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Justin10000
2010-Jun-07, 19:48
^^yeah, it's quite fast. My friend uses Speedpass, and his order was processed in less than a second. The concern would be if the system can handle hundreds of transactions every minute.

chriskayTO
2010-Jun-08, 09:20
Somewhat good news - I think that Presto fixed the problem that was preventing card reloads activating using TTC machines. I notice in my activity from yesterday that it shows "EPurseLoadValue" when I tapped in at Yonge/Bloor. Though it says on my activity "College Station". At least it's spelled correctly.

rbt
2010-Jun-08, 10:14
1. Visa/MasterCard charges a significant fee (1-2%) which will consume a significant chunk of the TTC's revenue.

It may not be too bad. High speed coin counting machines, collection from all vehicles, etc. is pretty damn expensive. Being able to reduce staffing levels at stations like Union (what tourist doesn't have a visa?) would be beneficial.


2. This will not work well (especially on buses/streetcars) unless payment processing is very fast (fractions of a second).

The notes on Visa's website indicates transactions under $10 can go through in under half a second.

hkric88
2010-Jun-08, 12:16
1. Not everyone has or can have a credit card.
2. If this feature comes for debit cards eventually, not everyone has or can or wants to have (PAY FOR) a chequeings account which actually allows 60+ transactions per month without CHARGING YOU FEES FOR IT
3. This is a stupid idea.

On another note - I had a learning experience yesterday.. My presto card had finally been reduced to a $0.00 balance, and without much thought, I decided I wanted to see what the denial process was like when attempting to enter a subway station. I tapped on a Union, and to my surprise and dismay, the green light came on and it showed my card was now -$2.50. So now you all know, negative balance works, and it works for TTC stations.

nfitz
2010-Jun-08, 14:37
1. Not everyone has or can have a credit card.
2. If this feature comes for debit cards eventually, not everyone has or can or wants to have (PAY FOR) a chequeings account which actually allows 60+ transactions per month without CHARGING YOU FEES FOR IT
3. This is a stupid idea.Not sure the issue here ... if you don't have a credit card, or a debit card with unlimited transactions, then why not just get a Presto card; this would be perfect for you ... and presumably for anyone who has 60+ transactions a month.


On another note - I had a learning experience yesterday.. My presto card had finally been reduced to a $0.00 balance, and without much thought, I decided I wanted to see what the denial process was like when attempting to enter a subway station. I tapped on a Union, and to my surprise and dismay, the green light came on and it showed my card was now -$2.50. So now you all know, negative balance works, and it works for TTC stations.This seems to violate the information in the FAQ "If you run low on cash on your card, but need to get somewhere fast, you can travel one more time and incur a negative balance, as long as you don’t have a zero balance to begin with. You will not be stranded. A small fee will apply." It would be interesting to see if you could travel again, and what the 'small' fee is.

Mapleson
2010-Jun-08, 17:26
The Tim Horton model of credit card purchases makes a lot of sense for everyone. Consumers don't pay 30+ charges per month, more likely 4 or less. Credit card companies get a foot into a 'cash only' market thereby making more money. The retailer doesn't lose margins between the two.

That said, did we really need an expensive study to say we could save money and time by having machines that take cash/credit/debit?

hkric88
2010-Jun-08, 19:41
The Tim Horton model of credit card purchases makes a lot of sense for everyone. Consumers don't pay 30+ charges per month, more likely 4 or less. Credit card companies get a foot into a 'cash only' market thereby making more money. The retailer doesn't lose margins between the two.

That said, did we really need an expensive study to say we could save money and time by having machines that take cash/credit/debit?

How about implementing a fare card that can jus be reloaded from numerous places any way you'd like.. Hey Imagine if there was a fare card that would work not just on the TTC but also on like GO or YRT or ....

O WAIT, IT EXISTS, IT'S CALLED PRESTO.

Justin10000
2010-Jun-08, 20:01
How about implementing a fare card that can jus be reloaded from numerous places any way you'd like.. Hey Imagine if there was a fare card that would work not just on the TTC but also on like GO or YRT or ....

O WAIT, IT EXISTS, IT'S CALLED PRESTO.

Except Presto cannot be reloaded from numerous places, and it would probably cost a lot to install Presto machines in convenience stores.

GraphicMatt
2010-Jun-08, 20:08
And while the province seems to really really want people to use PresTO, they sure weren't very willing to pay for any of the install costs.

RedRocket191
2010-Jun-08, 22:22
Actually, they helped pay for part of the installation and part of the operational cost for every transit agency who signed on at the getgo. So really, it was their own fault.

rbt
2010-Jun-09, 01:40
How about implementing a fare card that can jus be reloaded from numerous places any way you'd like.. Hey Imagine if there was a fare card that would work not just on the TTC but also on like GO or YRT or ....

O WAIT, IT EXISTS, IT'S CALLED PRESTO.

I am far more interested in a fare card that works in Paris, London, Hong Kong, New York, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal in addition to higher fares for Via, Amtrak, Porter, and Delta.

Both Paris and New York have run successful trials (an obvious reason to hire a New York consultant -- one from the trial project with real-world results to share). I look forward to hopping off an aircraft in Paris and not having to stand in line for 40 minutes at a RER ticket machine to pay for a ticket with Visa; ditto for all other locations mentioned.


The only real disappointing bit here is that integration of the finance chips into cell phones is proceeding at a very slow pace.

nfitz
2010-Jun-09, 08:27
I am far more interested in a fare card that works in Paris, London, Hong Kong, New York, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal in addition to higher fares for Via, Amtrak, Porter, and Delta.In other words your VISA card ... which is what Toronto is looking at. What other cities can do this already?


I look forward to hopping off an aircraft in Paris and not having to stand in line for 40 minutes at a RER ticket machine to pay for a ticket with Visa; ditto for all other locations mentioned.Can you buy metro and RER tickets for Paris in advance? For example, at the Eurostar station in London (the old Waterloo one at least) you could buy things like a Paris weekly pass or 3-day pass in advance.

rbt
2010-Jun-09, 11:20
In other words your VISA card ... which is what Toronto is looking at. What other cities can do this already?

I don't see any broad deployments and MTA/PATH/NJ has the most obvious trial implementation (Mastercard Tap & Go). They're looking for a single payment card for all 3 systems, plus New Yorks current swipe cards are extremely slow for bus transfers at stations (empty to full bus in only 10 minutes). Los Angeles has been running a similar test for the last couple of years.

South Africa is looking for a single card (Visa Paywave in this case) to cover the entire countries Taxi-Bus system. They are in trial with 50,000 users and expecting to be up to 10,000,000 users within 3 years if trials go well.

Malaysia is testing on various transit systems.

Paris (RATP) was running a test (fall 2008) though I cannot find anything to indicate how it went or whether it is still ongoing.

nfitz
2010-Jun-09, 12:21
I don't see any broad deployments and MTA/PATH/NJ has the most obvious trial implementation (Mastercard Tap & Go).But not VISA? I'd think that any system would have to handle Interac, Visa, and Mastercard, or it's just wasting our time. Hmm, I think I might be using PATH in August ... I'll have to look into that.

rbt
2010-Jun-09, 12:39
But not VISA? I'd think that any system would have to handle Interac, Visa, and Mastercard, or it's just wasting our time. Hmm, I think I might be using PATH in August ... I'll have to look into that.

Yeah. Both Visa and MasterCard use the same physical system; but it appears if you go exclusive with one card the credit card company will pay part of the rollout cost for the reader equipment/network. As a result, many systems may be locked down to a single card.

However, having 2 smart-cards world wide is better than the dozen or so I have now; particularly if both "algorithms" can be injected onto a single physical device (see Barclays Oyster/Visa combo card or various phones with Smart-Card chips built in that allow loading the algorithm/keyset for visa, etc.).

GraphicMatt
2010-Jun-09, 13:01
I don't have a Mastercard now, but I'd sure as hell get one if I could pay TTC fares with it. It's not an ideal solution, but it could be win-win for the CC company and the TTC to go with an exclusive deal.

hkskyline
2010-Jun-09, 13:23
In other words your VISA card ... which is what Toronto is looking at. What other cities can do this already?

Can you buy metro and RER tickets for Paris in advance? For example, at the Eurostar station in London (the old Waterloo one at least) you could buy things like a Paris weekly pass or 3-day pass in advance.

Hong Kong has a Visa Paywave, which is a credit card that works just like a smart card, and you can beep your purchase on a special reader, although it's not the same reader as our Octopus cards. We can link our Octopus cards to recharge automatically from our credit cards though once it reaches a negative balance.

W. K. Lis
2010-Jun-09, 17:49
Another step towards Presto on the TTC?

TTC testing new farebox receiver

From Coupler article (http://www3.ttc.ca/About_the_TTC/Coupler/2010/Coupler_April_2010/TTC_testing_new_farebox_receiver.jsp) at the TTC website (http://www3.ttc.ca/About_the_TTC/Coupler/2010/Coupler_April_2010/TTC_testing_new_farebox_receiver.jsp).

http://www3.ttc.ca/images/About_the_TTC/Coupler/apr_10_farebox.jpg


A new farebox receiver designed to validate tokens and swipe passes was introduced on a trial basis on the 31 Greenwood, 72 Pape and 506 Carlton routes earlier this year.

Vehicles on those routes were equipped with the new farebox head to help Operators identify fake tokens and passes. The farebox receiver still accepts tickets and cash.

Customers boarding those vehicles will be required to swipe their passes or drop their tokens into a dedicated slot, similar to entering an automatic entrance. Flashing indicator lights and audible tones will tell the Operator and customer whether a token or pass is valid.

TTC staff continues to collect feedback from customers on the pilot routes.

Justin10000
2010-Jun-09, 17:54
No. Just a boneheaded move by the TTC to fight fare evasion. Good way to increase dwell time at stops.

