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Toronto Public Library - free Presto cards

  • Last Updated:
  • Jul 3rd, 2022 8:44 pm
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Jr. Member
Oct 15, 2012
154 posts
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TORONTO
The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) and Toronto Public Library are providing complimentary PRESTO cards to people who do not yet have one or may face challenges in purchasing one. PRESTO cards are available at select Toronto Public Library branches, while quantities last.

List of participating branches: https://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/services/presto.jsp
You may wanna call first to confirm availability.
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May 2, 2008
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with the pilot of credit card tap at the terminals, I don't see how Presto is really required anymore. Long overdue as the whole presto platform is rather archaic given we could've always just used phones/watches/digital-wallets to tap, but obviously they wanted to do a money grab play.

These cards should've been free to begin with... and the fact you have to pay for a new one if its lost, even if its registered is quite absurd. - end rant

none the less, its free, so the deal is good :)
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Nov 7, 2003
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vinnie1990 wrote: with the pilot of credit card tap at the terminals, I don't see how Presto is really required anymore. Long overdue as the whole presto platform is rather archaic given we could've always just used phones/watches/digital-wallets to tap, but obviously they wanted to do a money grab play.

These cards should've been free to begin with... and the fact you have to pay for a new one if its lost, even if its registered is quite absurd. - end rant

none the less, its free, so the deal is good :)
Any discount to using Presto vs using my CC?
Sr. Member
Jul 31, 2012
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Toronto
Sgt_Strider wrote: Any discount to using Presto vs using my CC?
I think CC are only on the UP Express now, if it was to work the savings would be 5 cents (cash vs presto fare)
Deal Expert
Jun 20, 2020
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pkeep22 wrote: I think CC are only on the UP Express now, if it was to work the savings would be 5 cents (cash vs presto fare)
Yes, being tested on UP Express for now

from https://www.contactless.prestocard.ca/e ... ontactless
Where To Use It

Piloting on UP Express!

New PRESTO devices at UP Express’s Union, Bloor, Weston and Pearson Airport stations now accept PRESTO contactless payment. The benefits of contactless payment options: safe, easy and cashless.

Expanding across the region

We're also working to expand PRESTO contactless payment to more transit agencies soon. We’ll have more information soon about using PRESTO contactless payment to pay for transit across participating transit agencies.
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Nov 16, 2004
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Toronto
VampireJames wrote: The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) and Toronto Public Library are providing complimentary PRESTO cards to people who do not yet have one or may face challenges in purchasing one. PRESTO cards are available at select Toronto Public Library branches, while quantities last.

List of participating branches: https://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/services/presto.jsp
You may wanna call first to confirm availability.
Especially since this program has been running. Unless there's been some announcement of "additional" cards or revamping this campaign, this may in fact be old news.

Try to call and ask first is great advice.
This program started Oct 5, 2020
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May 11, 2016
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Anyone go to a Library yet to request one? What was the process like?
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Sep 9, 2003
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Toronto
vinnie1990 wrote: with the pilot of credit card tap at the terminals, I don't see how Presto is really required anymore. Long overdue as the whole presto platform is rather archaic given we could've always just used phones/watches/digital-wallets to tap, but obviously they wanted to do a money grab play.

These cards should've been free to begin with... and the fact you have to pay for a new one if its lost, even if its registered is quite absurd. - end rant

none the less, its free, so the deal is good :)
Agree.... The card itself should be free. With CC taps, do you lose out with unlimited transfers in 2 hr window?
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Dec 20, 2019
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samson wrote: Agree.... The card itself should be free. With CC taps,do you lose out with unlimited transfers in 2 hr window?
This. The only reason I use the bus as much as I do now is because of the unlimited transfers both way. That is what makes the presto card worth it.
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Jun 3, 2006
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vinnie1990 wrote: with the pilot of credit card tap at the terminals, I don't see how Presto is really required anymore. Long overdue as the whole presto platform is rather archaic given we could've always just used phones/watches/digital-wallets to tap, but obviously they wanted to do a money grab play.

