News / Toronto

Apple Pay coming to the TTC

Toronto's transit agency says its new Presto fare readers will be compatible with services like Apple Pay by 2017.

The TTC says its Presto fare readers are compatible with Apple Pay and other mobile payment systems.

Liz Beddall/Metro

The TTC says its Presto fare readers are compatible with Apple Pay and other mobile payment systems.

Paying a TTC fare could be as simple as the wave of a cellphone by 2017.

Apple Pay – which lets iPad and iPhone users connect their bank accounts to their devices – made its Canadian debut this week, but the TTC has already announced plans to integrate the service into its electronic fare system.

The only catch? It could take up to two years.

The TTC is in the midst of rolling out is Presto fare readers, which began appearing on older generation vehicles this fall. Within the next few weeks, every streetcar in the city will accept Presto, opening electronic fare payment to a much wider audience.

"There are an awful lot of people that just travel on streetcars and from subway stations, so this is the stage where we will start to see more people using Presto," said TTC spokesman Chris Upfold.

The Presto readers are already compatible with Apple Pay and other mobile payment technologies, including contactless credit and debit cards, but Upfold said there’s still work to be done behind the scenes before the features can be switched on.

Initially, the streetcar Presto readers will only work for single fares, like on the subway. Passes and other discounts won't be added to the system until January, Upfold said

In addition to Presto, the TTC will start accepting contactless credit and debit cards at subway stations for token and pass purchases in December.

Upfold said services like Apple Pay may not be available until the TTC completes its Presto rollout to every station and vehicle at the end of 2017.