Credit card

GO Transit adds credit card tap to payment options

Passengers can pay adult fares with credit cards, or a payment-enabled phone or watch without having to buy or load a separate PRESTO card or handle cash when boarding

The new payment option follows a partnership agreement between Metrolinx and Visa. The collaboration builds on the success of Visa’s partnership with TransLink in Metro Vancouver.

“We are thrilled to bring the simplicity of Visa tap to pay to transit riders in the GTA in conjunction with Metrolinx. Public transit is essential for so many people, and we believe in making the driving experience as smooth as possible,” said Brian Weiner, Vice President and Head of Product and Digital, Visa Canada.

The new payment option is also available on Union Pearson (UP) Express from Metrolinx, Brampton Transit, Mississauga’s MiWay transit system and Oakville Transit.

Last May, Visa’s Future of Urban Mobility Study surveyed 11,500 adults who use public transit in 14 global markets, including Canada and the United States. Among its findings was the request for a contactless payment option.

“Digital payments have become a mainstay for many transit riders around the world, and our research shows that an overwhelming number want contactless payment options throughout their journey,” said Josh Martiesian, Head of Urban Mobility, Visa North America.

The study commissioned by Visa found that nearly one in three, or 32%, of public transport riders cited contactless payment as a key feature that would encourage them to use public transport, with 50% citing increased convenience of contactless payment as the primary benefit.

A rebound in transit ridership was also reflected after the COVID-19 pandemic led to a significant decline in transit demand. According to the results, 36% of Canadian riders expect to use public transit more over the next 12 months, while 48% plan to use it at their current frequency.

“Many passengers are ready to go out into the world, and public transport is increasingly at the center of these plans, as more and more people travel for work, school, leisure, daily errands and everything else,” adds Martiesian.

Transit riders can now pay their adult fare with their Visa, Mastercard, American Express credit card, payment-capable phone or watch as part of PRESTO contactless payments. The added convenience comes from the fact that there is no need to buy or load a separate PRESTO card or handle cash when boarding.

Best of all, customers using their physical or mobile credit cards get the discounted PRESTO adult fare.

Metrolinx plans to gradually add the contactless debit option to its various transit agencies in the region. UP Express already offers a debit card payment option after a successful pilot program.

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Jennifer McLaughlin, Local Journalism Initiative, Markham Review. The LJI is a federally funded program.