After years of waiting, the promised functionality has finally arrived
Metrolinx has finally expanded its contactless payment to support additional platforms, including Apple Pay and contactless credit card payments
Starting August 11th, Go Transit, Brampton Transit MiWay and Oakville transit support the above platforms when tapping at a Presto payment device.
This means that Presto readers now work with the iPhone or Apple Watch with Apple Pay tied to a credit card. Similar to a Presto Card, you still need to tap off when getting off at a station, so you aren’t charged twice.
Through a pilot program, contactless payments first made their way to Metrolinx transit network on the Union-Pearson Up Express line last year. The transit agency says that there have been over 28,500 credit fare payments since March 2021 and over 6,000 debit fare payments since October 2021 using contactless payment options.
“We’ve’ heard customers when they’ve asked for more flexible and convenient ways to pay their fare, and Presto contactless payment is just the latest customer improvement to deliver this – We will continue to offer new options that bring the very best experience and value to our customers and transit agency partners with Presto,” writes Metrolinx in a recent press release.
Metrolinx says it has plans to add debit payments soon alongside other transit agencies.
The transit agency added the ability to top-up Presto cards with Apple Pay back in 2015. Then in 2019, Metrolinx launched a dedicated mobile app for Android and iOS, followed by contactless reloading on iPhones in 2020.
At the time, Metrolinx senior manager of media Ann Marie Aikins said that NFC payments with the iPhone through Apple Pay would eventually arrive but didn’t offer a specific timeline.
It’s unclear why it’s taken so long for Metrolinx to introduce this feature, but it’s likely tied to upgrading its Presto payment stations and Apple being notorious for keeping the iPhone’s NFC functionality locked down.
Image credit: Metrolinx