Hamilton’s transit system is lagging far behind other communities when it comes to use of PRESTO passes.
Figures presented to the public works committee show that only 7% of HSR trips involve use of the plastic fare cards, compared to 60% across the province.
A lack of locations where users can load their passes is one reason. The transit division’s Nancy Purser says ingrained habits of Hamilton transit riders are another.
The city could save up to half-a-million dollars each year by ending duplication if it can get more riders to use the plastic cards.
As a result, it is implementing a loyalty program through which every 12th ride will be free for PRESTO users, and it will set up three more locations where the passes can be loaded, one near Limeridge, another at the MacNab Street terminal and a third at Eastgate Square.
The pilot project will begin next month.