Card readers will be installed on the 510 route's new TTC streetcars by the end of this month.
At some point before the end of November, TTC riders will be able to board one of the two new streetcars currently running the 510 Spadina route and pay their fares with the tap of a card. Metrolinx has indicated that Presto card readers will be installed at each doorway of the vehicles soon—although a firm timeline has not yet been established.
The machines won’t mean a sudden change in rider experience: the introduction of the new system will be done slowly, and you’ll still need to pick up paper transfers.
Riders will be able to tap their cards on one of six machines available on each streetcar. If you intend to continue your trip aboard another TTC vehicle, though, you’ll have to engage in a two-tap process at one of two transfer machines. The first tap pays the fare, and the second will get you a proof-of-payment transfer.
In the future, you’ll be able to use the Presto reader to pay with debit and credit cards or your cellphone—but it’s not clear exactly when that functionality will be introduced. It’s also not certain yet when Harbourfront, Dundas, and Bathurst streetcars will be outfitted with the readers—although they’re next in line.
Presto has already been introduced at 14 subway stations. Questions have been raised about the system’s efficacy and accessibility, but TTC spokesperson Brad Ross is confident it will ultimately enhance rider satisfaction: “TTC customers have been asking for a modern and convenient method of fare payment,” he said. “We look forward to working with Presto to deliver just that.”