Electrify
2010-Jun-09, 22:56
York Region Transit has had a similar system in place for at least a decade now. Surprised (well, should be...) that the TTC is only now moving towards this. For the conservatives who feel such technology is a waste, it also autmatically counts coins, meaning one less reason to empoly fare collectors...

Also, PayPass (tapping credit card) works with both newer Mastercard and Visa cards. So I wouldn't worry about such a system only supporting one credit card.

Finally, if there is one thing this administration dropped the ball on in terms of transit, it is their lack of interest towards Presto. In a few years, every transit system in the GTHA and beyond will be fully equipped to support the smart cards, the TTC will only be starting to get on board... if we're lucky. words cannot describe the stupidity in this thinking: "Toronto is the center of the universe so screw you if you took transit from the suburbs to downtown, you should live in the core or rot in hell. And screw those who live downtown but work outside the city or live in the outer 416 where crossing boundaries may be a reality, you all suck because you disagree with my visions for social engineering" - Mayor David Miller

nfitz
2010-Jun-09, 23:03
Finally, if there is one thing this administration dropped the ball on in terms of transit, it is their lack of interest towards Presto.Uh ... what do you mean. TTC has voted to implement it, and is studying how. The big question, is who is going to pay for it.

Justin10000
2010-Jun-10, 06:53
York Region Transit has had a similar system in place for at least a decade now. Surprised (well, should be...) that the TTC is only now moving towards this. For the conservatives who feel such technology is a waste, it also autmatically counts coins, meaning one less reason to empoly fare collectors...

York Region uses standard GFI fareboxes. The boxed are not known for their quality, and reliability, and the coin slots can be easilty jammed. The boxes are good for verifying exsact fares. There are still fare collectors who empty out the boxes, so I do not know where you'te going with this comment.

chriskayTO
2010-Jun-10, 15:14
York Region Transit has had a similar system in place for at least a decade now. Surprised (well, should be...) that the TTC is only now moving towards this. For the conservatives who feel such technology is a waste, it also autmatically counts coins, meaning one less reason to empoly fare collectors...

Also, PayPass (tapping credit card) works with both newer Mastercard and Visa cards. So I wouldn't worry about such a system only supporting one credit card.

Finally, if there is one thing this administration dropped the ball on in terms of transit, it is their lack of interest towards Presto. In a few years, every transit system in the GTHA and beyond will be fully equipped to support the smart cards, the TTC will only be starting to get on board... if we're lucky. words cannot describe the stupidity in this thinking: "Toronto is the center of the universe so screw you if you took transit from the suburbs to downtown, you should live in the core or rot in hell. And screw those who live downtown but work outside the city or live in the outer 416 where crossing boundaries may be a reality, you all suck because you disagree with my visions for social engineering" - Mayor David Miller
Just what we need - another Miller basher.

The reason the TTC didn't come on board with all of the other transit agencies is because the cost to implement Presto on the TTC is more than the implementation cost for all of the other GTHA transit agencies combined, and the province was only offering to pick up a small part of the tab.

I would love to have Presto too, but there's nothing wrong with our current system, other than the fact that it's antiquated.

Voltz
2010-Jun-10, 23:10
York Region Transit has had a similar system in place for at least a decade now. Surprised (well, should be...) that the TTC is only now moving towards this. For the conservatives who feel such technology is a waste, it also autmatically counts coins, meaning one less reason to empoly fare collectors...

Also, PayPass (tapping credit card) works with both newer Mastercard and Visa cards. So I wouldn't worry about such a system only supporting one credit card.

Finally, if there is one thing this administration dropped the ball on in terms of transit, it is their lack of interest towards Presto. In a few years, every transit system in the GTHA and beyond will be fully equipped to support the smart cards, the TTC will only be starting to get on board... if we're lucky. words cannot describe the stupidity in this thinking: "Toronto is the center of the universe so screw you if you took transit from the suburbs to downtown, you should live in the core or rot in hell. And screw those who live downtown but work outside the city or live in the outer 416 where crossing boundaries may be a reality, you all suck because you disagree with my visions for social engineering" - Mayor David Miller

Really getting tired of all these factually wrong swipes against the TTC....

SlickFranky
2010-Jun-10, 23:30
"Toronto is the center of the universe so screw you if you took transit from the suburbs to downtown, you should live in the core or rot in hell. And screw those who live downtown but work outside the city or live in the outer 416 where crossing boundaries may be a reality, you all suck because you disagree with my visions for social engineering" - Mayor David Miller

He didn't really say that.....did he?

nfitz
2010-Jun-11, 00:02
He didn't really say that.....did he?We all know he said the exact opposite ... I assume Electrify is just being humerous ... or he wouldn't have been able to reverse what he said so skillfully.

GraphicMatt
2010-Jun-11, 00:46
No, I think that was his campaign slogan in '06. The lawn signs were enormous.

ShonTron
2010-Jun-11, 01:03
No. Just a boneheaded move by the TTC to fight fare evasion. Good way to increase dwell time at stops.

Indeed. Though the TTC is moving years forward with these fare boxes, from the 1940s to the 1970s. MTA New York requires a similar scan of all passes, and can take extra time to load those infamously slow crosstown buses - though having a first-generation smart card system (the magnetic strip Metrocard) allows for various combinations, and 30-day passes, rather than passes with holograms and new designs good only for the month dated.

I am hoping that the trial '70s era fare boxes remain another of many unimplemented "pilot projects" - after all, look at the TTC's refusal to bring a timed transfer beyond a pilot project on St. Clair, despite most other Ontario systems of any significance already offering them now - apart from GO, which has its own annoying, head-against-the-wall mentality - the next 7 systems in this province offers them (OC Transpo, Mississauga, Hamilton Street Railway, York Region, Grand River Transit, Brampton, London)

Electrify
2010-Jun-12, 14:52
Uh ... what do you mean. TTC has voted to implement it, and is studying how. The big question, is who is going to pay for it.

"The entire project was to be implemented across the Toronto region by 2010. We're still waiting on that one. Now, full Presto implementation across GO Transit and the nine GTA transportation agencies, excluding the TTC, is expected by 2011; however, only 12 TTC stations and no TTC bus lines will use Presto by the end of its scheduled 2011 rollout.

What's the holdup? Well, initially the TTC boycotted Presto arguing that the money the province was going to use to pay for Presto would be better spent on new buses."

http://www.thestar.com/opinion/article/781414--smartcards-beat-out-service-with-a-smile


I would love to have Presto too, but there's nothing wrong with our current system, other than the fact that it's antiquated.

Except when the TTC needs to raise its fares...

http://299bloorcallcontrol.com/post/253786554/quick-fix-x-5-ttc-fare-headaches

chriskayTO
2010-Jun-12, 16:33
Except when the TTC needs to raise its fares...

http://299bloorcallcontrol.com/post/253786554/quick-fix-x-5-ttc-fare-headaches
That had more to do with bad planning than an inherent problem with fare media.

nfitz
2010-Jun-12, 16:54
What's the holdup? Well, initially the TTC boycotted Presto arguing that the money the province was going to use to pay for Presto would be better spent on new buses.Boycotted? An odd choice of words. Funding for full Presto implementation hasn't been provided. TTC is still moving ahead though.

And here's a question. With the McGuinty government cancelling the 2015 implemtation of the Finch LRT, who is going to pay for all the new buses we are going to need?

EnviroTO
2010-Jun-13, 21:24
The TTC couldn't come up with a more chaotic new farebox design if they tried and it doesn't handle Presto nor Tap N Go / PayWave. A customer coming onto the bus confronted with that thing needs to stop and figure that thing out. It is time to retire the tokens, not just to deal with hoarding during fare changes but because it isn't a standard payment method accepted in machines. The TTC needs to standardize on only accepting cash, machine readable, and contactless fares. Transfers should be machine readable and given out by a machine inside the bus, not the driver. At subway turnstiles only machine readable and contactless fares should be used. By machine readable I mean paper and plastic cards fed in one side of a machine and passed out the other (like JR Rail tickets, airline ticket readers at some airports, and the parking machines which take both tickets and credit cards).

Mapleson
2010-Jun-14, 11:32
I would love to have Presto too, but there's nothing wrong with our current system, other than the fact that it's antiquated.
So 1 fare collector 24 hours at minimum wage costs $248/day and $90,520/year. Assuming station staffing were cut by 1 member, that's be a 3-year return period for an installation cost of $271,560. Might just be me, but if the TTC is so cash strapped, they should be jumping over any cost savings that have under a 5-year return period, so we don't have a $1-billion operating deficit come 2020.

If the TTC were making a profit, then I might say 'fare collection is antiquated, but it works'. The TTC hasn't since the days of Metro Toronto, so maybe it's time for change.

chriskayTO
2010-Jun-14, 17:31
So 1 fare collector 24 hours at minimum wage costs $248/day and $90,520/year. Assuming station staffing were cut by 1 member, that's be a 3-year return period for an installation cost of $271,560. Might just be me, but if the TTC is so cash strapped, they should be jumping over any cost savings that have under a 5-year return period, so we don't have a $1-billion operating deficit come 2020.

If the TTC were making a profit, then I might say 'fare collection is antiquated, but it works'. The TTC hasn't since the days of Metro Toronto, so maybe it's time for change.
Totally agree with you on the collectors, however nobody seems to have the chutzpah to take on the ATU on reducing/eliminating collectors' and their bloated salaries. Isn't that the main reason why an operator opens and closes the doors on the SRT - that the union convinced the public that it was somehow unsafe to be on fully automated trains? How much money have we wasted over the years because the TTC folded back then? It's a different issue, but there's no questioning the power and influence of the unions on issues when they are threatened by job cuts.

RedRocket191
2010-Jun-14, 21:44
^

The real reason is because the computer-controlled operation system is unreliable.

chriskayTO
2010-Jun-14, 23:03
^

The real reason is because the computer-controlled operation system is unreliable.
So what's the difference between the systems used in Toronto and those used in Vancouver or Detroit?

RedRocket191
2010-Jun-14, 23:05
Updated software?

