The PRESTO E-Tickets are a new, convenient and touchless way to pay your transit fare that is now available for HSR customers. Tickets can be purchased, activated and displayed for payment by an individual on their smartphone.
Tap & Go with PRESTO!
PRESTO is an electronic fare system that allows transit users to pay for their journey quickly, easily and securely.
Frequently Asked Questions
Loading funds (e-purse) allows you to load as much money as you would like (maximum of $1000), whenever you would like. Your fare is capped at 11 rides per week (see Benefits ) and you will never be charged more than your fare type’s monthly pass in a calendar month. The funds value minimum initial load and each reload is $0.05.
Passes can only be loaded from approximately the 17th of the month prior to approximately the 13th of the Pass month (i.e. July Passes can be loaded from June 17 through to July 13 only).
The new PRESTO card is pre-set as an adult. To change your fare type (Child, Youth or Senior rate), your card must be modified from Adult. Visit any of the Customer Service Outlets and provide proof of your birthdate. HSR Child and Youth fares are the same rate. A Child is considered to be anyone 5 to 12 years old and a Youth is 13 to 19 years old. You must change your card from Child to Youth when you reach 13 years old or it will default to Adult. Please be aware that at any time, HSR Operators can ask for ID to prove that you are entitled to use this reduced fare.
If you have a registered card, your card will go into a negative balance, or overdraft. This will happen once and you will be able to continue your current trip, including transfers, on HSR and Burlington Transit but not GO Transit. Visit a Customer Service Outlet or go online and load money onto your card. The amount owing will be deducted from your transaction along with a $0.25 service charge.
To avoid overdraft, check out the auto-load features that PRESTO offers online. You can set up your PRESTO card so your e-purse is always replenished. All monthly passes have an auto-renew feature. Auto-load and auto-renew features can only be used on registered cards.
To receive a Senior rate, your card must be modified from Adult. Visit any of our 14 Customer Service Outlets and provide proof of your birthdate. PRESTO will work for Senior ticket, Senior monthly pass and Senior Annual pass on HSR buses. Anyone 65 years of age or older is considered a ‘Senior’ for HSR fares.
PRESTO and the HSR Senior Annual Pass
The HSR Senior Annual Pass is loaded onto the PRESTO card which provides you with unlimited travel on the HSR for 12 months.
In order to qualify for this special pass, you must be between the ages of 65 and 79 years old. Proof of age is needed when acquiring this pass.
The HSR Senior Annual Pass is only valid on HSR vehicles. You can transfer for free onto Burlington Transit with this pass, but you need to use money in your e-purse to travel within Burlington or to come back to Hamilton after your transfer has expired, if it is outside the two hour transfer window.
PRESTO and the HSR Golden Age Pass
Purchase your PRESTO card for $6 at the HSR Customer Service Centre at 36 Hunter St. East and travel for free. You must be 80 years of age or older and a resident of Hamilton. Proof of age is required, as well as proof of address in Hamilton (acceptable ID would be a Driver’s Licence, Ontario Photo Card, Income Tax statement with name and address, Health Card that has address, etc.). A photo ID will be issued to be used in conjunction with your new PRESTO card.
The HSR Golden Age Pass is only valid on HSR vehicles. You can transfer for free onto Burlington Transit with this pass, but you need to use money in your e-purse to travel within Burlington or to come back to Hamilton after your transfer has expired, if it is outside the two hour transfer window.
You can have your card set up with the HSR Golden Age Pass as well as an e-purse that can be used for Burlington Transit, GO Transit or any of the other participating transit agencies. You will be charged the Adult fare when travelling on the other transit agency buses. Do not have GO Transit or any other transit agencies change your card to a senior concession as this invalidates your HSR Golden Age Pass. Golden Age passengers who frequently travel on transit outside of Hamilton should purchase a 2nd PRESTO card with a senior concession to be able to benefit from other transit agency senior rates (if applicable).
For more information on the Senior Annual Pass or Golden Age Pass Program, please call our HSR Fare Administration Office at 905-546-2424 ext.1882
The transfer window is set to two hours from the time of boarding your first bus. When you tap on to the Fare Payment Device as you board, the system will write a transfer to your card when a valid fare is paid. When you tap on to the next HSR bus within the two hours, the system will recognize the transfer and no additional fare will be deducted. A paper transfer is no longer required.
Transferring to Burlington Transit
Burlington Transit recognizes the transfer written to your card, no additional fare will be deducted and no paper transfer is needed when transferring within two hours from the start of your trip.
Transferring to GO Transit
The co-fare and fare subsidy will be applied on a trip specific basis. The card will calculate and deduct the appropriate discount for the local trip to or from an activated GO Train station.
If using an e-purse, a discount of a $1.85 will be applied when you transfer to the next portion of your trip. For example, when you travel on HSR and transfer to the GO Train, the fare you pay GO will be reduced by $1.85.
On Board PRESTO Machines
The On Board PRESTO devices have a new look and offer some immediate improvements:
- As always, customers can tap a PRESTO card on the device where indicated. The new equipment is designed to allow future enhancements for credit and debit card payments. Customers are now encouraged to remove their PRESTO card from their wallet, to avoid a “multiple cards detected” error message.
- The devices have a new design, including larger screens that display information in a clearer and more intuitive manner, enhancing both user experience and accessibility. The machines also have upgraded technology to ensure that they continue to perform reliably over the coming years.
- In future, this upgrade will also make it possible for HSR to use the new barcode scanning system for E-Tickets, which includes the ability for a customer to print a ticket at home.
Metrolinx is also in the planning phases in developing other options for fare payment to include debit, credit and mobile phone. There is still work to do, but the goal is to have these new payment options available for all PRESTO customers, across the entire system.
We were one of the first transit agencies to adopt PRESTO. This means our devices are now almost 10 years old. We’re replacing these devices with upgraded ones to continue to provide reliable service.
Yes. These devices are being rolled out across GO Transit and other local transit agencies in the 905 area.
You’re seeing this message because the PRESTO device is picking up signals from other card(s) that are close to your PRESTO card, preventing payment from being accepted. Make sure you tap only your PRESTO card on the reader – not your whole wallet or purse. The devices have a contactless card reader that has the capability to also accept other forms of payment (like debit and credit) in the future. Because of this, the devices are designed to process only one card or payment method at a time. It’s similar to why you can’t tap your entire wallet on a payment terminal at any retailer.
This is because the devices have a contactless card reader that has the capability to also accept other forms of payment (like debit and credit) in the future. Because of this, the devices are designed to process only one card or payment method at a time. While the readers won’t actually accept payment by debit and credit at this time, the readers can still pick-up signals from these cards if they are close to your PRESTO card and prevent payment from being accepted. It’s similar to why you can’t tap your entire wallet on a payment terminal at any retailer.
The device will take a bit longer to process your tap than you’re used to, so make sure you hold your card on the reader until you hear the ‘beep’. This is because the new devices have more extensive security features – to meet the latest security best practices to prepare for credit and debit card payments – that add to their processing time.