Coronavirus updates: TTC to give away free PRESTO cards in summer and fall


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Case summary

  • As of June 14, there are 32,370 known cases of COVID-19 in Ontario.
  • 27,213 cases have been resolved in the province and 2,527 people have died.
  • As of June 14, there are 13,420 cases in Toronto, 11,098 recovered cases and 985 people have died.

The latest local and Canadian news on novel coronavirus

10 am TTC to give away complimentary PRESTO cards this summer and fall

As city gradually reopens from coronavirus lockdown measures, the TTC will give out free PRESTO cards to riders in the summer and fall.

According to a report to be presented at today’s TTC board meeting, the transit agency is developing a plan to distribute the cards in areas where PRESTO use is relatively low “and where customers could benefit from receiving a PRESTO card.”

The move is being undertaken to encourage customers to use contactless payment. The TTC previously gave out free PRESTO cards in November 2019 at subway stations.

The report states that approximately 90 per cent of TTC customers use PRESTO.

“As always, customers can continue to pay with cash, tickets and tokens for the foreseeable future,” the report states.

On March 18, the TTC changed boarding policies to require bus passengers to board from the rear doors and temporarily suspending the collection of cash, token, ticket fares and paper transfers. On July 2, front-door boarding on buses will resume, as will the acceptance of cash, token, tickets and paper transfers.

By the end of April, the TTC had seen an 86 per cent drop in ridership after provincial emergency orders forced many businesses and workplaces to close. The report says the current decline is now 82 per cent compared with pre-COVID ridership levels.

The transit agency is expecting the ridership drop to translate into a $300 million financial hit by Labour Day, up from $297.7 million reported to the TTC Board in May.

The report adds that, assuming elementary, high schools and more work places reopen by the fall, ridership is expected to reach 30 to 60 per cent of normal levels. If that happens, “the financial pressure arising from COVID-19 is expected to range between $463 million to nearly $600 million by year-end,” the report states.

9 am Canada has more than 99,000 cases of COVID-19

There are 99,147 cases of COVID-19 in Canada and 8,175 people have died.

The outbreak is a serious public health threat though most people who contract the virus have not been hospitalized. 

Symptoms include cough, fever, difficulty breathing and pneumonia in both lungs and may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure. People age 65 and over and people with compromised immune systems and/or underlying medical conditions have a higher risk of contracting a severe case.