Besides, ATU 113 has been supportive of automatic fare collection (here, page 11 (http://www.atu113.org/pdf/otm/On_the_Move_Vol_2_No_1.pdf)) so i'm not sure where you (and others) are going with the whole union angle...


Move towards automated fare collection and transfer validation. It’s expensive and it will take a while but other places have done it, and assaults have fallen. Let a machine tell the passenger that he or she has not paid enough or that their transfer is invalid.

kEiThZ
2010-Jun-15, 15:18
^ More work for unionized maintenance?

RedRocket191
2010-Jun-15, 23:01
^ Why not? It's the simple solution to the viewpoint that the Union has been obstructionist. Besides, we'll still need people to sell fares and Presto cards and we can reclassify the people who man the rush-hour gates as the Station Masters they keep talking about. No one needs to lose their job.

Mapleson
2010-Jun-17, 18:05
PRESTO machine has been installed at Exhibition Station, and bagged. Lots of other "clean up" work going on there today. All new benches and painted the light posts.

nfitz
2010-Jun-17, 18:23
PRESTO machine has been installed at Exhibition Station, and bagged. .There were several of them there installed an unbagged (but not powered up) when I wasthere almost 2 weeks ago. I had plenty of time to stare at them and curse, as I was trying to get my soaking-wet 10-ride ticket to validate ... can't wait for some waterproof fare media!!

Bayer
2010-Jun-24, 14:36
I have had the Presto card for a few weeks... I live downtown so I only use it on the TTC, and I thought it would be useful since I use mostly the stations that are equipped with Presto readers.

But the way this is managed is truly Kafkaesque. I reloaded online, but after several days the amount I paid still didn't show on my account. I tried using my card at College Station, and it let me through anyway, showing a negative balance afterwards.

You see, I didn't know that due to a technical problem, I needed to go and tap my card on a balance checker at the Union Station Go terminal to validate my reload. After I was told, I went there on two different occasions to do just that, but it still didn't work, so I phoned customer service.

I was told, believe it or not, that since my card balance is officially negative, I have to go to a Presto counter at Union Station and give them... 25 cents.

I asked if they could just deduct the */*&%$* 25 cents from the $20 I already gave them, and of course, they said no.

So I'll have to go to Union for a THIRD time.

I would expect this idiocy in a Third World country.

nfitz
2010-Jun-24, 14:45
I was told, believe it or not, that since my card balance is officially negative, I have to go to a Presto counter at Union Station and give them... 25 cents.

I asked if they could just deduct the */*&%$* 25 cents from the $20 I already gave them, and of course, they said no.Wow, that is truly bizarre.

Presto seems to be very badly managed.

Tuscani01
2010-Jun-24, 15:38
I have had the Presto card for a few weeks... I live downtown so I only use it on the TTC, and I thought it would be useful since I use mostly the stations that are equipped with Presto readers.

But the way this is managed is truly Kafkaesque. I reloaded online, but after several days the amount I paid still didn't show on my account. I tried using my card at College Station, and it let me through anyway, showing a negative balance afterwards.

You see, I didn't know that due to a technical problem, I needed to go and tap my card on a balance checker at the Union Station Go terminal to validate my reload. After I was told, I went there on two different occasions to do just that, but it still didn't work, so I phoned customer service.

I was told, believe it or not, that since my card balance is officially negative, I have to go to a Presto counter at Union Station and give them... 25 cents.

I asked if they could just deduct the */*&%$* 25 cents from the $20 I already gave them, and of course, they said no.

So I'll have to go to Union for a THIRD time.

I would expect this idiocy in a Third World country.

I had the exact same problem. Finally got the $20 after arguing with a guy at the counter for over 10 minutes. He had no idea what to do.

Justin10000
2010-Jun-24, 15:41
Wow. That's awful. I think I'll wait until these problems are sorted out.

Mapleson
2010-Jun-24, 15:49
Wow, that is truly bizarre.

Presto seems to be very badly managed.Is sounds to me like the TTC doesn't really want to make it convienent for passengers. PRESTO is still an annoyance to them, rather than the beginning of the future.

When was your card issued, Bayer? Hopefully, they've already sorted this with newer cards if you've had it a couple weeks or more.

nfitz
2010-Jun-24, 15:53
Is sounds to me like the TTC doesn't really want to make it convienent for passengers. PRESTO is still an annoyance to them, rather than the beginning of the future.TTC has nothing to do with this; all they have done is let Metrolinx install hardware.

The problem seems entirely on the Metrolinx side of things.

Mapleson
2010-Jun-24, 16:16
That's half my point. The TTC isn't helping passengers with issues, they say along the lines of 'If you have Presto problems, go to a GO station'. Since PRESTO is supposed to be useful for everyone in the GTA, it'd be nice if you could activate your card at any station.

I'm not blaming the TTC for causing the issue (bugs of Presto), but they should have an interest in solving it, both in the individual case and the collective.

Tuscani01
2010-Jun-24, 16:22
That's half my point. The TTC isn't helping passengers with issues, they say along the lines of 'If you have Presto problems, go to a GO station'. Since PRESTO is supposed to be useful for everyone in the GTA, it'd be nice if you could activate your card at any station.

I'm not blaming the TTC for causing the issue (bugs of Presto), but they should have an interest in solving it, both in the individual case and the collective.

Telling you to go to Union is all they can do, and its the only thing Presto will tell you to do if you call them. Thats how the problem is being solved for now.

chriskayTO
2010-Jun-24, 20:26
Telling you to go to Union is all they can do, and its the only thing Presto will tell you to do if you call them. Thats how the problem is being solved for now.
I had a problem activating the card at Union and the people at the Presto counter couldn't do anything - they told me to call... And they also couldn't do anything.

Tuscani01
2010-Jun-24, 20:37
I had a problem activating the card at Union and the people at the Presto counter couldn't do anything - they told me to call... And they also couldn't do anything.

Whats the problem?

chriskayTO
2010-Jun-24, 20:43
Whats the problem?
Seven days passed before I had a chance to activate the card, so I had to reactivate it online.

hixatchi
2010-Jun-25, 00:35
I have had the Presto card for a few weeks... I live downtown so I only use it on the TTC, and I thought it would be useful since I use mostly the stations that are equipped with Presto readers.

But the way this is managed is truly Kafkaesque. I reloaded online, but after several days the amount I paid still didn't show on my account. I tried using my card at College Station, and it let me through anyway, showing a negative balance afterwards.

You see, I didn't know that due to a technical problem, I needed to go and tap my card on a balance checker at the Union Station Go terminal to validate my reload. After I was told, I went there on two different occasions to do just that, but it still didn't work, so I phoned customer service.

I was told, believe it or not, that since my card balance is officially negative, I have to go to a Presto counter at Union Station and give them... 25 cents.

I asked if they could just deduct the */*&%$* 25 cents from the $20 I already gave them, and of course, they said no.

So I'll have to go to Union for a THIRD time.

I would expect this idiocy in a Third World country.

Guys.... make sure you vent your frustrations/questions to this forum:

http://www.facebook.com/PRESTOcard

DavidH
2010-Jun-25, 08:46
TTC has nothing to do with this; all they have done is let Metrolinx install hardware.

The problem seems entirely on the Metrolinx side of things.

First, PRESTO is not yet a Metrolinx project; it is in the hands of a separate team at MTO with the installations being performed by the contractor, Accenture.

Second, TTC is responsible for testing installations in their locations just as GO Transit is responsible at their locations. While the ultimate cause of this problem lies with the PRESTO office itself, it doesn't appear that TTC did enough/any testing at their end.

As for the problems themselves, well, all I can say is that PRESTO is still having significant problems that have to be sorted out.

nfitz
2010-Jun-25, 09:23
First, PRESTO is not yet a Metrolinx project; it is in the hands of a separate team at MTO with the installations being performed by the contractor, Accenture.Fair enough ... still Metrolinx is part of MTO, as is Presto.

BTW, the Ontario government lists the project director as Jeffery Young. 647-780-0320 ext 5162 jefferyy@prestocard.ca (http://www.infogo.gov.on.ca/infogo/office.do?actionType=telephonedirectory&infoType=telephone&unitId=UNT0026044&locale=en) That would be a good place to direct complaints. Or perhaps to his ADM (http://www.infogo.gov.on.ca/infogo/office.do?actionType=telephonedirectory&infoType=telephone&unitId=UNT0005619&locale=en)


Second, TTC is responsible for testing installations in their locations just as GO Transit is responsible at their locations. While the ultimate cause of this problem lies with the Presto office itself, it doesn't appear that TTC did enough/any testing at their end.I fail to see how going negative on your card, and then not being able to simply fix the problem on-line has anything to do with TTC. The second problem of not being able to initiate a card by using TTC should have been apparent in the years of testing that occurred at Union Station. Perhaps the failing was that Presto failed to give out the test cards to anyone who wasn't a GO user.


As for the problems themselves, well, all I can say is that PRESTO is still having significant problems that have to be sorted out.Indeed. Any current users are effectively beta-testers.

DavidH
2010-Jun-25, 10:52
Fair enough ... still Metrolinx is part of MTO, as is Presto.

No, Metrolinx is not part of MTO. Metrolinx is a crown agency, which means that it is an independent organization that is owned by the government, but it is NOT part of any ministry. That's why it has its own board, Chair, and CEO. If it was part of MTO, its head would be a Deputy Minister and it would not have a board.



The second problem of not being able to initiate a card by using TTC should have been apparent in the years of testing that occurred at Union Station. Perhaps the failing was that Presto failed to give out the test cards to anyone who wasn't a GO user.

Indeed. Any current users are effectively beta-testers.

Clearly a test case was missed by PRESTO, but why wasn't the TTC looking our for their riders by ensuring that they covered this test case themselves. GO is performing their own testing, and TTC should be as well. The implementation fault is PRESTO's but TTC should have caught it - either during requirements definition or during implementation testing.

nfitz
2010-Jun-25, 11:40
No, Metrolinx is not part of MTO. Metrolinx is a crown agency, which means that it is an independent organization that is owned by the government, but it is NOT part of any ministry. That's why it has its own board, Chair, and CEO. If it was part of MTO, its head would be a Deputy Minister and it would not have a board.Your splitting hairs. Metrolinx is the responsibility of the Minister of Transport, and it is listed that way in the Ontario government directory.


