PRESTO ON THE GO

It's as easy as 1-2-3!

The PRESTO card makes travelling on transit easy and convenient. It’s reloadable and can be used to pay your fare while travelling within and between transit systems by the simple tap of a card. The system calculates the fare for your trip and deducts it from the balance stored on your card – all in less than a second.

PRESTO can be used across the entire GO Transit network at all GO Train stations and on all GO Buses.

NEW TO PRESTO?

1

Get a card

You can get a PRESTO card at lots of places!

GO Stations

PRESTO cards are available at all GO stations and at Toronto Union Station. Visit a station attendant and load your new card with at least $10. It's that easy! A $6 issuance fee applies.

Online

Order your PRESTO card online at prestocard.ca

For a list of participating municipal transit outlets, please visit prestocard.ca.

2

Load it

You can load money onto your card:

3

TAP ON, TAP OFF!

Before boarding the train

Tap ON by touching your card to the PRESTO Fare Payment Device at the station. Be sure to check the screen on the device to confirm that a fare has been deducted from your card. A beep and a green or green/yellow light indicates a successful transaction. If you see a red light, please see a station attendant prior to taking your trip.

When you arrive

Tap off by touching your card to the Fare Payment Device as you exit the station.

As you board the bus

Tap your card ON to the PRESTO Fare Payment Device inside the bus near the driver. The machine will validate your card, record the starting point of your trip and deduct the fare to the next zone on the route.

As you leave the bus

Tap your card OFF to the Fare Payment Device as you exit the bus. The PRESTO system will debit or credit your card for the balance of that trip.

If you forget to tap off, you will be charged to the end of that bus route, as PRESTO will not know where you got off. Remember to always tap off as you exit.

I'M A PRESTO PRO, BUT I'VE GOT QUESTIONS!

REGISTERING

Registering your card has benefits like:

  • Protecting your balance if your card is lost or stolen. You can block your card and transfer the balance to a replacement card.
  • Set up Autoload or Autorenew to automatically reload your card.
  • Obtain a Transit Usage Report for income tax purposes.
  • Review your transaction history.

Autoload

The Autoload feature reloads your PRESTO card automatically when your balance drops below a dollar amount chosen by you. Setting up Autoload is easy:

  • Register your PRESTO card online at prestocard.ca.
  • Sign-in to your online account and set-up Autoload contract (credit or debit card required).
  • Activate your Autoload contract by taking a regular trip with your PRESTO card, or tapping your card to a Balance Checker. This must be done 24 hours after setting-up Autoload online and before 30 days.

Self-Serve Reloads

Self-serve reload machines are located in the York Concourse and West Teamway, Bay Teamway, Bloor and Weston GO Stations, Pearson Airport and several TTC stations.At the machine, you can load value instantly to your PRESTO card with a credit/debit card. You can also check your balance and transaction.

CARD BALANCES

  • Be sure to have sufficient funds on your card to cover your entire trip.
  • If you plan to reload money on your card at a station, do so before you tap ON.
  • The maximum amount that can be stored in your card’s balance is $1000 and the minimum load you can make at any time is $10. If your balance will exceed $1,000 because of a load, the total of your new load cannot be processed until your balance allows for the full amount to be added. This must occur within 30 days or the transaction will be cancelled by your bank or credit card firm.
  • PRESTO loads done through the PRESTO website may take up to 24 hours to be processed. Once processed, you must travel and tap onto a Fare Payment Device or tap onto a Balance Checker within 30 days for your load to be uploaded to your card

ONLINE LOAD TIME

Why doesn’t my online PRESTO load show up immediately?

Unlike a gift card or coffee shop card, online loads to your PRESTO card can take up to 24 hours to process. This is because when you load value to your PRESTO card, that information needs to get transmitted to all of the PRESTO machines and there’s 8,000 of them across the region! This takes time and is usually done anywhere between 4 to 24 hours. To avoid being caught with a low balance, sign up for Autoload or take note of the balance on your card every time you tap on or off.

DEFAULT TRIPS

Save time by setting a Default Trip

  • If you travel between the same two GO stations consistently, you can have a default trip set to your card.
  • If you have a default trip set, you only have to tap ON at the start of each trip.
  • Default trips can only be set in-person by GO station attendants or at participating GO ticket agencies
  • Default trips can only be used for GO Train trips, not GO Bus trips.

