TORONTO – At a Metrolinx board meeting today staff brought forward a number of reports related to regional transportation priorities, including the implementation of a fare card system on the TTC, the Yonge Relief Network and plans for the Regional Express Rail.
One key element of interest to commuters was the expansion of the PRESTO card payment system, which uses smartcard technology to store funds on a secure account to be used as payment instead of cash or tokens.
The rollout will begin in November and modernize four major streetcar routes: Bathurst, Spadina, Harbourfront and Dundas. The new card readers will be installed on the fleet of new streetcars.
“As well, we’ll be putting these machines on Toronto street corners at certain locations, so you can actually pay on the street corner,” says Robert Hollis, Executive Vice-President of PRESTO, who also added that the goal will eventually be to replace the TTC token.
The PRESTO card system will also be expanding its footprint in Toronto’s subway system.
Currently there are 14 TTC subway stations that accept the PRESTO card as a method of payment. That will grow by another 12 as part of this first phase of expansion.
As for the Yonge Relief Network, a report says Metorlinx is still in the process of evaluating potential scenarios to integrate TTC and GO services.
Some of the options include providing additional stops at GO stations in urban areas, modifying downtown-bound Express Bus service and better integrating TTC buses with GO Rail stations.
A report on the Regional Express Rail (RER) indicates the project still needs “commitment and certainty of capital and operating funding,” customized service plan for each corridor and fleet transformation.
The RER promises to provide faster transport on existing commuter lines throughout the day and would also work toward implementing electric train service for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.
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