Clearly a test case was missed by PRESTO, but why wasn't the TTC looking our for their riders by ensuring that they covered this test case themselvesA better question is why are government employees simply blaming others for this rather than simply fixing the problem? This Ontario government tendancy to point fingers at other ministires and agencies rather than just solving the problem is disgraceful ... but I guess you have to keep 1000s of paper-pushers busy somehow.

Mapleson
2010-Jun-25, 12:00
Fair enough ... still Metrolinx is part of MTO, as is Presto.No, Metrolinx is a crown corporation. They report to the Minister of Transportation and Lieutenant Governor, but that's the only overlap with the MTO.


I fail to see how going negative on your card, and then not being able to simply fix the problem on-line has anything to do with TTC. The second problem of not being able to initiate a card by using TTC should have been apparent in the years of testing that occurred at Union Station. Perhaps the failing was that Presto failed to give out the test cards to anyone who wasn't a GO user.Why did he go negative? Because the TTC-location installation did not/could not validate his card. Why can't TTC-location installations validate cards? Is it because PRESTO, Accuruture, Metrolinx, or the MTO said "I know, let's only install the cheapest card readers possible at TTC-locations because their passangers won't really use it anyway"?

TTC Management is responsible for insisting on performance levels of equipment added to their system. TTC Management is responsible for deciding which locations and what type of installations are done first. That's why I say the TTC is responsible for their part of the system, just like I'd hold Mississauga Transit responsible if my card couldn't be validated at Square One.

PRESTO is a supposed to be a collaboration, so if PRESTO failed to send out test cards to TTC users, I think that's partly TTC's fault for not insisting some test cards be sent to their users.

DavidH
2010-Jun-25, 12:01
Your splitting hairs. Metrolinx is the responsibility of the Minister of Transport, and it is listed that way in the Ontario government directory.

The Metrolinx act does provide that the Minister of Transportation can issue directives to Metrolinx (why not, the government owns Metrolinx and the Minister of Transport is the most appropriate cabinet minister). But that is NOT the same as saying that MTO and Metrolinx have anything in common in day to day operations.

As for the "splitting hairs" thing, it's directly relevant because you're blaming Metrolinx for the TTC problems and I'm telling you that Metrolinx has absolutely NOTHING to do with that side of things. That's on MTO's head, and that's an entirely different bunch of people. It's not splitting hairs to tell you that you are blaming the wrong people.



A better question is why are government employees simply blaming others for this rather than simply fixing the problem? This Ontario government tendancy to point fingers at other ministires and agencies rather than just solving the problem is disgraceful ... but I guess you have to keep 1000s of paper-pushers busy somehow.

It's not up to government employees, it's up to Accenture, and that has to wait in line with other work that they have (there are other problems to deal with). And software problems are never "simply" fixed on a production system; even once the fix is made, it has to be tested to ensure that it won't create other problems elsewhere.

DavidH
2010-Jun-25, 12:06
NWhy can't TTC-location installations validate cards? Is it because PRESTO, Accuruture, Metrolinx, or the MTO said "I know, let's only install the cheapest card readers possible at TTC-locations because their passangers won't really use it anyway"?

No one other than GO was ever expected to install balance checkers, so this has the feel of being a software problem that wasn't caught. That's not surprising; this stuff happens in any complex project. The failure here is that it wasn't caught before being made available to the public.

nfitz
2010-Jun-25, 12:12
The Metrolinx act does provide that the Minister of Transportation can issue directives to Metrolinx (why not, the government owns Metrolinx and the Minister of Transport is the most appropriate cabinet minister). But that is NOT the same as saying that MTO and Metrolinx have anything in common in day to day operations. ... sure, but I don't see the importance of this how many angels can dance on the head of the pin discussion. I never said Metrolinx wasn't an agency, merely that it is the responsibility of MTO.


As for the "splitting hairs" thing, it's directly relevant because you're blaming Metrolinx for the TTC problems and I'm telling you that Metrolinx has absolutely NOTHING to do with that side of things. That's on MTO's head, and that's an entirely different bunch of people. I'm not blaming Metrolinx. You quite correctly pointed out that Presto isn't aprt of Metrolinx, and I haven't disputed that. Not only did I not dispute that, I pointed out the contact information for the Ministry of Transportation employee responsible for Presto. Why you are still going on about something that I acknowledged several posts ago is beyond me. You quite clearly have been infected by this poisonous work environment at the government, where everyone is far more intersted in their own fiefdoms, than actually accomplishing anything.


The problem here is that there is a contract with a vendor (Accenture) that has a rigidly defined scope. If this TTC requirement was not defined in the contract, it's a change request and that has to get dealt with before Accenture will lift a finger to do anything about the problem. They the company should be repalced by one that actually works co-operatively with the government paying them $millions. Obviously not having the abiltiy to use one's card without visting someone in person, after the balance goes negative is a huge mistake, that should have been caught by either Presto or Accenture. Not sure what this aspect even has to do with TTC.


And where did you see a government employee blaming another for this?Oh come on ... anyone who starts arguing about the legal structure of the Ministry of Transport, rather than the actual issue, clearly is either (or has been) a government employee or contractor.

DavidH
2010-Jun-25, 12:27
... sure, but I don't see the importance of this how many angels can dance on the head of the pin discussion. I never said Metrolinx wasn't an agency, merely that it is the responsibility of MTO.

I'm not blaming Metrolinx. You quite correctly pointed out that Presto isn't aprt of Metrolinx, and I haven't disputed that.

Actually, you did dispute that by saying that Metrolinx is a part of MTO and (paraphrasing) that it's all the same thing, and that all of these government employees need to stop redirecting blame and fix it.

I'm not disputing that it needs to be fixed, but that starts by putting the blame where it belongs.



You quite clearly have been infected by this poisonous work environment at the government, where everyone is far more intersted in their own fiefdoms, than actually accomplishing anything.

I don't work for the government, and never have except for a few years as a summer student. I have spent my entire adult life working in the private sector. But hey, let's not let facts stand in the way when you can post a personal attack.



They the company should be repalced by one that actually works co-operatively with the government paying them $millions. Obviously not having the abiltiy to use one's card without visting someone in person, after the balance goes negative is a huge mistake, that should have been caught by either Presto or Accenture. Not sure what this aspect even has to do with TTC.

I personally think the Accenture contract is messed up beyond belief, and I have real doubts about how long it will take PRESTO to be up and working properly. I'm quite glad that GO buses won't be getting it until 2011, so there is no way I will be a guinea pig on this. But "the company should be replaced"? Depends on what the contract is, but you *do* realize that replacing Accenture at this point will essentially reset the entire project and mean that we will be lucky to have a fare card in the next decade? No, what will happen is that Accenture will have to meet acceptance tests (whatever is in the contract) and possibly face penalties.



Not sure what this aspect even has to do with TTC.

Because TTC is an involved agency, albeit on a limited scale, and has responsibly for planning their involvement, and for testing the results. Trust me when I say that GO has been testing the equipment in their stations. TTC is responsible for doing the same. No, they are not the implementor, but they are still involved and have responsibilities here.

I'm not denying that PRESTO and Accenture have fault there; they absolutely do, but so does the TTC.



Oh come on ... anyone who starts arguing about the legal structure of the Ministry of Transport, rather than the actual issue, clearly is either (or has been) a government employee or contractor.

I'm not arguing over the legal structure; I'm pointing out that you were blaming the wrong people. It's not Metrolinx's responsibility to fix this because they have no involvement in that end of the project.

Anyway, I think we've exhausted this topic. Let's just agree that there is a problem that needs to get fixed, and complaining to the PRESTO project head you listed is the best way to go.

nfitz
2010-Jun-25, 12:52
Actually, you did dispute that by saying that Metrolinx is a part of MTO and (paraphrasing) that it's all the same thing, and that all of these government employees need to stop redirecting blame and fix it.I didn't disupte that Presto was under Metrolinx. I was simply trying to make it clear that they were all under the same Minister, and should therefore be working together. Wasn't Presto supposed to be transferred to Metrolinx? Back in 2008 before they took over GO, Metrolinx said that they "will assume responsibility for the operation of the GO Transit system and the Presto Fare Card project". They've now assumed responsibility for GO ... but I guess Presto hasn't been moved.


I don't work for the government, and never have except for a few years as a summer student. I have spent my entire adult life working in the private sector. But hey, let's not let facts stand in the way when you can post a personal attack.Okay, I apologise ... your reaction just seemed ... well almost defensive.


I personally think the Accenture contract is messed up beyond belief, and I have real doubts about how long it will take PRESTO to be up and working properly. I'm quite glad that GO buses won't be getting it until 2011, so there is no way I will be a guinea pig on this. But "the company should be replaced"? Depends on what the contract is, but you *do* realize that replacing Accenture at this point will essentially reset the entire project and mean that we will be lucky to have a fare card in the next decade? No, what will happen is that Accenture will have to meet acceptance tests (whatever is in the contract) and possibly face penalties.Wow ... it seems unfortunate that it's tied so much to a particular company. I can see why TTC has qualms about the project!

DavidH
2010-Jun-25, 13:08
I didn't disupte that Presto was under Metrolinx. I was simply trying to make it clear that they were all under the same Minister, and should therefore be working together. Wasn't Presto supposed to be transferred to Metrolinx? Back in 2008 before they took over GO, Metrolinx said that they "will assume responsibility for the operation of the GO Transit system and the Presto Fare Card project". They've now assumed responsibility for GO ... but I guess Presto hasn't been moved.

It's the only provision of the Metrolinx Act that hasn't yet been proclaimed. My guess is that they are waiting for implementation to be done before transferring it.