These cards should've been free to begin with... and the fact you have to pay for a new one if its lost, even if its registered is quite absurd. - end rant

none the less, its free, so the deal is good :)
Curious how the credit card tap will work with the "free after 40 trips" thing with GO Transit.
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Nov 20, 2017
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Still doesn't matter with the amount of times the presto terminals do be down.
Sr. Member
Apr 10, 2006
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ToniCipriani wrote: Curious how the credit card tap will work with the "free after 40 trips" thing with GO Transit.
prolly have to make sure you use the same card for the 40 trips.
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Nov 5, 2018
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vinnie1990 wrote: with the pilot of credit card tap at the terminals, I don't see how Presto is really required anymore. Long overdue as the whole presto platform is rather archaic given we could've always just used phones/watches/digital-wallets to tap, but obviously they wanted to do a money grab play.

These cards should've been free to begin with... and the fact you have to pay for a new one if its lost, even if its registered is quite absurd. - end rant

none the less, its free, so the deal is good :)
Presto implementation began back in 2006, and was state-of-the-art at the time. Contactless payment was functionally non-existent, the iPhone didn't exist, and cellular networks weren't strong enough to support real-time connections to transit vehicles, so account based ticketing wasn't feasible.

Unfortunately, when Presto was finally fully rolled out, state-of-the-art was moving on to account based ticketing which supports open payments. It's been the catch up to that that's been a very slow process.
Jr. Member
Nov 28, 2019
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samson wrote: Agree.... The card itself should be free. With CC taps, do you lose out with unlimited transfers in 2 hr window?
Its just a free card no money on it
Member
Feb 21, 2014
445 posts
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Toronto
Catenary wrote: Presto implementation began back in 2006, and was state-of-the-art at the time. Contactless payment was functionally non-existent, the iPhone didn't exist, and cellular networks weren't strong enough to support real-time connections to transit vehicles, so account based ticketing wasn't feasible.

Unfortunately, when Presto was finally fully rolled out, state-of-the-art was moving on to account based ticketing which supports open payments. It's been the catch up to that that's been a very slow process.
No it was pretty outdated when it came out. Look at the oyster card which they should have licensed and used instead of building a system from scratch that had a ton of problems and takes 24 hours to reload a balance online. It's also been doing NFC since 2010.

Presto sucks.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oyster_card
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Jun 1, 2016
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vinnie1990 wrote: with the pilot of credit card tap at the terminals, I don't see how Presto is really required anymore. Long overdue as the whole presto platform is rather archaic given we could've always just used phones/watches/digital-wallets to tap, but obviously they wanted to do a money grab play.
Children's fare, student fare, senior fare, etc
Sr. Member
Nov 5, 2018
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pagefaultca wrote: No it was pretty outdated when it came out. Look at the oyster card which they should have licensed and used instead of building a system from scratch that had a ton of problems and takes 24 hours to reload a balance online. It's also been doing NFC since 2010.

Presto sucks.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oyster_card
I'm well aware of the other options on the market. As I said, Presto implementation began in 2006, before contactless payment was really a thing. That doesn't account for development time before implementation either.

Should they have gone to the market and gotten a system from Cubic, S&B, ACS/Xerox/Conduent or another provider? Absolutely. Would that have significantly changed the system we got initially? Probably not.

Online loads were very new to contactless ticketing when Presto launched, and most systems didn't support it at all. If you wanted to do it with Oyster, not only was there a delay, you also had to select the station at which you would "pick up" your load at - not on a bus, an actual station. This generally wasn't an issue as there was a plethora of locations to load your card at otherwise, such as the expansive tube network and convenience stores which the GTHA lacked.

Presto is a great example of government contracting disaster, but a balanced look at it includes recognizing what was possible at the time.
Member
Aug 13, 2018
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pagefaultca wrote: No it was pretty outdated when it came out. Look at the oyster card which they should have licensed and used instead of building a system from scratch that had a ton of problems and takes 24 hours to reload a balance online. It's also been doing NFC since 2010.

Presto sucks.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oyster_card
The 24 hour wait applies to any transit card. It's just a limitation of technology.

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