment options introduced last month to help GO Transit riders in Mississauga, Brampton, Hamilton, Halton, Durham, Niagara and other areas get around more conveniently on buses and trains are now being expanded to include other regions.

As of Aug. 11, transit riders in those areas were able to hop on buses and trains with the tap of a credit card. The new fare option was also made available at that time to users of MiWay (Mississauga’s transit provider), Brampton Transit and Oakville Transit.

Additionally, a debit fare payment option is planned in the near future and all new payment options will eventually be extended to include more transit agencies across the region, Metrolinx officials said at the time.

Metrolinx is the provincial agency that oversees GO.

Since August, customers have “tapped on” more than 100,000 times using credit cards on GO, MiWay, and Brampton and Oakville transit services, said Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) officials at a news conference today (Sept. 22) in Mississauga.

In 2023, they added, the provincial government will further expand the initiative to more transit agencies across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) by giving riders more ways to pay, including payment by debit.

“Reaching this milestone so quickly after launch demonstrates the high demand for more contactless payment options across the GO network and local transit systems,” Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney said today. “As a next step, our government will work towards expanding the tap-on credit card payment option across the 905, making it easier and more convenient for commuters in the GTHA to get to work, school and more.”

Stan Cho, associate minister of transportation, said at the news conference that improving “…the PRESTO fare payment system by allowing riders to simply tap on with their credit cards is yet another example of how our government is bettering the transit experience…helping people get to where they need to go. Our government is making transit an appealing, convenient and simpler option for people across the Greater Golden Horseshoe.”

Metrolinx officials said in August that the changes, simply put, will make it easier for commuters to get around.

“After a successful test run this past year on UP Express (Union Station to Pearson Airport train), more customers will have new and easy ways to pay their adult fare on more transit agencies in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.”

The UP Express pilot program will now be permanent as well, transit officials say.

During the UP Express pilot, more than 28,500 credit card fare payments since March 2021 and some 6,000 debit fare payments since last October were made using the contactless payment options.

Passengers using the new fare options going forward should make sure to only tap their preferred payment method onto a PRESTO device to pay, Metrolinx says.

“The easiest way is to take out the card they want to pay with out of their wallet, purse or phone case when tapping onto a PRESTO device to pay. This avoids a situation called ‘card clash’ and ensures that only one card is charged,” transit officials add.

When travelling on GO Transit or UP Express, customers must remember to tap off at their destination, in the same way they tapped on.

“If you tap on with your credit card, you must tap off with the same credit card. If you tap on with your phone or watch, you must tap off with the same phone or watch using the same card set up in your mobile wallet,” Metrolinx says. “This avoids any possible duplication of fare payment.”

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