Okay, I apologise ... your reaction just seemed ... well almost defensive.

Well, there is a personal connection there (not going to say more) which you may surmise given some of what I've posted in the past. But I have no problem blaming Metrolinx for things they have messed up (like the RTP). It's just that this isn't one of them, and blame needs to go where it belongs - I think mostly at MTO for the way the project was set up in the first place.

TOareaFan
2010-Jun-25, 20:38
There is a lot of arguing here and different points of view over what the problem is and who is to blame...I too have had problems (no point rehashing them here) so have in my wallet a $10 card that may just sit there forever....what is clear to me, though, is that after a long test period of a payment system that is not terribly unique and has lots of systems around the world preceding it and efficient point of purchase payment systems in places like coffee shops (yes my Tim Horton's reference again) and gas stations, Presto/GO/TTC/Metrolynx have managed to mess this up to a level beyond belief.

The frustration level on this board (made up of transport advocates/enthusiasts) is very high.....imagine the general public? Will Presto make people more or less likely to try public transit......I said it earlier, recall the whole thing and get it right and then, and only then, roll it out again.

Mapleson
2010-Jun-26, 09:10
No one other than GO was ever expected to install balance checkers, so this has the feel of being a software problem that wasn't caught. That's not surprising; this stuff happens in any complex project. The failure here is that it wasn't caught before being made available to the public.Seems like poor planning or corner cutting to me that they planned/thought people would only want to check their balance at a GO Station.

As for the software issues and the Tim Horton's comparisons, Tim Horton's didn't accept plastic when this venture started, so it couldn't have been a good model. They had the "breakthrough" of lumpsum payments to avoid microcharges. If you look at other fare card systems around the world, Oyster in London comes most to my mind, they had years of shitty implementation until they got it sorted. Not that I think we need to repeat their efforts, but it seems to be standard policy to rush things out before their really ready then pick up the PR slack for having so many issues.

Mapleson
2010-Jun-26, 09:36
As a special incentive to our regular riders, customers can exchange their current GO Adult monthly pass or 10-ride ticket for a PRESTO card and save the $6 card issuance fee.

Simply present your current 10-ride ticket(s) or monthly pass to the Station Attendant at a PRESTO activated GO station and any balance will be transferred to a PRESTO card and the $6 issuance fee will be waived.

For this phase of PRESTO, this time-limited offer will be available as per below:

GO Station Active Date Incentive Offer Date
Burlington May 31, 2010 Monday, May 31 – Sunday, June 27, 2010
Aldershot June 7, 2010 Monday, June 7 -- Sunday, July 4, 2010
Hamilton June 7, 2010 Monday, June 7 -- Sunday, July 4, 2010
Clarkson June 17, 2010 Thursday, June 17 -- Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Port Credit June 24, 2010 Thursday, June 24 -- Wednesday, July 24, 2010
Long Branch Coming soon

Conditions:
Limit of one PRESTO card exchange per customer.
The minimum PRESTO card load is $10. If the value transferred is less than $10, the customer will need to pay the difference.

EnviroTO
2010-Jun-26, 14:18
I still don't see what any of this has to do with the TTC. The TTC doesn't manage Presto customer support, it doesn't control the information technology, and it wasn't that interested in the technology from the start. The TTC is happy with Metropass and eventuallly Tap-n-go / PayWave. I'm not sure what benefit Presto even provides over Tap-n-go / PayWave or a pass discounted due to committing to a full month rate. If I am going to do pay-as-you-go then Tap-n-go / PayWave can handle the payment quickly, if I am committed to using transit for the month I can go to the Metropass machine. Neither option requires rolling out a whole new customer service department and re-inventing the wheel to create a payment system. If they wanted to do pay-as-you-go and reward loyalty they could tie into the existing methods that exist to provide dining rewards regardless of the card used through card registration. Presto is the creation of a solution to a problem already solved. A complete waste of time and money by the MTO.

Mapleson
2010-Jun-26, 17:34
I still don't see what any of this has to do with the TTC. The TTC doesn't manage Presto customer support, it doesn't control the information technology, and it wasn't that interested in the technology from the start. The TTC is happy with Metropass and eventuallly Tap-n-go / PayWave. I'm not sure what benefit Presto even provides over Tap-n-go / PayWave or a pass discounted due to committing to a full month rate. If I am going to do pay-as-you-go then Tap-n-go / PayWave can handle the payment quickly, if I am committed to using transit for the month I can go to the Metropass machine. Neither option requires rolling out a whole new customer service department and re-inventing the wheel to create a payment system. If they wanted to do pay-as-you-go and reward loyalty they could tie into the existing methods that exist to provide dining rewards regardless of the card used through card registration. Presto is the creation of a solution to a problem already solved. A complete waste of time and money by the MTO.
Presto is a waste if you never travel outside Toronto / TTC boundaries. Presto is supposed to solve the problem of fare integration for those crossing boundaries, one fare system for ten transit systems. They did go about reinventing the wheel, but it doesn't mean there wasn't a problem in the first place.

nfitz
2010-Jun-26, 23:30
Presto is a waste if you never travel outside Toronto / TTC boundaries.Why do you say this? I use GO trains frequently, without leaving 416. Presto will be much more useful than trying to get a 10-ride ticket to validate, in the pouring rain. And if it's already in my pocket, it certainly is more convenient than a token, when I encounter a subway station that will take it.

EnviroTO
2010-Jun-27, 00:59
Presto is a waste if you never travel outside Toronto / TTC boundaries. Presto is supposed to solve the problem of fare integration for those crossing boundaries, one fare system for ten transit systems. They did go about reinventing the wheel, but it doesn't mean there wasn't a problem in the first place.

There really isn't any more fare integration now than before. Presto is a payment system, like cash. They didn't need to get into the design a technology business for this. There are payment systems that already exist. What MTO / Metrolinx really need to figure out is fare rules, not payment methods. Presto only creates more loopholes... like the negative balance possibility above, some strange 35 co-fares limitation, a lack of receipt to show you aren't going further than you are planning to pay for, no entry and exit turnstiles as would normally be installed for zonal fare systems to ensure proper trip price calculation.

Mapleson
2010-Jun-28, 17:05
There really isn't any more fare integration now than before. Presto is a payment system, like cash. They didn't need to get into the design a technology business for this. There are payment systems that already exist. What MTO / Metrolinx really need to figure out is fare rules, not payment methods. Presto only creates more loopholes... like the negative balance possibility above, some strange 35 co-fares limitation, a lack of receipt to show you aren't going further than you are planning to pay for, no entry and exit turnstiles as would normally be installed for zonal fare systems to ensure proper trip price calculation.It's an on-going negotiation/debate. GO Transit is integrating with everyone: Mississauga Transit charges $0.60 for trips to/from GO stations; Oakville Transit charges $0.65 for trips to/from GO stations; Milton Transit charges $0.55 for trips to/from GO stations; Burlington Transit charges $0.65 for trips to/from GO stations; etc. Then different agencies have been putting together package deals such as:

GTA Weekly Pass - $52.00: The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) Weekly Pass is your best fare option if your trip involves two or more transit systems, five days a week or more. It is transferable and valid for unlimited travel on all York Region Transit/Viva, TTC, Mississauga and Brampton services. The GTA Weekly Pass is valid for one-zone YRT/Viva travel while in York Region and is valid from Monday to Sunday of the same week.
or Mississauga/Burlington Transit fare sharing on Main/Hurontario.

Integration has been increasing and PRESTO is supposed to be the umbrella that covers everyone. Some agencies, like GO and Mississauga Transit, were moving that way anyway and some, like TTC, haven't been able to sort our their funding strategies to the point that they are willing to forgo one portion of revenues in favour of another. PRESTO is the way that you could travel via Hamilton LRT, GO's Lakeshore West, and Mississauga Transit to get to your destination without paying full fare on every leg. PRESTO is the mechanism to integrate the fractured transit network in Ontario.

Negative fares happen when you have some money, but not enough for your current trip. Seems like a pretty positive thing to me to get 1 extra trip than you can actually pay for. Why do you need a receipt to show destination when you tag in and tag out. If you don't tag out, then you get charged for the whole trip. Tagging out saves you money, thus why pay for extra infrastructure when you can motivate people to do what you want?

Give PRESTO 5-years to get past the next round of municipal elections and then compare what it like then, today and was in 1999. The infrastructure part is easy. The political agreement part is where we'll save money.

TOareaFan
2010-Jul-03, 20:40
sorry if this has been asked/answered before but it just dawned on me as I walked through the exhibition station on Thursday and I don't feel like flipping back to see.

How many (typically) card readers get installed at each GO station? I think GO got a lot more convenient to board and ride when they introduced the POP system years ago and dispensed with people having to show tickets and passes as they passed through the station. The points of access to the platforms and trains were freed from having to funnel people through specific points and some passengers (monthly passholders) never had to stop or pause at all.

Now, once everyone converts to Presto, we will go back to a system where everyone has to enter at the same point(s) to tap onto the Presto machine......if there are not a significant number of machines at each station it may be a step backward in terms of train boarding.

At the ex station (from the north side at Atlantic) there is one reader. I don't think it is a huge issue there because there really is only one door to the station there anyway so everyone will pass that reader (but even there if there is someone having difficulty it will hold everyone else up).

Any ideas on the typical number per station?

hixatchi
2010-Jul-03, 22:32
you forgot the negative aspect of being able to go to a negative balance is the hassles to clear the negative balance by having to go to union station (having to talk to a real person so that you pay the 2.50$ negative balance (or whatver fee you were last charged) + a 25 cent underbalance fee). So wasting time (trip to union + waiting in line) + 25 cent charge + the confusion it causes new customers. Very inconvenient for people who 1. don't go to union often or 2. do not ride the go often (TTC)!!!



It's an on-going negotiation/debate. GO Transit is integrating with everyone: Mississauga Transit charges $0.60 for trips to/from GO stations; Oakville Transit charges $0.65 for trips to/from GO stations; Milton Transit charges $0.55 for trips to/from GO stations; Burlington Transit charges $0.65 for trips to/from GO stations; etc. Then different agencies have been putting together package deals such as:

or Mississauga/Burlington Transit fare sharing on Main/Hurontario.

