When the Student Transit experience could be easier: PRESTO Card process

PRESTO Card & GO Transit Student Process

Recently, GO Transit has started accepting the PRESTO Card pre-paid payment system on their busses, in addition to trains. The TTC also accepts the card at several stations and I would highly recommend it if you do not need or have a Monthly Pass for these transit systems.

Although the process to acquire one as a student is inefficient (which it was for me), it is a great convenience not having to constantly be searching for change for the TTC and handing out $10 bills boarding GO Transit paying Adult Fare.

If you are considering this yourself, here is the process I have experienced so far over the last few days, with a few more days to go.


  1. Bought a 10 Ride Pass (because they needed a number from it) at the non-student price
  2. Bought PRESTO Card for $6
  3. GO Ticket Agent put value of 10 Ride Pass onto my PRESTO Card
  4. Used PRESTO Card on TTC (great only costs $2.50) and GO Bus (paid non-student price though)
  5. Went to OCAD University Office of the Registrar, picked up GO Transit Student Form
  6. Brought Student Form to GO Transit table at Union Station, got a GO Student Card made
  7. Go online to register my PRESTO Card
    Remaining Steps to Complete:
  8. Wait 24-48 hours, as instructed; continue to pay non-student prices
  9. Bring PRESTO Card to Union Station, have them set it to charge only the student fare
  10. Use PRESTO Card on GO Transit and TTC where accepted, paying the student price and nothing extra
  11. Go to GO Transit and/or PRESTO Customer Service to ask them to refund the cost of the PRESTO Card and difference of the 10 Ride Pass they sold me (student price vs. full price).

Yes, that’s a total of over 10 steps. I know everything will turn out well.

Sometimes, I guess that things that are deigned to make your life easier, make it harder first.

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