Transit Executive Committee: Paper transfers, On Demand ridership and PRESTO

Posted on Thursday January 07, 2021

Whitby, Ontario – Members of the Transit Executive Committee (TEC) met virtually at Regional Headquarters on Wednesday, January 6, to discuss various Durham Region Transit (DRT) initiatives and updates, which included paper transfers, On Demand ridership and PRESTO. Details and highlights include:

  • Paper transfers: To mitigate the risks of COVID-19 transmission and protect the health and safety of employees and customers, paper transfers were suspended at the onset of COVID-19. TEC approved the recommendation from DRT staff that paper transfer and ticket use remain paused at this time, and that PRESTO cards continue to be provided free at DRT Point of Sale (POS) locations through March 31 when loading $6.50 onto the card. Staff will also provide an update to TEC at the April meeting. Two-hour unlimited travel transfers are still available with PRESTO.
  • On Demand ridership: In November 2020, a total of 8,931customer trips were delivered. December 2020 saw 8,288 trips. Ridership in the low demand zones continues to be below the minimum thresholds to resume regularly scheduled routes. Total monthly ridership across the DRT network remains at approximately 35 per cent of 2019 levels. 

Other highlights from the General Manager’s report include: 

  • PRESTO adoption rate in 2019 for DRT was 37.5 per cent. A contributing factor to DRT’s low PRESTO adoption rate is the Universal Transit Pass (U-Pass), accounting for approximately 30 per cent of ridership. Metrolinx will be collaborating with Durham Region on a transit fare solution for post-secondary students to enhance PRESTO adoption.


“The health and safety of everyone on board our buses is the priority. I’d like to thank DRT customers and staff for taking all the necessary steps and precautions while travelling. And especially for following all public health guidance.”

John Henry, Regional Chair and Chief Executive Officer

“I’m pleased to see that DRT customers continue to use On Demand. For those who live in the service area and need to travel, it’s a safe and reliable option.”

Shaun Collier, Mayor of Ajax and Chair of the Transit Executive Committee

“PRESTO remains the easiest way to pay your DRT fare. With two convenient options – a physical card and the E-Tickets app, PRESTO provides a safe touchless option that actually saves customers money every time they ride.”

Bill Holmes, General Manager of Durham Region Transit

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