OVERRIDE your default trip

  • If you are not taking your usual default trip, simply press the OVERRIDE button, then tap ON.
  • At the end of your trip, remember to tap OFF.
  • The system will reset your default for your next trip.

If you plan to make a RETURN trip within 3 hours

  • If you have a default set and you plan on making a return trip within a three hour window, you’ll benefit from a transfer credit
  • For your first trip, travel as you normally would.
  • For you second/return trip, simply press the override button, tap ON at the start of your trip. Tap OFF at your destination.

FARES

Each time you travel, a fare is deducted from your PRESTO card. With the built-in loyalty program, GO riders receive fare discounts based upon the number of rides taken and the value of the fares accumulated within the calendar month. Calculate your fare here.

Adult fares

With the built-in loyalty program you always save with PRESTO, whether you're taking a single trip or commuting the entire month.

If you take the same GO trip each time you travel within a calendar month, your GO fare* will be:

Number of Rides Discount++

1-35

11.15% off**

36-40

87.75% off**

41+

100% off**

* Fares and discounts subject to change
++ Discount off a single adult GO fare paper ticket
** Actual discount may be .1% lower due to rounding

If you do not take the exact same trip each time you travel on GO within a calendar month, your first 35 rides on GO will be 11.15%** off the single adult GO fare paper ticket. For rides 36 and onwards, your discount will be based on the value of the rides you’ve taken that month.

Student fares

As a full-time student (13+), you are also eligible for fare discounts on GO with PRESTO. To receive the student discount on your PRESTO card, simply have your PRESTO card set with the student classification by the GO station attendant or at a GO ticket agency.

When travelling on GO be sure to have your valid GO Student ID with you at all times.

Note: For students aged 13-19 inclusive, the student classification setting on your card will expire on your 20th birthday. University and College students must have the student classification set each school year. Students attending post-secondary trade or technical schools for eight weeks or more must show a proof of admission with course length specified as the discount will be valid only until the end of the course/program.

Registration and student discount settings may take up to 24 hours. You must travel and tap onto a Fare Payment Device or tap onto a Balance Checker, within 30 days for your registration settings to be uploaded to your card.

If you take the same GO trip each time you travel within a calendar month, your GO fare* will be:

Number of Rides Discount++

1-30

18.40% off**

31-40

95% off**

41+

100% off**

* Fares and discounts subject to change
++ Discount off a single adult GO fare paper ticket
** Actual discount may be .1% lower due to rounding

If you do not take the exact same trip each time you travel on GO within a calendar month, your first 30 rides on GO will be 18.40%** off the single adult GO fare paper ticket. For rides 31 and onwards, your discount will be based on the value of the rides you’ve taken that calendar month.

Child/Senior fares

Children (ages 6-12) and seniors (65+) are also eligible for discounts with PRESTO. If you take the same GO trip each time you travel within a calendar month, your GO fare* will be:

Number of Rides Discount++

1-40

52.65% off**

41+

100% off**

* Fares and discounts subject to change
++ Discount off a single adult GO fare paper ticket
** Actual discount may be .1% lower due to rounding

If you do not take the exact same trip each time you travel on GO within a calendar month, your first 40 rides on GO will be 52.65%** off the single adult ticket GO fare paper ticket*. For rides 41 and onward, your discount will be based on the value of the rides you've taken that month.

To receive the child/senior discount on your PRESTO card, simply take your card to a GO Station Attendant to have it set with a senior or child classification to receive the discount. This can be done at any GO station or GO ticket agency.

Proof of age may be required while travelling GO.

*It may take up to 24 hours for registration and child/senior discount settings to be activated on your card. You must travel and tap onto a Fare Payment Device or tap onto a Balance Checker, within 30 days for your registration and discount settings to be uploaded to your card.

CO-FARES

The co-fare discount program between GO Transit and participating local transit systems is even better for PRESTO card users. PRESTO users get an automatic discount when transferring between GO Train or Bus services and PRESTO-activated local buses anywhere across the entire GO network, not just at GO Train stations. Transfers from GO Transit to participating systems must occur within 3 hours of starting your trip

Visit our Connecting to GO page to learn more about our co-fare discounts.

