Get ready, Hamilton. The way you take transit is about to change.
So what are some of the benifits of using Presto?
Unlike the current paper pass, Presto cards are made of durable plastic much like a credit card. The card is also reloadable. Once purchased the card can be reloaded by phone, on the internet or in person at a customer service kiosk. There is no need to worry about your local retailer being ‘sold out’ of the bus pass. Simply use one of the aforementioned methods and conveniently reload your card.
The Presto card is also more secure if it is lost or stolen. If you lose or misplace your paper bus pass you are out of luck and will have to purchase another. With Presto, once you register your card at PrestoCard.ca (which is free), you will be able to transfer the balance from your lost card onto a new one. The missing card will be blocked within 24 hours of reporting the loss and the remaining value can be transferred to a replacement fare card.
There is also an option to autoload your card automatically from your bank account or credit card when the card value reaches a pre-determined level.
Exact details for the use in Hamilton are not readily available, but the single use cost associated with the card is expected to be $2.00, the same price as purchasing a paper bus ticket. *edit: The monthly pass is also able to be loaded onto your Presto card, which can be purchased in advance.
Presto is already available on GO Transit’s Lakeshore West train service, which services Hamilton with morning and evening trains via the Hamilton GO Centre. Cards can be purchased at the GO ticket booth and balance checkers are already available within the station.
GO Transit plans to have all of their bus fleet active on the system by this summer.
The planned launch date for Presto in Hamilton is this Wednesday May 4th.