Mississauga, June 25, 2007 - Commuters will soon be able to tap onto transit with the new Presto card - the first regional fare card for public transit in Canada, Transportation Minister Donna Cansfield announced today.

"Presto is a smart card that will revolutionize public transit," said Cansfield. "When the system is fully implemented, commuters will be able to replace tickets, transfers and passes with the Presto card on nine transit systems across the GTA, from Hamilton to Oshawa."

The Presto card looks like a debit or gift card and can fit into a wallet or purse. Presto contains smart technology that allows fares to be easily calculated and collected on public transit. The card simply needs to be loaded with a dollar value and tapped onto a fare card reader in a transit station, on a bus or train.

Beginning this July, Presto is being introduced on a limited basis in the City of Mississauga for regular GO Transit riders who start their trip at the Cooksville or Meadowvale stations and take Mississauga Transit shuttle routes, or Toronto Transit Commission outbound at Union Station.

"Presto is an easy way to get around the GTA," said City of Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion. "Mississauga riders are eager to get their Presto cards. Commuters who travel into other major urban centres for work, school or play will enjoy the freedom and convenience that comes with using this innovative card."

Greater Toronto Transportation Authority (GTTA) will assume responsibility of the Presto fare system as it gets rolled across the region.

"Presto will make it easier for people who use transit to travel across the GTA and Hamilton," said GTTA Chair Rob MacIsaac. "This is a great start to knitting together a sustainable and efficient public transit system." "Using the latest technology will simplify public transit and offer riders greater flexibility," said Mississauga Centre MPP Harinder S. Takhar. "More convenient transit in Mississauga and across Ontario will encourage people to leave their cars at home, resulting in less traffic congestion."

In late 2008, the use of the Presto fare card will be expanded to include Burlington and Oakville commuters including the GO Transit Lakeshore West line. By 2010, Presto will be fully implemented on Brampton, Burlington, Durham Region, Hamilton, Mississauga, Oakville, Toronto, York Region and GO transit systems. The TTC will accept the Presto card at five subway stations, including Don Mills, Downsview, Finch, Islington, and Union stations.

The Presto card will help create a seamless transit network, making it easier for people to take public transit. Presto complements the McGunity government's recently announced MoveOntario 2020 multi-year $17.5 billion rapid transit action plan for the GTA and Hamilton.

"This is just one more example of how, working together, Ontarians are creating sustainable transportation," added Cansfield. "The Presto card will improve travel across Canada's largest urban region."

Please visit www.ontario.ca/farecard for more information about the new Presto card.

Backgrounder: http://ogov.newswire.ca/ontario/GPOE/2007/06/25/c8565.html?lmatch=&lang=_e.html