CTV News

The Toronto Transit Committee is hoping to phase out paper tickets and tokens by 2017 as part of its modernization plan.

The transit agency released its timeline on Monday at the TTC board meeting.

Deputy TTC CEO Chris Upfold said an implementation plan for the phasing out of tickets and tokens still needs to be worked out, but they are aiming to have it done by mid-2017.

Upfold said the plan may include machines that will allow riders to deposit old tokens in exchange for Presto credits. He added commuters will eventually be able to pay for a ride using standard payment cards, including debit and credit cards.

"In 2017, we start to move into the world where you use your credit card, your debit card or your open-payment phone to get on and off our system," Upfold said.

As of November, Presto card readers have been installed at 15 subway stations across the city so far. The TTC plans to have 26 stations with card readers by July, and city-wide rollout is expected to be complete by the end of 2016.

"By the end of next year, every streetcar, every bus, every Wheel-Trans vehicle, every subway station will be entirely Presto-enabled," Upfold said.

Earlier this year, TTC CEO Andy Byford said the transit agency plans to go "all out" to speed up the installation of Presto card readers so that process will be completed in 2016 instead of 2017.

The head of TTC union, however, has expressed doubts about the expedited timeline.

"I think it's unrealistic that they're going to eliminate our existing fare media within a year-and-half from now," TTC union president Bob Kinnear told reporters on Monday.