What is a PRESTO Card?

PRESTO is a digital payment system that makes traveling swift and accessible. This is realized by removing the need for tickets, tokens, passes, and cash. It is an automated fare collection system used in the Canadian province of Ontario, particularly in Greater Toronto, Hamilton, and Ottawa.

With one card and eleven transit agencies, traveling is a lot easier, as PRESTO works in several locations in Canada. Payment is solely based on your terms; you can add money manually or online by automating payment.

My PRESTO Account

You can track your transactions and review your trips online using “My PRESTO Account”. It also has a feature for “Auto-load”, which automatically reloads your account. This means there will always be money on your card. You can also manage several PRESTO cards on the same account. With “My PRESTO Account”, your account details are safe in case of loss or theft.

There are a green and a black PRESTO card; there is no difference between the cards, just the way they look. The new cards are made in black and white and have a simpler design than the green cards. They work the same way and their fares are the same – $6.

Activating A PRESTO Card

PRESTO Card activation takes about 24 hours to process. During the processing, you will be unable to utilize your card. Cards procured online without creating an account or cards procured manually at a customer service outlet, any Shoppers Drug Mart location, Fare Vending Machine or Ticket Vending Machine does not require activation.

If your card is ordered online and an account was created also, it must be activated before it can be utilized. Activating is not a stressful process, contact PRESTO at 1-877-378-6123 and follow the automated instructions. After activation, you must tap into a PRESTO device within 30 days of activation to finalize the activation process.

Where Can I Use PRESTO Card

You can use your PRESTO card to travel on all GO Trains and GO Buses. Note that if your travel involves a transit system that does not utilize the PRESTO fare system, you will be required to pay in cash, tickets, and tokens.

How Much Is A PRESTO Card?

A PRESTO card costs a non-refundable fee of $6. This fee covers administrative fees for the card and use of the system. Hence, when you buy or reload a card manually at a customer service outlet or Shoppers Drug Mart, you must load at least $0.05.

When loading online via the PRESTO App or Ticket Vending Machines at GO and UP Express station, you must recharge at least $10.00. If you are recharging at Fare Vending Machines at TTC subway stations, you must recharge at least $5.00.

Student PRESTO Account

As a student, you get discounts on fares. Obtain a GO-approved student ID either via GO Transit or at your school. Get a reloadable PRESTO card, set up your card for student fares to get discounts. Also, ensure to always have sufficient money on your card.


One of the benefits of PRESTO is that it can be used by several people, though it must be utilized by one person at a time. Two people cannot use the same PRESTO card to travel at the same time. This is because the fare payment device will only recognize one fare per ride on GO Transit. If you are using someone else’s PRESTO card, ensure you know of default or any fare classification setting they may have on their card.

Does PRESTO Card Expire?

PRESTO cards do not expire, though there is an expiry date on the card, you can still use your card. Once your card “expires”, the system automatically calculates and deducts the correct fare or recognizes your PRESTO card.


If your trip is canceled, you will receive a full refund of your money. If you are delayed you are entitled to compensation from the traveling companies.

Closing PRESTO Account

You may choose to close down your PRESTO account at any time, simply contact the PRESTO contact center. You will be subjected to a 4% administration fee upon termination. Note that, once your account is dormant for four years or above, PRESTO might close down your account and all funds available in your My PRESTO Account will not be refunded.

PRESTO Tap Validity

Your PRESTO transfer is valid for two hours. As long as you are within two hours from your first tap, you won’t be charged another fare. If you do not tap out when alighting a bus, you will be charged the highest fare from the point where you boarded the bus.

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