01/21/2015 02:57 EST | Updated 03/23/2015 05:59 EDT

Presto system to be rolled out across TTC by end of 2016

The Toronto Transit Commission is planning to roll out the Presto program across the city’s transit system by the end of 2016, a year ahead of the scheduled implementation of 2017.

The TTC is planning to install the electronic fare card system on all streetcars by the end of 2015, said Andy Byford, CEO of the TTC. Presto cards are to be accepted on all buses by next summer and at all subway stations by the end of 2016. 

“What we are saying today is we are working with Metrolinx to see if we can shave a year off that program,” Byford told reporters on Tuesday. “I really want to get Presto in. It will make a massive difference.”

The Presto system allows users to preload a card with money and pay their fare by tapping the card against an electronic reader.

The system is already in use throughout the GO Transit lines and some regional transit systems. Currently 15 TTC stations and three of the new Streetcars on Spadina Avenue are outfitted with the Presto system, Byford said.

Byford said the introduction of the Presto system to London’s transit system has caused “a huge transformation.”

“We want Torontonians to have that same experience,” he said.

Byford added that time is needed to manufacture all the equipment. Additionally, the vehicles need to be rewired so the Presto system can be connected to the database, and cables need to be added to the stations to power the system.