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TTC to take credit & debit purchases at all stations in 2015

John Tory and Josh Colle at Victoria Park station, Decc. 16, 2014. KEVIN MISENER/680NEWS

TTC riders will be able to use debit or credit cards to purchase 10 or more tokens and any passes at all subway station collector booths starting Jan. 1.

TTC Chair Josh Colle added that a “wave-and-pay” system for single fares will be available in the summer.

“It’s step by step by step,” Mayor John Tory said at Tuesday’s announcement.

Since taking office earlier this month Tory has made a series of announcements, including all-door boarding on the King streetcar and a new corporate sponsor for Bike Share Toronto, he says are geared towards getting Toronto moving.

“We need to make riding the rocket more convenient for people if we are going to encourage people to use it,” Tory said.

Colle added the move “bridges” the TTC to the Presto system.

Provincial transit agency Metrolinx is overseeing the implementation of the Presto system, which is already available on some TTC vehicles and stations.

“As long as it works reliably, I want Presto as soon as possible,” TTC CEO Andy Byford said at the announcement.

Implementing the new payment options at collector booths will cost the TTC $1.5-million, according to Byford, “but that’s what customers want.”

Byford added the token vending machines will not be upgraded because they are too old to make a compelling business case.

“This city is two generations behind other cities” when it comes to implementing technology, Tory said.

“Toronto’s too good for that. The people expect the best here and they should get it,” he added.