HSR moving to PRESTO fare system in coming months


Published July 17, 2020 at 8:25 pm

Time is running out for HSR’s paper bus tickets and monthly passes.

Time is running out for HSR’s paper bus tickets and monthly passes.

At Friday’s (July 17) meeting, City Council approved the removal of paper media in favour of implementing the PRESTO fare card system.

The PRESTO equipment is expected to be installed on buses by the end of September and the sale of HSR paper tickets and passes will stop as of October 31, 2020. Beyond that date, HSR users will have to use a Presto card.

It should be noted, however, HSR will continue to accept paper tickets already purchased until December 31, 2020.

Residents who are 80 years and older will receive a one-time free PRESTO Card when they obtain their Golden Age pass for unlimited free transit in Hamilton.

As part of the approved operating agreement with Metrolinx, the City of Hamilton is required to pay a nine per cent commission on 80 per cent of its transit revenues one year after the installation of new equipment, regardless of what media is used to earn the revenue, a press release issued by the City, explains.

At a Public Works meeting in February, a presentation from transit staff noted that approximately 100 vendors across Hamilton will be affected by the transition. Ticket and pass sellers have traditionally received commissions from the city for selling them.

As of February 2020, 58 per cent of HSR Customers are using a PRESTO card as their preferred method of payment. To move the remaining customers to PRESTO to achieve the adoption rate prescribed in the agreement by September 2021, a strategy for legacy paper media removal has been developed.

In early 2018, Metrolinx completed the rollout of PRESTO devices to over 400 Shoppers Drug Mart locations; 30 locations are in Hamilton along with nine Fortinos locations.

This agreement provides the much-needed locations for our customers to purchase and reload their cards. PRESTO also has an app where users can reload their cards.

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