UP Express trains now accepting contactless credit card, phone fare payments

For people who ride UP Express trains, Metrolinx has unveiled new, contactless ways to pay fares in the absence of using a Presto card.

In a statement Thursday morning, the transit organization announced a pilot program that will allow riders to buy adult fare tickets by tapping credit cards or cellphones (through mobile wallet applications) on Presto devices at the beginning and end of a trip.

“There’s no need to preload funds or purchase a ticket before travel,” the statement said.

Read more: Hamilton to end paper ticket sales by September as part of Presto agreement

At some point in the spring, the announcement said Interac debit payments will be added to the pilot project.

While the initial project is just restricted to UP Express, a four-stop rail line that runs between Toronto Pearson International Airport and Union Station, there are plans to expand the service to other transit organizations if it’s successful.

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Metrolinx spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins told Global News in a statement GO Transit trains and stations got the technology to accept open payments in 2020 and could be included in the pilot project in the spring.

Read more: Most Presto card holders taking advantage of TTC’s hop-on, hop-off transfer

However, a notable exception to the pilot project is the Toronto Transit Commission. The Metrolinx announcement said Presto devices on TTC vehicles and facilities don’t have the capability to accept credit and debit cards or mobile payments for single adult fares.

“To be ready for contactless payment, TTC devices require upgrading to accept the new fare payments,” the statement said.

“We’re currently working with the TTC to determine the potential timelines for this work.”

Presto is currently used by 11 transit organizations and the statement said work is underway to allow for similar contactless payments.

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