Toronto’s mass transit system won’t accept Apple Pay until 2017

Toronto Transit Commission

The TTC says riders will eventually be able to pay for their fares with the subtle wave of an iPhone, but not until 2017.

Apple Pay allows users to connect their bank account to their iPhone and pay for products using NFC technology. Apple’s mobile payment platform made its Canadian debut earlier this week but transactions are currently limited to American Express card holders. It’s expected that within a few months Apple will reach agreements with Canadian banks to expand Apple Pay’s reach.

In the U.S., Apple has forged relationships with most of the major American banks, which has helped make Apple Pay one of the country’s more widely used mobile payment platforms.

The TTC is still in the process of rolling out Presto fare readers with the goal of every streetcar in the city eventually being able to accept Presto. Presto readers are already compatible with Apple Pay as well as other mobile technology like credit and debt cards.

In an interview with Metro, Chris Upfold, the TTC’s spokesman, says that while its fare readers are capable of being compatible with more than just Presto, work still needs to be done before this feature can be activated. For example, Presto readers can currently only validate single fares and additional discounts for passes won’t be added to the service until January.

The TTC plans to begin accepting contactless credit and debit cards at Presto readers this December. Presto is also accepted by Go Transit.

Related: Apple Pay is now available in Canada

This article was originally published on MobileSyrup.


Patrick O'Rourke

@MobileSyrup Senior Editor, Editorial Direction | Past: @Postmedia @NationalPost | Dank meme fan |

3 replies on “Toronto’s mass transit system won’t accept Apple Pay until 2017”
  1. Avatarsays: Dulce et Banana

    The Presto card itself is barely usable with the TTC – subway stations outside the downtown core may or may not have scanners. King Streetcars? Sure. Queen ones? Nope. Buses forget it. Ask a TTC Staff person where you can top up? They tell you to go to the GO station in Union – so they’re not aware of the top up machines hidden a few feet from them or they just don’t care.

  2. Avatarsays: Plazmic Flame

    Yeah… I don’t buy it for a second. It will be more like 2021 before ALL the MRT/LRT stations, buses and streetcars support Apple Pay. By 2017 it will more likely be just one station; most likely it will be Union. It’s depressing to see how far behind the TTC is, this is a major city and we really need to get with the times. Presto isn’t even that great either. We need balanced pricing too so if I jump on a bus and just go to the next stop, I should pay based on my distance and not the full pop. So much work to do with our transit system…

  3. Avatarsays: Critical_Thinking

    I don’t believe that any company should be given a monopoly on this type of technology. Apple has been given unequal access to providing a quick way to pay for your transport. This is simply discrimination. What ever happened to competition!

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