SERVICE GUARANTEE

We promise to do our best to be on time; however, sometimes delays happen. If your train arrival is delayed by 15 minutes or more, we want to credit what you paid for the trip.

Our Service Guarantee policy doesn’t apply to delays caused by reasons outside of our control, including extreme weather, emergency investigations, pedestrian incidents, track obstructions, and on-board emergencies. Read more about our policy.

Customers who paid for their trip using a PRESTO card can submit their claim online.

We’re often asked why money cannot be refunded to the PRESTO card automatically?

The main reason why we do not provide automatic refunds is that once PRESTO cards are tapped, a customer has a 15 minute window to board their train and in the case of some of our busier stations, has the option to take a variety of trains. We need to determine if the person actually boarded the train that is late and we also need to determine if the train qualifies for a credit. As well, not everyone uses a PRESTO card so we need a simple and quick way, either online or on the phone, to refund everyone who qualifies.

How long is the Travel Window?

There is a 3 hour travel window to complete your GO trip. Transfer credits will be automatically applied when transferring between GO Buses, from GO Buses to GO Trains, or from GO Trains to GO Buses.

Transfers between GO Transit and other participating systems must also occur within 3 hours.

If you plan to make a RETURN trip within 3 hours:

  • If you have a default set and you plan on making a return trip within a 3 hour window, you’ll benefit from a transfer credit
  • For your first trip, travel as you normally would.
  • For you second/return trip, simply press the override button, tap ON at the start of your trip. Tap OFF at your destination.

I forgot to tap off. What is an Underpayment?

A “missed tap OFF” or an ”Underpayment” is an amount that will be deducted from your card if you forget to tap off at the end your GO Transit trip. You will be charged the fare to the furthest distance on the train line or bus route the next time your card interacts with a GO fare payment device. If you have sufficient funds on your card, when you next tap on at a GO Train station or on a GO Bus, the amount you owe will be automatically deducted from your card balance, as well as the fare for this new trip. If you don’t have enough funds on your card, it will be blocked from further use on GO Transit until you have added more funds and cleared your missed tap/underpayment:

  • On-line: You can load funds to your card at prestocard.ca (it may take up to 24 hours for the value to be loaded on your card). Once loaded, the underpayment will be cleared when you next tap on.
  • In-person: You can load money to your PRESTO card and clear the underpayment at a GO Customer Service Outlet.

How much more will my trip cost me if I forget to tap off?

If you do not have a default set on your card and you forget to tap off at the end of your trip, you’ll be charged an additional amount for that trip. This is because the PRESTO system doesn’t know where you travelled to.

  • For any trips that start at Union Station, you will be charged the same amount as the cost of a trip to Kitchener.
  • For trips that start at stations on the Lakeshore East, Lakeshore West, Richmond Hill, Milton, Stouffville, Kitchener and Barrie lines, you will be charged the fare to the farthest station on that line