Integration has been increasing and PRESTO is supposed to be the umbrella that covers everyone. Some agencies, like GO and Mississauga Transit, were moving that way anyway and some, like TTC, haven't been able to sort our their funding strategies to the point that they are willing to forgo one portion of revenues in favour of another. PRESTO is the way that you could travel via Hamilton LRT, GO's Lakeshore West, and Mississauga Transit to get to your destination without paying full fare on every leg. PRESTO is the mechanism to integrate the fractured transit network in Ontario.

Negative fares happen when you have some money, but not enough for your current trip. Seems like a pretty positive thing to me to get 1 extra trip than you can actually pay for. Why do you need a receipt to show destination when you tag in and tag out. If you don't tag out, then you get charged for the whole trip. Tagging out saves you money, thus why pay for extra infrastructure when you can motivate people to do what you want?

Give PRESTO 5-years to get past the next round of municipal elections and then compare what it like then, today and was in 1999. The infrastructure part is easy. The political agreement part is where we'll save money.

RedRocket191
2010-Jul-03, 22:46
@TOareaFan

Oakville GO probably has at least a dozen, possibly two dozen readers. Far more readers than I ever remember seeing POP machines at this time last year.

@hixatchi

I'm not sure that's Presto's fault though. GO chose to make every station an agency, so you can go anywhere to clear the balance. Burlington Transit and Oakville Transit also have Presto agencies outside of the GO system for their users. TTC decided not to have any Presto agencies setup on their property during this phase. Blame them for having to go to Union to clear the negative balance.

nfitz
2010-Jul-03, 23:06
I'm not sure that's Presto's fault though. GO chose to make every station an agency, so you can go anywhere to clear the balance. Burlington Transit and Oakville Transit also have Presto agencies outside of the GO system for their users. TTC decided not to have any Presto agencies setup on their property during this phase. Blame them for having to go to Union to clear the negative balance.Sure it's Presto's fault. Why after you've already loaded money onto your card, would have have to go to a particular place in person to make the card usable again? It doesn't work anywhere, unless you live right next to the "agency". The whole concept of having to do it in person is asinine!

Justin10000
2010-Jul-04, 09:11
It is inconvenient that you have to get your card re-activated again at Union, just because you have a negative balance. If Presto was set-up properly, you should be able to able to go back into a positive balance with the negative balance deducted. Or simply not allow riders to go into negative.

TOareaFan
2010-Jul-04, 11:07
@redrocket thx....the only station that I see (with regularity) with presto machines currently is Exhibition and it struck me if it were 1 machine per station it could lead to a bottleneck. As I said, one is probably enough at the Ex so it is good to see that they are taking a "contextual" view as to how many machines at each station.

As for the ongoing debate about who's fault some of these glaring "inconveniences" are.....I can tell you that while this is interesting debate between a bunch of transit enthusiasts, it will not matter in the least to the general public. Most people could not tell you who owns/runs GO/TTC/Metrolinx/Presto/whatever....they lump it all into a big basket called "public transit" and if this new system that is supposed to make public transit "better" actually is just a pain in the butt....that is alll they will see.

Here goes the broken record rant.....all they are doing is introducing a card system for payment.....something that had been done in lots of places before and in lots of types of businesses before. They had lots of opportunity to look at ones that work(ed) and ones that did not and then they tested it!

If they could not see that advertising/promoting the convenience of loading your card at home and then knowing that you then had to follow up with a trip to Union to use the money that you just loaded (as an example) was going to be looked at hard and laughed at....then there really is no hope for them.

To me it just points out how "union-centric" the entire GTA transit system is.....since the mindset is "get everyone to Union" it probably never dawned on them that there is anyone who does not go through Union, twice, on their daily travels.

My tale of woah is that I bought the card, got a letter with it to go onlined and register it and activate it......tried that a few times but it kept asking me for a password that had never been sent to me.....got on the phone and was told that my card was already registered and a password had been assigned......after about a 20 minute phone conversation (very pleasant, the guy obviously was well practised in these calls ;) ) he said "all done" now all you have to do is go down to Union and check your balance and then you can use the card ....my reply of "but I already know my balance" was greeted with "but this will activate your card on the system"...."didn't you just activate my card"...."yes but you need to do this final step"...."oh, not quite a load from home and use convenience then?"..."not really...oh, and sir, please don't do that check your balance thing for at least 24 hours...it takes that long for the system to recognize what I have done today"...."mmmm, really convenient".

That was about 4 weeks ago and, frankly, I haven't bothered to go down to Union since (combination of a vacation I had, G20 making Union the last place I wanted to go for a few days and the chatter on here making me wonder if it was worth my while).

This product really must be considered a disastrous launch.......and it really needn't have been.....and I, for one, don't care who's fault it is/was.

nfitz
2010-Jul-04, 15:43
That was about 4 weeks ago and, frankly, I haven't bothered to go down to Union since (combination of a vacation I had, G20 making Union the last place I wanted to go for a few days and the chatter on here making me wonder if it was worth my while).You'll have to phone them again then before you go down. I did everything but go down to Union Station, and it wouldn't work at TTC stations, and by the time I got down to Union Station, it wouldn't work at the Fare checker machine at Union (which looks like a regular Presto reader, but has more white on the pillar than green ... I was looking for something that was more like an ATM at first ...). I phoned (from Union ... well I talked to the Presto service counter people first, but they said I had to phone), and they reset it, and said I had 7 days to get down to Union and try again. So I finally got to Union a couple of days later, and it is now working ... 2 months after I got the card.

Though I think I have to do it again to get the auto reoload to start working. Presumably within 7 days.

Whoever thought up this multiple-step activation scheme, has got to be a complete moron. No one who has ever used a system like this previously, could possibly screw it up this badly. Heads should be rolling at the Ministry of Transport.

Here's a couple of questions:

Where are there fare-checking machines other than at Union Station? Though I guess one can use any GO machine, tap on, press the correction button, and then tap off.

How do I check my default trip? They told me they set it to Zone 6 to Zone 2 at the service counter ... but I can't see how to verify; and I'm guessing if they got it wrong, and I get checked on a GO Train, then I am in trouble.

SGHA504
2010-Jul-07, 10:15
Sure it's Presto's fault. Why after you've already loaded money onto your card, would have have to go to a particular place in person to make the card usable again? It doesn't work anywhere, unless you live right next to the "agency". The whole concept of having to do it in person is asinine!

presto didn't make this decision, the transit agencies did. They wanted to ensure people weren't carrying around negative balances for extended periods.

Jonny5
2010-Jul-07, 10:45
Where are there fare-checking machines other than at Union Station? Though I guess one can use any GO machine, tap on, press the correction button, and then tap off.

How do I check my default trip? They told me they set it to Zone 6 to Zone 2 at the service counter ... but I can't see how to verify; and I'm guessing if they got it wrong, and I get checked on a GO Train, then I am in trouble.

There is at least one balance checker at every station I've been to, just like the one you saw at Union. You do need to hunt for them though. I found one at Burlington that was hiding outside beside some newspaper boxes.

As far as the default trip, I don't think that functionality is integrated into the website at all. You need to actually phone them. That seems to be a big oversight.

Mapleson
2010-Jul-07, 11:41
sorry if this has been asked/answered before but it just dawned on me as I walked through the exhibition station on Thursday and I don't feel like flipping back to see.

How many (typically) card readers get installed at each GO station? I think GO got a lot more convenient to board and ride when they introduced the POP system years ago and dispensed with people having to show tickets and passes as they passed through the station. The points of access to the platforms and trains were freed from having to funnel people through specific points and some passengers (monthly passholders) never had to stop or pause at all.

Now, once everyone converts to Presto, we will go back to a system where everyone has to enter at the same point(s) to tap onto the Presto machine......if there are not a significant number of machines at each station it may be a step backward in terms of train boarding.

At the ex station (from the north side at Atlantic) there is one reader. I don't think it is a huge issue there because there really is only one door to the station there anyway so everyone will pass that reader (but even there if there is someone having difficulty it will hold everyone else up).

Any ideas on the typical number per station?
Each GO Station is getting at least PRESTO machine at this time. I assume they'll expand it in the future for other station access points, but covering all their bases first. They are now installing 2 stations per week and tenders for installations on the remaining lines have been issued.

You only need to 'tap on' for a regular journey. People come from or continuing on GO Buses will already have made PRESTO payments and need not tap again. If you've set a default, you need to press an override button before you 'tap on' and then to 'tap off'.

I would suggest that they would be well served with 3-4 machines per station. One in the middle, one near the bottom of the accessiblity mini-platform, and one near the rear-end of the train (Car 9?) for stations with island platforms, or one facing every enterance and one facing every exit for stations with side platforms. I'd have to know more about how often there are errors and passenger arrival rates versus the cost of an extra to really say if they'd be worth it, but I've sent a 'customer feedback' message to PRESTO about it just now. The alternative would be to have PRESTO machines on the trains themselves. How much is the machine versus the installation?


you forgot the negative aspect of being able to go to a negative balance is the hassles to clear the negative balance by having to go to union station (having to talk to a real person so that you pay the 2.50$ negative balance (or whatver fee you were last charged) + a 25 cent underbalance fee). So wasting time (trip to union + waiting in line) + 25 cent charge + the confusion it causes new customers. Very inconvenient for people who 1. don't go to union often or 2. do not ride the go often (TTC)!!!
So between the choice of have $2.00 on your card and $2.00 in your pocket and not being able to take transit because you don't have $2.25 in either form and a negative balance and having to talk to a real person later, talking to a person at Union is more inconvenient? If you set up an 'Autoload contract' then you wouldn't have that inconvenience even, just like your TimCard Top-up. Autoloads and in person are immediate. Ad hoc loads by telephone and web take 24 hours.

