Today, staff presented General Committee (GC) with a recommendation to approve Mississauga’s PRESTO Agreement in Principle with Metrolinx.
“This PRESTO Agreement in Principle is an important step forward as part of our ongoing work to build a transit-oriented city. Having a single fare card system will improve customer service and help residents travel more seamlessly to school, work and across the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area (GTHA),” said Mayor Bonnie Crombie. “Joining other 905 GTHA municipalities also ensures that we continue to be part of the Provincial Gas Tax Program which provides ongoing and predictable funding toward building, expanding and maintaining our public transit network.”
“This Agreement in Principle sets out the framework for the continued delivery of PRESTO services in Mississauga,” said Janice Baker, City Manager and Chief Administrative Officer. “With Council’s approval, the next step will be to finalize detailed agreements with Metrolinx and the 905 municipal transit providers to develop the PRESTO Operating Agreement. The goal is to have the Operating Agreement in place by October of this year. The term of the Operating Agreement would be from October 2017 to November 2027.”
The staff report explains that Metrolinx will be responsible for all aspects of fare collection through PRESTO. Mississauga, along with the other 905 transit authorities, will pay a fixed percentage on the revenues collected through the PRESTO card usage at the fare box. In addition to the fare collection operating costs, Mississauga will also be required to make a capital investment on new equipment and potentially make contributions to finance the development of new PRESTO features.
“Mississauga’s overall PRESTO fare collection costs are estimated to increase from two per cent of revenues ($763,000) in 2016 to nine per cent in 2021 ($6,187,000) as additional features are added, responsibility for device maintenance transfers to Metrolinx and the amount of revenue collected via PRESTO increases. The capital costs have not yet been defined but will focus around three components – device refresh, point of sale devices and capital contributions on new functionality features. We are estimating that for the device refresh the City’s contribution will be in the range of $15 to $20 million. Other costs will be defined by the bidding process,” explained Baker.
“PRESTO allows customers to simply load a card, tap when boarding and have unlimited travel for two hours on all 905 buses as well as a discounted fare when transferring to a GO service,” said Geoff Marinoff, Transit Director. “This new agreement will provide continued support, new functionality and advance MiWay’s phased approach to PRESTO growth. About 60 per cent of MiWay’s fare revenue is collected via PRESTO and this is expected to grow to 80 per cent through the duration of this agreement.”
The PRESTO Agreement in Principle will go before Mississauga City Council on April 26 for final approval along with the required by-law authorizing the continued negotiations of the 10-year PRESTO Operating Agreement.
The PRESTO Agreement in Principle and the PRESTO Operating Agreement require the approval of all participating 905 transit agencies – Hamilton, Burlington, Oakville, Brampton, York Region, Durham Region and Mississauga as well as Metrolinx. In the existing agreement, municipalities are co-responsible for daily operations. The current agreement came into effect in 2006 with the start of the electronic public transit fare collection system in Ontario. Since this agreement, the Government of Ontario transferred the responsibility to Metrolinx.