child presto card

The TTC might actually scrap child Presto cards

After years of being used as a tools for rampant fare evasion and fraud, the TTC's Presto card program for kids may finally be ending.

Toronto Transit Commision CEO Rick Leary revealed as much in a confidential memo to the TTC board obtained by NEWSTALK 1010 and CP24.

In the memo, Leary indicates that the TTC is currently "reviewing the feasibility" of pulling all child Presto cards from circulation due to an overwhelming amount of illegal use by adults.

Depending on what the feasibility review finds, the TTC could go so far as "eliminating them all together," according to the memo.

As it stands now, all children under the age of 12 are allowed to ride the TTC for free. It's been this way since 2015.

To do so, kids must hold a special child Presto card — which just so happens to look exactly like a regular Presto card.

Parents are required by the TTC to show ID when purchasing such cards, but as CP24 points out, "there are few safeguards in place to prevent the resale of the cards on the black market."

The misuse of child cards has thus contributed greatly to the TTC's widely-publicized fare evasion problem.

Of the estimated $70 million lost to fare evasion in 2019, as much as $23 million is thought by TTC staff to be the result of fraudulent Presto child card use. 

The results of a six-week-long fare evasion study published last week showed that almost nine in 10 trips "paid for" with child Presto cards were actually taken by adults. At approximately 6.2 million child card trips per year, that's a lot of lost revenue.

Here's to hoping the TTC figures out how to fix the problem, one way or another.

Lead photo by

PRESTO card


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