Free PRESTO Card Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get a free PRESTO card?
Children ages 6-12 with a valid library card can get a free PRESTO card at any Branch or Bookmobile to travel free on HSR, GO and Burlington Transit. Only one PRESTO card permitted per child’s library card. While quantities last.

What steps are involved to activate a card?

  1. Show your child’s library card to Staff at any Branch or Bookmobile or register for library card if you don’t have one.
    Activate your new PRESTO card within 30 days. Bring proof of your child’s age (ex. birth certificate/passport) to one of the following locations:

  2. HSR Customer Service Centre, 36 Hunter St. East (GO Station)

  3. City Hall or Municipal Service Centres in Dundas, Ancaster, or Stoney Creek

  4. Any Shopper’s Drug Mart or Fortinos location in Hamilton.

  5. When your child’s PRESTO card is activated, they can travel free on the HSR, GO or Burlington Transit until age 13.

Do I need to load money on my child’s PRESTO card?
No. The card is FREE and travel is FREE for children ages 6-12.

What about kids under 5?
Children ages 0-5 always travel free on the HSR, GO and Burlington Transit.

How do I use the PRESTO card to travel?
When boarding the bus, tap the child’s PRESTO card on the PRESTO Fare Payment device.

What if my child loses the free PRESTO card?
This partnership provides one free PRESTO card to each child library card holder (until supplies last). Lost cards can’t be replaced with another free card. Additional card(s) must be purchased from a PRESTO vendor.

Can I laminate or hole-punch my card?
Please do not laminate your PRESTO card. It may cause it to melt or become damaged. Also, please do not puncture it or put a hole in it. It may disrupt the wiring inside the card, resulting in a damaged card that cannot be used. Ask Staff for special wallets that you can put your card in and attach it to a zipper pull or handle of a bag.

What happens when a child turns 13?
When your child turns 13, contact the HSR Customer Service Centre/City Hall or Municipal Centres to update the PRESTO card to a youth card. Youth fare must be loaded onto the card. Otherwise, the PRESTO card reverts to an adult card.

Can adults use these cards?
No. This program is limited to children ages 6-12. If adults don’t yet have a PRESTO card, they can pay the fare with the free PRESTO E-Tickets mobile app or pay with exact cash.

What if a child loses their free Hamilton Public Library card?
Parents/guardians can visit any HPL branch to replace the lost library card.

PRESTO is an easy and safe fare payment system. It’s the cheapest way to travel on transit in Hamilton and across the region. Visit or call 1-877-378-6123 to learn about PRESTO and to register for a child’s card.

Learn more about travelling on HSR with PRESTO
Call: 905-546-CITY (2489)