News / Toronto

How Presto's costs stack up globally

A lot of cities have electronic fare cards, but some cost more than others.

A Presto reader on the 7 Bathurst bus in October 2016.

File / Torstar News Service

A Presto reader on the 7 Bathurst bus in October 2016.

Cities across the GTA worry that Presto fees could increase fourfold. It currently costs seven suburban municipalities two per cent of each fare to use the electronic card. But Durham fears the cut could climb as high as nine per cent as Metrolinx tries to recoup its costs. Queen’s Park has made accepting Presto a condition for receiving provincial gas tax payments, which leaves city leaders feeling like they don’t have a choice. Here’s how similar fees stack up around the world:

By the numbers

Toronto (Presto): 4.65 per cent

After lengthy negotiations with Metrolinx, the TTC finally agreed to 4.65 per cent in 2012. At the time, the regional transit agency needed the largest city to commit to the card. In the next round of negotiations, the TTC won’t have the same leverage. Over 13 cents of every adult fare goes toward Presto.

Winnipeg (Peggo): 1 per cent

Ten years after announcing its transit card project, Winnipeg implemented Peggo in 2016. About two cents of every adult fare goes toward paying for Peggo.

Vancouver (Compass): 2.44 per cent

Vancouver’s Compass is produced in-house, so they don’t need to pay an external vendor. However, a 2013 report projects that they’d pay $12 million a year to operate the service, which works out to about seven cents per adult fare.

London, England (Oyster Card): 2 per cent

While London pays a lower cut for its electronic fare system, it also costs more to ride the tube. The city has to pass on about 10 cents Canadian per trip to operate the card.

Singapore: No fee

Next week, the Asian city’s transit agency will launch a pilot project in which Mastercard users can tap on and off with their credit card. They hope 100,000 riders will participate.

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