I wouldn't have the stupidity about underpayment mode and having to see a real person to remove a negative balance, but the negative balance itself is more helpful than harmful, IMO.

For the record, you can clear the 'underpayment mode' at any 'PRESTO Customer Service Outlet'; whatever that is, which I take as any local transit agency participating in PRESTO except the TTC. Union Station is just the most often open for GO.



This product really must be considered a disastrous launch.......and it really needn't have been.....and I, for one, don't care who's fault it is/was.Disastrous? Is that not an exageration? The system isn't even halfway installed yet. It has been half-assed, but I consider a disaster something that substatially decreases convience. There are bugs and stupidities and politicking, if we don't know the reason for their existance (more so than the fault), how will we ever get rid of them in the future? Ignoring the facts isn't going to change them. When people want the same thing, it's easier to remove the obstacles. When people want different things, it's easier to leave the natural obstacles there and let things fail/fall short on their own.


Whoever thought up this multiple-step activation scheme, has got to be a complete moron. No one who has ever used a system like this previously, could possibly screw it up this badly. Heads should be rolling at the Ministry of Transport.

Here's a couple of questions:

Where are there fare-checking machines other than at Union Station? Though I guess one can use any GO machine, tap on, press the correction button, and then tap off.

How do I check my default trip? They told me they set it to Zone 6 to Zone 2 at the service counter ... but I can't see how to verify; and I'm guessing if they got it wrong, and I get checked on a GO Train, then I am in trouble.Agreed, they need to simplify the system. When you purchase the card, you should need fill out the registration information and the card is ready to go. I hope by next year they have a Draft 2.0 issuing system with all these things worked out.

PRESTO FAQ: "You can set up your default trip at any PRESTO customer service window at GO Transit stations." They don't say about checking/changing it online, which is old fashioned still.

Justin10000
2010-Jul-07, 12:00
Most transit operators will let you pay with a reduced fare if you're honest with them. People might be put off using PRESTO, if use of the card is inconvenient.

RedRocket191
2010-Jul-07, 12:17
Most transit operators will let you pay with a reduced fare if you're honest with them. People might be put off using PRESTO, if use of the card is inconvenient.

Personally, I would much rather have a computer deal with it. I don't think the average transit operator is qualified to judge a passenger's character, nor should they be.

Consider myself:
When I'm in a suit I look pretty polished, if I do say so myself. If I haven't combed my hair, I look like a thug.
If I'm on my bike in a jersey and tights I look like a weekend warrior. If I'm in jeans and a hoody I wouldn't be surprised if someone thought I stole it.

Sure it is a pain to clear the negative balance, but I think it's better than the aternative of a ) having to walk or b ) playing fare roulette with the driver.

Justin10000
2010-Jul-07, 12:44
Personally, I would much rather have a computer deal with it. I don't think the average transit operator is qualified to judge a passenger's character, nor should they be.

Consider myself:
When I'm in a suit I look pretty polished, if I do say so myself. If I haven't combed my hair, I look like a thug.
If I'm on my bike in a jersey and tights I look like a weekend warrior. If I'm in jeans and a hoody I wouldn't be surprised if someone thought I stole it.

Sure it is a pain to clear the negative balance, but I think it's better than the aternative of a ) having to walk or b ) playing fare roulette with the driver.

No offence, but most people are not afraid to talk to an operator, and say "Sorry, I'm a quarter short" Unlike computers, operators can be reasoned with, regardless of how you look, or your skin colour. I have yet to be denied by an operator, the few times I was short on a fare.
If you're a Brampton Transit PRESTO user, you will have to travel all the way to Union just to fix a negative balance. I hope PRESTO opens up offices in ech city, so it wil be easier to resolve issues.

For the record, I am West Indian, so by your logic, I should have been denied by operators for any fare issue.

Jonny5
2010-Jul-07, 12:51
If you're a Brampton Transit PRESTO user, you will have to travel all the way to Union just to fix a negative balance. I hope PRESTO opens up offices in ech city, so it wil be easier to resolve issues.

You can pay off the underpayment fee at any GO Station, including stations in Brampton, once it is online with PRESTO.
Oakville and Burlington Transit already have separate Presto offices at their main ticket agencies and I'm sure Brampton will as well.
You can use Presto without ever going to Union. People in Ottawa would be rather pissed if you had to go to Union for anything.

The Mad Navigator
2010-Jul-07, 12:53
Personally, I would much rather have a computer deal with it. I don't think the average transit operator is qualified to judge a passenger's character, nor should they be.

Consider myself:
When I'm in a suit I look pretty polished, if I do say so myself. If I haven't combed my hair, I look like a thug.
If I'm on my bike in a jersey and tights I look like a weekend warrior. If I'm in jeans and a hoody I wouldn't be surprised if someone thought I stole it.

Sure it is a pain to clear the negative balance, but I think it's better than the aternative of a ) having to walk or b ) playing fare roulette with the driver.

Well, maybe you should open your mouth more often. Just because you look like a thug, a tool, or a clown, doesn't mean you're actually ARE one. Come on man, this is Toronto. Lots of variety in terms or looks and fashion.

Mapleson
2010-Jul-07, 12:57
No offence, but most people are not afraid to talk to an operator, and say "Sorry, I'm a quarter short" Unlike computers, operators can be reasoned with, regardless of how you look, or your skin colour. I have yet to be denied by an operator, the few times I was short on a fare.
If you're a Brampton Transit PRESTO user, you will have to travel all the way to Union just to fix a negative balance. I hope PRESTO opens up offices in ech city, so it wil be easier to resolve issues.

For the record, I am West Indian, so by your logic, I should have been denied by operators for any fare issue.
From Burlington Transit Website PRESTO FAQ (http://cms.burlington.ca/Page5756.aspx):
As of May 10, 2010 you can begin to purchase and perform other transactions with your PRESTO card at the Downtown Burlington Transit Terminal.

PRESTO devices called "Balance Checkers" are located at the Downtown Transit Terminal as well as at GO Rail Stations in Burlington.

Justin10000
2010-Jul-07, 12:57
You can pay off the underpayment fee at any GO Station, including stations in Brampton, once it is online with PRESTO.
Oakville and Burlington transit already have separate Presto offices as well. You can use Presto without ever going to Union.

Excellent. I plan on registering with PRESTO once Brampton Transit rolls out.

TrickyRicky
2010-Jul-07, 13:28
This thread is far too long to review in full and there are people here who are far more knowledgeable than me on this subject. I just wanted to add that I was in London UK recently and I found their Oyster Card system was very handy and easy to use.

RedRocket191
2010-Jul-07, 13:34
For the record, I am West Indian, so by your logic, I should have been denied by operators for any fare issue.

Wow. I cannot believe you would come to that conclusion based on my post. Seriously...


Well, maybe you should open your mouth more often. Just because you look like a thug, a tool, or a clown, doesn't mean you're actually ARE one. Come on man, this is Toronto. Lots of variety in terms or looks and fashion.

Clearly I can't use hypotheticals on this forum anymore...

nfitz
2010-Jul-07, 13:44
presto didn't make this decision, the transit agencies did. They wanted to ensure people weren't carrying around negative balances for extended periods.Wouldn't being able to pay the $$$ on-line reduce the periods where people carry around negative balances?

Mapleson
2010-Jul-07, 13:50
This thread is far too long to review in full and there are people here who are far more knowledgeable than me on this subject. I just wanted to add that I was in London UK recently and I found their Oyster Card system was very handy and easy to use.This is the 8th year of Oyster Card implementation/roll-out. It wasn't on London Underground for the first 5 years (2007) and it's now being extended to the national rail system (they set up national rail zones in 2007 to begin the costing roll-over process). In the first few years, it was a FUBAR that people didn't like because of all the stupidity, like you could only use it for bus-origin journeys. My favourite part of the system was implementing the riverboat payment. Oyster is a good example of how system improvement should be a gradual continual thing, not a starve-and-feast cycle of maintainance and repair.

The Mad Navigator
2010-Jul-07, 14:05
Clearly I can't use hypotheticals on this forum anymore...

I'm just telling it like it is.

What's so hard to understand about that?

RedRocket191
2010-Jul-07, 14:50
I'm just telling it like it is.

What's so hard to understand about that?

I made up a hypothetical situation to express my point - that people can have internal biases against how other people look, regardless of everyone's best efforts. As such, it's not an effective policy to ask the driver to excuse your underpayment. The driver making a judgement on how trustworthy you are is so subjective that it's a disaster waiting to happen.

Since this was a hypothetical situation that I made up, your comment that I should "open my mouth more often" (presumably to plead with the driver to excuse my inability to pay the fare) was not warranted. I am not being opressed, marginalized or labelled by anyone.

I thank you for your concern about my well being.

Justin10000
2010-Jul-07, 16:09
Wow. I cannot believe you would come to that conclusion based on my post. Seriously...


Assuming operators will judge riders based on their appearance is not far off the mark either. I cannot believe you would even bring up such a silly hypothetical situation

Tuscani01
2010-Jul-07, 16:19
Assuming operators will judge riders based on their appearance is not far off the mark either. I cannot believe you would even bring up such a silly hypothetical situation

In reality though, it happens... so its not simply a hypothetical situation.

He was simply trying to prove his point that having the card back you up in the case of being short change is 100% foolproof, whereas relying on the operator to let you in when you are short change depends on who you speak to. I have seen an old lady told to pay the fare or get off the bus before, at which point other riders got up to help the lady pay her fare. If she had Presto, the card would have stood up for her instead of her having to rely on other passengers.

What about it was so difficult for you people to understand?

nfitz
2010-Jul-07, 16:30
This is the 8th year of Oyster Card implementation/roll-out. It wasn't on London Underground for the first 5 years (2007) and it's now being extended to the national rail system (they set up national rail zones in 2007 to begin the costing roll-over process).There seem to be several inaccuracies in this post.

It's only 7 years since roll-out of Oyster to the public started; and it was effectively completed last January, when all the remaining rail companies that were holding out were finally added.