Lakeshore West

Station Charged To

West Harbour

Union

Hamilton

Union

Aldershot

Union

Burlington

Union

Appleby

Union

Bronte

Union

Oakville

Union

Clarkson

Hamilton

Port Credit

Hamilton

Long Branch

Hamilton

Mimico

Hamilton

Exhibition

Hamilton

Union

Kitchener

Richmond Hill

Station Charged To

Richmond Hill

Union

Langstaff

Union

Old Cummer

Richmond Hill

Oriole

Richmond Hill

Union

Kitchener

Stouffville

Station Charged To

Lincolnville

Union

Stouffville

Union

Mount Joy

Union

Markham

Union

Centennial

Union

Unionville

Union

Milliken

Union

Agincourt

Stouffville

Kennedy

Stouffville

Danforth

Oshawa

Union

Kitchener

Milton

Station Charged To

Milton

Union

Lisgar

Union

Meadowvale

Union

Streetsville

Union

Erindale

Milton

Cooksville

Milton

Dixie

Milton

Kipling

Milton

Union

Kitchener

Lakeshore East

Station Charged To

Oshawa

Union

Whitby

Union

Ajax

Union

Pickering

Union

Rouge Hill

Oshawa

Guildwood

Oshawa

Eglinton

Oshawa

Scarborough

Oshawa

Danforth

Oshawa

Union

Kitchener

Barrie

Station Charged To

Allandale Waterfront

Union

Barrie South

Union

Bradford

Union

East Gwillimbury

Union

Newmarket

Union

Aurora

Allandale Waterfront

King City

Allandale Waterfront

Maple

Allandale Waterfront

Rutherford

Allandale Waterfront

York University

Allandale Waterfront

Union

Kitchener

Kitchener

Station Charged To

Kitchener

Union

Guelph

Union

Acton

Union

Georgetown

Union

Mount Pleasant

Kitchener

Brampton

Kitchener

Bramalea

Kitchener

Malton

Kitchener

Etobicoke North

Kitchener

Weston

Kitchener

Bloor

Kitchener

Union

Kitchener

To avoid missed tap OFF/underpayments:

  • Always check the screen on the fare payment device when you tap your card on and off to ensure a fare was deducted.
  • Have a DEFAULT trip set to your PRESTO card, especially if you travel consistently between two train stations. Defaults allow you to simply tap on at the beginning of your trip and you don’t need to worry about tapping off at the end of your trip. As defaults cannot be set for GO Bus travel, you will always have to tap on and off when travelling on a GO Bus.
  • Remember to always tap OFF at the end of your trip if you do not have a default set and/or if you override your default.

I have an Autoload setting, what can I expect?

Since the value of an underpayment will be deducted from your PRESTO card, it is recommended that you pay careful attention to your balance.

What do PRESTO machines look like?

PRESTO Fare Payment Device

Fare Payment Device

The Fare Payment Device is used to pay your fare. Be sure to tap the green circle on this machine before you ride every time to ensure your fare is paid. Check the screen on the device to confirm that a fare has been deducted from your card. You’ll also hear a beep and see a green/yellow light indicating a successful transaction. You'll also need to tap off at the end of each trip unless you have a default trip set on your card.

PRESTO Balance Checker

Balance Checker

The Balance Checker shows your card balance and transaction history. You can scroll through the information stored on your card by holding it to this machine. If you ordered your PRESTO card online, you can also activate your card on this machine. The Balance Checker is not for fare payment.

Self-Serve Reload Machine

Self-Serve Reload Machine

Self-serve load machines are located in the York Concourse and Teamways, Bloor and Weston GO Stations, Pearson Airport and several TTC stations. At the machine, you can load value instantly to your PRESTO card with a credit/debit card. You can also check your balance and transaction.

What to expect when I tap my PRESTO card?

I see This means

Green light

Your transaction was successful.

If the message displays a dollar amount, your tap was successful and the fare was deducted from your card balance. The screen may also display your card balance.

Green and yellow light

Your transaction was successful and your action has processed.

If the message displays the fare deducted, card balance and an ‘Autoload’ dollar amount, your tap was successful and the fare was deducted from your card balance. Your Autoload amount was also added to your card balance

If the message displays a dollar amount, your tap was successful. The screen may also show the time remaining on your transfer and a co-fare, if applied.

If the message displays a dollar amount and ‘Load’, then your funds were successfully loaded onto your card.

Red light

Your transaction cannot process.

If the message displays ‘Card Read Error’, you have a negative balance on your card. Please visit a customer service outlet, prestocard.ca or call 1-8-PRESTO-123 (1-877-378-6123) for more information about the Autoload feature or to load funds.

If the message displays ‘Not enough funds’, then your card does not have enough funds to pay the fare. Please visit a customer service outlet, prestocard.ca or call 1-8-PRESTO-123 (1-877-378-6123) for more information about the Autoload feature or to load funds.

If the message displays ‘Invalid Card’, it means your card has not been activated and cannot be used. Please visit prestocard.ca or call 1-8-PRESTO-123 (1-877-378-6123).

If the message displays ‘Blocked Card’, your card has been blocked. Please visit a customer service outlet, prestocard.ca or call 1-8-PRESTO-123 (1-877-378-6123) for information on how to get a new card and complete a balance transfer.

Red and yellow light

Your transaction was invalid.

If the message displays ‘Already tapped’, you have already successfully tapped and can continue your regular travel.