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UP Express riders can now pay fares through debit cards as part of ongoing pilot project

The exterior of the Weston GO Transit and UP Express station. File / Google Streetview

For customers and travellers who use UP Express trains, they will now be able to pay through debit cards as part of an ongoing pilot project aimed at offering ways to ride for those who don’t use the Presto fare card system.

Metrolinx, the Ontario government organization that oversees UP Express, GO Transit and Presto, launched the new payment option on Thursday on the four-stop UP line, which runs between Union Station and Toronto Pearson International Airport.

Riders will be able to use their physical cards or ones linked to mobile wallet applications and they will need to tap on at the beginning and off at the end of the trip, which is similar to using Presto cards.

Officials noted there will be a temporary $15 authorization at the beginning and the ride cost, depending on distance, will be deducted from that amount.

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

This announcement came months after the pilot project was launched allowing riders to buy adult fare tickets by tapping credit cards or cellphones (through mobile wallets) on Presto devices at the beginning and end of a trip.

The agency previously confirmed debit payments would be added in the spring, but it’s not clear why exactly there was a delay.

A spokesperson told Global News an end date for the pilot project hasn’t been finalized.

Metrolinx staff said if the pilot project is deemed successful, it could be expanded to other transit agencies.

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