Earlier today, Hamilton City Council approved the removal of paper media (HSR paper Bus tickets and monthly passes) from circulation. The PRESTO fare card system was approved by Council and implemented with the intent of replacing legacy paper tickets and paper monthly pass products.
HSR will stop producing paper monthly passes with the last passes issued in October 2020. Starting November 1st, passes will be available only on a PRESTO card. Paper tickets will stop being sold on October 31st. HSR will continue to accept paper tickets already purchased until December 31st.
A special purpose ticket will be created for social agencies and school boards that utilize paper tickets to support their clients; and available at the Customer Service Office at the Hamilton GO Centre. Customers may also purchase up to two (2) special purpose tickets at a time at the Customer Service Office They will remain available until PRESTO has released suitable functionality that meets their needs.
In early 2018, Metrolinx completed the rollout of PRESTO devices to over 400 Shoppers Drug Mart locations; 30 locations are in Hamilton along with 9 Fortinos locations. Since the summer of 2018, self-service devices have been available at all GO Transit terminals, including Hamilton GO Centre, McMaster University and West Harbour.
In January 2019 PRESTO launched an App which allows the card holder to perform most of the functions available on the Web and in addition if the customer has a near field communication (NFC) enabled Android phone they can immediately load the funds and transit passes just purchased. As of June 1, 2020 this App is also available on iPhone 7 or higher.
As of February 2020, 58% of HSR Customers are using a PRESTO card as their preferred method of payment.
Source: City of Hamilton