What you need to know about PRESTO and HSR
PRESTO is an electronic fare system that allows transit users in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area to use a single fare card to move between and within the following transit systems:
- GO Transit
- Brampton Transit
- Burlington Transit
- Durham Region Transit
- Mississauga Transit (MiWay)
- Oakville Transit
- OC Transpo (Ottawa)
- York Region Transit
- Toronto Transit Commission
How PRESTO works
Using the card is easy. Every time you ride the bus you tap your card on the Fare Payment Device located at the door. The computer chip in your card communicates with the card reader on the buses.
The system calculates the correct fare for your trip, and deducts the fare from the balance stored on your card. The system also recognizes if you are travelling with a valid HSR bus pass and deducts nothing – all in less than a second.
Paying for additional passengers
When boarding the bus, simply inform the Operator that you wish to pay for an additional passenger(s). The driver will assist you in how to tap on to a fare payment device. The system will instantly deduct an adult fare for each additional passenger(s).
Setting up & where to buy your PRESTO card
The PRESTO card has an initial fee to the rider of $6. Do not punch holes or modify the PRESTO cards, they will become invalid.
You may purchase a card in person at any of the following Customer Service Outlet locations:
- HSR Customer Service Centre - 36 Hunter Street East
- Hamilton City Hall - 71 Main Street West
- Ancaster Municipal Service Centre - 300 Wilson Street East, Ancaster
- Stoney Creek Municipal Centre - 777 Highway #8, Stoney Creek
- Dundas Municipal Centre - 60 Main Street
- Fortinos - Hamilton - 65 Mall Road (across from Lime Ridge Mall)
- Fortinos - Hamilton - 1550 Upper James Street
- Fortinos - Hamilton - 50 Dundurn Street South
- Fortinos - Hamilton - 1579 Main Street West
- Fortinos - Stoney Creek - 75 Centennial Parkway N (Eastgate Square)
- Fortinos - Stoney Creek - 21 Upper Centennial Parkway South
- Fortinos - Stoney Creek - 102 Highway 8 (Fiesta Mall)
- Fortinos - Ancaster - 54 Wilson Street West
- Fortinos - Waterdown - 115 Hamilton Street North
- Shoppers Drug Mart, Cannon & Wellington, 232 Cannon Street East, Hamilton
- Shoppers Drug Mart, Concession & Upper Wentworth, 510 Concession Street, Hamilton
- Shoppers Drug Mart, Eastgate Square, 75 Centennial Parkway North, Hamilton
- Shoppers Drug Mart, Garth, 1300 Garth Street, Hamilton
- Shoppers Drug Mart, Hamilton Mountain Plaza, 661 Upper James Street, Hamilton
- Shoppers Drug Mart, Harvard Square Plaza, 801 Mohawk Road West, Hamilton
- Shoppers Drug Mart, Hess Tower, 181 Main Street West, Hamilton
- Shoppers Drug Mart, King Street, 620 King Street West, Hamilton
- Shoppers Drug Mart, Limeridge Mall, 999 Upper Wentworth Street, Hamilton
- Shoppers Drug Mart, Main & Emerson, 1341 Main Street West, Hamilton
- Shoppers Drug Mart, Meadowlands, 1000 Golf Links Road, Ancaster
- Shoppers Drug Mart, Parke & Parke, 753 Main Street East, Hamilton
- Shoppers Drug Mart, Russell, 1900 King Street East, Hamilton
- Shoppers Drug Mart, Stoney Creek, 1 King Street East, Stoney Creek
- Shoppers Drug Mart, The Centre Mall, 1183 Barton Street East, Hamilton
- Shoppers Drug Mart, University Plaza, 101 Osler Drive, Dundas
- Shoppers Drug Mart, Upper James & Rymal, Hamilton, 1599 Upper James Road, Hamilton
- Shoppers Drug Mart, Upper Ottawa & Mohawk, 902 Mohawk Road East, Hamilton
- Shoppers Drug Mart, Upper Sherman & Stone Church, 1411 Upper Sherman Avenue, Hamilton
- Shoppers Drug Mart, Upper Wellington & Mohawk, 210 Mohawk Road East, Hamilton
- Shoppers Drug Mart, Waterdown, 25 Hamilton Street North, Waterdown
- Shoppers Drug Mart, Westdale, 991 King Street West, Hamilton
or order online at www.prestocard.ca or call 1-877-378-6123
Registering your PRESTO card
We recommend you register your card, it’s free! Registered cards can be replaced if lost or stolen (for a fee) and the cash balance will be restored. Plus, you can track your spending and be eligible for the federal income tax credit for public transit, use the auto-load feature and manage several cards under the same account.
Registered cards can be replaced if lost or stolen (for a fee) and the cash balance will be restored. Plus, you can track your spending and be eligible for the federal income tax credit for public transit, use the auto-load feature and manage several cards under the same account.
Setting up concession fares
- To receive a concession fare (Child, Student 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 Student fares are the same rate. A Child is considered to be anyone 5 to 12 years old and a Student is 13 to 19 years old. You must change your card from Child to Student 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 modified fare.
- Affordable Transit or Golden Age pass changes can only be done at the HSR Customer Service Centre (36 Hunter St. East)
- DARTS does not accept PRESTO fares.
- The fare structure will continue to be set and approved by Hamilton City Council.
Loading e-purse value or passes onto your PRESTO card
The e-purse value loaded on your card must be in increments of $10. The minimum initial load and each reload must be at least $10. 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).
Visit any of the Customer Service Outlet locations to load e-purse or passes. We accept cash, debit and credit cards. Senior Annual passes and Summer Youth passes are only available at HSR Customer Service Centre, City Hall or Municipal Centres.
Visit www.prestocard.ca to check out the many online options, including automatic reload. You may only use a debit card or credit card with most of these options.
Check your card balance online
You can check your travel history, balance and more by logging into your PRESTO card’s profile. You must register your card to have access to this information.
Contact the PRESTO Call Centre at 1-877-378-6123 and a PRESTO representative will be happy to assist you with card loading and payment options by telephone. You may only use a credit card with this option to load e-purse value.
E-purse loads done through the PRESTO Call Centre or website may take 24 hours or more to be processed.
The load will update on your card once you tap on to a Fare Payment Device or Balance Checker device.
If you run out of money on your e-purse...
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.
Using the auto-load feature
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
Transfers with PRESTO
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 $1.70 ($1.80 effective September 1, 2018) 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 $1.70 ($1.80 effective September 1, 2018).
HSR PRESTO Loyalty Program
Use an e-purse on your PRESTO card for travel on HSR vehicles and ride for free after your 11th trip, any day during the week (Monday at 12:01 am to Sunday at 11:59 pm).
- No program sign up or PRESTO card registration required.
- Open to valid PRESTO card with e-purse holders.
- Excludes monthly passes, co-payment, extra passenger fares and transfers.
- Program automatically renews Sundays at midnight.
If you need to obtain a refund, report a card lost or stolen, or you are having an issue using your card, visit one of the following locations:
HSR Customer Service Centre
36 Hunter Street East
Presto Contact Info
Visit www.prestocard.ca or call 1-877-378-6123.
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