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TTC to give out free Presto cards this summer and fall

File photo - Presto cards. Don Mitchell / Global News

The TTC says it will give out free Presto cards to further encourage customers to use the cards this summer and fall.

A plan is being worked on to distribute the cards to areas of Toronto where Presto use is low and to areas where riders would benefit from getting a Presto card, the TTC said.

The giveaway is meant to give people not already using Presto cards easier access to minimize using cash and reduce touch points amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the TTC said.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Toronto-area transit ridership and revenue in steep decline during pandemic

The transit system did a similar program in November 2019 of complimentary distribution at select subway stations.

Roughly 93 per cent of trips were taken through Presto cards, the TTC said.

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Pre-pandemic, the TTC said the transit system averaged about 1.8 million rides a day as customers commuted to work, school, social events and other activities.

Over the last three months, due to the pandemic, ridership went down 86 per cent to only about 300,000 daily rides with customers making trips for essential work, groceries, pharmacies and care.

“As always, customers can continue to pay with cash, tickets and tokens for the foreseeable future,” the TTC said in a report.

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