Metrolinx Piloting Apple Pay on Toronto's UP Express, Working to Expand to TTC

Metrolinx this week announced that commuters can now use contactless payment options like Apple Pay to pay for their fare on UP Express, a train that connects Downtown Toronto with Toronto Pearson International Airport.

presto machine apple pay
Prior to boarding the train, commuters simply need to hold their iPhone or Apple Watch near the PRESTO payment terminal to pay for their fare with a credit card loaded in the Wallet app — or tap a physical credit card. At the end of the trip, riders must "tap off" with the same credit card or mobile payment device they used to "tap on" with to ensure that they pay the correct fare for their trip on UP Express, as usual.

If a rider is approached by a fare inspector, they can present the same credit card or mobile wallet used to pay the fare as proof of payment.

The contactless payment option has been available for UP Express adult fare since March 11, as part of a pilot program. Student or other discounted fares still require using a PRESTO card for now. Metrolinx plans to expand contactless payments to more transit agencies "soon" across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, including the TTC.

It's worth noting that it is still not possible to add the PRESTO card to the Wallet app, and this does not appear to be part of the current plans.


"We're currently working with the TTC to determine the potential timelines for this work," a Metrolinx spokesperson told Global News.

Later this year, Metrolinx also plans to add Interac Debit as a payment option for UP Express.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay

Top Rated Comments

murdoc2k Avatar
21 months ago
This is wonderful news. Toronto has now reached the 2010 milestone in tech. Only 11 more years to go.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jicon Avatar
21 months ago
I’d prefer Presto card Wallet integration, but this is a good step forward
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Hyperchaotic Avatar
21 months ago
I send a message to Translink ('https://www.translink.ca/about-us/customer-service/contact-information') in Vancouver every year asking for express transit. They're used to me now, they have started responding with "oh hi, no we still haven't.... but will forward your mail again...".
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ipedro Avatar
9 weeks ago
Update: Open Payment is currently “targeted” for rollout by the end of this year. I’m not super confident in the TTC and Metrolinx’ ability to meet deadlines but at least we know it’s coming, sooner or later.

A nice surprise is that a virtual Presto card is also coming, likely via Apple's Transit Card on iOS and watchOS.

cc: @avonord

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Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ipedro Avatar
21 months ago

It's gonna be a problem on the TTC, because the readers in vehicles are mounted very low (For accessibility) so if you lean against the reader with your wallet in your pocket, BAM, you're gonna get charged.

I've had just my phone in my pocket and when close to a reader, the phone dings and activates the Wallet because it sensed a reader nearby (even though it can't be used).

Gonna need RFID wallets more than ever, for those who ride regularly.
The new readers require that you take the card out of your wallet because people generally carry multiple RFID enabled cards these days. It won’t read it if it receives multiple signals.

But really, out of courtesy for others, you should not be leaning on the readers or even standing in the doorway.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
brijazz Avatar
21 months ago
Good lord, Metrolinx continues to be useless. "Hey guys, let's launch this on a train that connects ONLY to the airport at a time when virtually no one is flying".

And not integrating with the PRESTO card? They've been pushing PRESTO as the best way of payment for years... they were even talking about getting rid of cash payments in favour of PRESTO (maybe that's happened already, I'm not sure).
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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