Friday, March 19, 2010


May 2010 sees the launch of GO Transit's PRESTO initiative, a pre-paid fare system that allows passengers to top up their balance on a Smartcard. From the PRESTO Systems Project,

"The Government of Ontario, GO Transit and nine municipal transit partners in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area and in Ottawa, have come together to design, develop and implement a seamless regional transit farecard system.

Using contactless (“Smartcard”) technology, PRESTO will allow customers to ride on any participating transit system without pre-purchasing tickets or having to search for the correct change. The PRESTO card, which is the size of a debit card, will use 'stored-value' in the form of a common electronic purse (e-Purse) for all fare payment transactions.

Customers can tap their PRESTO card as they board a bus or enter a station and the system deducts the fare from their card balance, all within one-eighth of a second."

Tattoo's Steve Gadsden was thrilled to Produce all Sound Design aspects of PRESTO's Audio Branding functions. During the research process, Tattoo initiated on-site testing at Oakville, Mississauga, Hamilton and York Region transit points as well as Union Station to ensure effective usability for both passengers and transit workers.

The challenge was to come up with instantly recognizable sounds for the PRESTO purchasing machines, Smartcards themselves and all fare points [including buses and trains]. These sounds had to be instantly recognizable for both positive and negative balance calculations, and to be able to cross language barriers and adverse locations. No matter what their first language is, or where they are, the passenger knows clearly and instantly the status of their account.

For additional info on the PRESTO launch and services, click here.

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