I'm not sure why you are saying it wasn't on the Underground until 2007. It was on the Underground and DRL on Day 1 in 2003.

Certainly the commuter rail rollout has been slow (because of a lack of buy-in by private companies), but for buses and the Underground, it's been pretty static since 2004.

As for rail fare zones ... gosh, that must date back for decades ... 2007? Not sure what you are referring to here ...

Justin10000
2010-Jul-07, 16:39
In reality though, it happens... so its not simply a hypothetical situation.

He was simply trying to prove his point that having the card back you up in the case of being short change is 100% foolproof, whereas relying on the operator to let you in when you are short change depends on who you speak to. I have seen an old lady told to pay the fare or get off the bus before, at which point other riders got up to help the lady pay her fare. If she had Presto, the card would have stood up for her instead of her having to rely on other passengers.

What about it was so difficult for you people to understand?

Except the card is not 100% foolproof, since the card can only be used once for a negative balance, and re-activation requires a trip to a station, and a service charge. It's not that convenient, if you think about it. If that old lady had a card, the cost to her would be higher in the end. I am sure most riders would take the chance with getting away with an under-fare. The process is flawed, and needs to be fixed. We would not even be having this conversation, if you did not have to go through a tedious process just to get out of a negative balance.

The Mad Navigator
2010-Jul-07, 17:01
I made up a hypothetical situation to express my point - that people can have internal biases against how other people look, regardless of everyone's best efforts. As such, it's not an effective policy to ask the driver to excuse your underpayment. The driver making a judgement on how trustworthy you are is so subjective that it's a disaster waiting to happen.

You are right to a point, but that's when common sense would kick in (if he/she has a clue), and can usually read body language. Also helps to be street smart in this case too.


Since this was a hypothetical situation that I made up, your comment that I should "open my mouth more often" (presumably to plead with the driver to excuse my inability to pay the fare) was not warranted. I am not being opressed, marginalized or labelled by anyone.

Well, a hypothetical situation deserves a hypothetical response.


I thank you for your concern about my well being.

No problem! heh

Mapleson
2010-Jul-07, 17:22
There seem to be several inaccuracies in this post.

It's only 7 years since roll-out of Oyster to the public started; and it was effectively completed last January, when all the remaining rail companies that were holding out were finally added.

I'm not sure why you are saying it wasn't on the Underground until 2007. It was on the Underground and DRL on Day 1 in 2003.

Certainly the commuter rail rollout has been slow (because of a lack of buy-in by private companies), but for buses and the Underground, it's been pretty static since 2004.

As for rail fare zones ... gosh, that must date back for decades ... 2007? Not sure what you are referring to here ...Oyster began roll out in 2002 with Cards issued to TfL, LU, and bus operator staff. Public monthly passes began in 2003 as you say, but you couldn't use them for occational use. Pay-as-you-go service has been much slower to rolling out.

I made a major typo somehow and Underground should have been London Overground (surface rail).

In October 2007, it was agreed by all National Rail Operators who operate services in London to implement the scheme by 2009 at the latest. In November 2009 (http://www.london.gov.uk/media/press_releases_mayoral/one-ticket-london-oysterisation-rail-and-river-confirmed), they announced it for specific regions. The 2007 National Rail zones refer to distance based charging that matched up with other distance based zones that extend further back.

Tuscani01
2010-Jul-07, 17:33
Except the card is not 100% foolproof, since the card can only be used once for a negative balance, and re-activation requires a trip to a station, and a service charge. It's not that convenient, if you think about it. If that old lady had a card, the cost to her would be higher in the end. I am sure most riders would take the chance with getting away with an under-fare. The process is flawed, and needs to be fixed. We would not even be having this conversation, if you did not have to go through a tedious process just to get out of a negative balance.

How many times should it go into negative before you realize you are short money? It's simple... When you notice its negative, top it up. Better yet, top it up before it gets to negative. The card ensures that you will be able to get onto transit if you are short money. The fact that you can only go into negative once prevents abuse.

Going back to a hypothetical situation.... Lady is short change, with Presto, she gets to ride (while going into negative). Without Presto, there is a chance she might not get to ride. She can either have piece of mind, and a guarantee that she can still ride, or she can take a chance and be stranded if shes not allowed on.

I still don't see how a service charge is more inconvenient than having to go to a bank, take out $20, and then going back to the TTC to buy tokens or a convenience store to make change. Yes she would have to go to Union to have the problem corrected, but that doesn't have to be done before she can get onto transit one last time. For now, she can have confidence that if she is short money, she can still take transit with Presto. Not that it should always get to that point. One would assume that after being short once, you would learn not to let it happen again.

Justin10000
2010-Jul-07, 17:58
How many times should it go into negative before you realize you are short money? It's simple... When you notice its negative, top it up. Better yet, top it up before it gets to negative. The card ensures that you will be able to get onto transit if you are short money. The fact that you can only go into negative once prevents abuse.

Right, someone is going to abuse a PRESTO card that is registered to them with their personal info. That's a poor excuse. It's about convenience. That is why a rider will pay $6, plus a minimum of $10 to get a card. Convenience. Allowing someone to go into a negative balance, than saying they have to stand in line at a station, and pay a nominal fee is not convenient. It's not that hard to understand. Why would I want to buy a card, knowing that I may go into a negative balance, and my card is deactivated, forcing me to travel to an office that may be out of my way to get it re-activated? Why not just let the card go into a set negative balance say, $1.00, and when the card is refilled, the negative balance is deducted from whatever amount is loaded onto the card? Why is PRESTO making it hard for riders?



Going back to a hypothetical situation.... Lady is short change, with Presto, she gets to ride (while going into negative). Without Presto, there is a chance she might not get to ride. She can either have piece of mind, and a guarantee that she can still ride, or she can take a chance and be stranded if shes not allowed on.

Sticking with your hypothetical situation, lady is short .30 on her fare. Lady boards bus, and explains to bus driver who might be a regular on her route, she is short some charge. Bus driver, being the decent guy he is, let's her on with the reduced fare. No fuss, no hassle, and lady did not have to travel to a PRESTO office to resolve a fare issue.



I still don't see how a service charge is more inconvenient than having to go to a bank, take out $20, and then going back to the TTC to buy tokens or a convenience store to make change. Yes she would have to go to Union to have the problem corrected, but that doesn't have to be done before she can get onto transit one last time. For now, she can have confidence that if she is short money, she can still take transit with Presto. Not that it should always get to that point. One would assume that after being short once, you would learn not to let it happen again.

It's not about the service charge. It's about having to waste time talking to a PRESTO rep to re-activate the card. You seem to miss the fact that travelling to Union will cost a fare, so if you cannot use your PRESTO card, you are going to have to pay a cash fare anyways. Makes PRESTO somewhat useless, if you have to pay a cash fare to travel to Union to be able to use your card again. A rider is going to wonder wy they paid $6 for a card that seem to less convenient than tokens.

nfitz
2010-Jul-07, 18:02
Oyster began roll out in 2002 with Cards issued to TfL, LU, and bus operator staff. Public monthly passes began in 2003 as you say, but you couldn't use them for occational use. Pay-as-you-go service has been much slower to rolling out.Pay-as-you go was completely rolled out for buses and Underground less than a year after they first started issuing cards to the public. I think you are really overstating your case here.


I made a major typo somehow and Underground should have been London Overground (surface rail).Ah, so you are saying it didn't get expanded to the Overground until 2007. However London Overground wasn't created until 2007 ... so I don't see a big surprise here! It was simply a regular private rail line until then ... and rollout to those lines wasn't completed until January 2010.

I've had an Oyster card for years, and it seemed fully functional when I got it - except for the commuter rail lines (and perhaps the boats ... never taken one ...). And it certainly was a lot easier to get running than Presto!

I'm not sure your point ... generally implementation seems similiar. Oyster had testing in 2002, rollout starting in 2003, completed in 2004, except for non-co-operative private railways that took until 2010.

Presto started testing in 2008/2009, rollout starting in 2011, complete in 2011, except for non-co-operative public agency (TTC) thay may take until ... 2016?

Biggest difference I see is that Oyster started with monthly passes, and then added pay-as-you-go, while Presto started with pay-as-you-go, and will add monthly passes later this year.

Nick

Mapleson
2010-Jul-07, 18:15
^ National Rail only had partial implementation of Oyster before 2004/2007. My point was that Oyster Card has implemented things piecemeal coming out with service improvements every few months since 2002 when they started. I like that system of doing things rather than trying to do everything at once because you've neglected updating the network for so long. Now that it's 2010, Oyster network isn't stopping expanding.

References:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oyster_card_(pay_as_you_go)_on_National_Rail#Curre nt_acceptance_and_future_schedule
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oyster_card#Roll-out_history

nfitz
2010-Jul-07, 18:21
My point was that Oyster Card has implemented things piecemeal coming out with service improvements every few months since 2002 when they started.You say that as if it was by design. Day 1, all the buses and tube trains were on-line. They were very frustrated that it was taking so long for the private rail companies to buy-in. Don't you remember all the negative comments from Red Ken?

Mapleson
2010-Jul-08, 16:06
^ Are you trying to misconstrue my meaning, or has your over simplication made my point unintelligable to you? What date was Day 1? Was Day 1 when the full Bus and Tube system had Oyster capability? Was Day 1 when the first Oyster card was issued? Was Day 1 when the first Oyster card machine was installed? If so, then I guess the PRESTO roll-out is stupid and they should just bag them all until they can install them at every station and every bus on every network and then make them all go live on "Day 1"?

My point was that the Oyster system had many criticism leveled against it while it was being constructed and first-year operational glitches. They saw these problems and worked to make them better as soon as possible everywhere that made sense. They didn't just say "This is Oyster 1.0. We will update the system to Oyster 2.0 in 2010." They added pay-as-you-go, which wasn't part of the initial system but added in the first year; they removed paper receipts, which was part of the initial system. Oyster wasn't just a static system installed before January 2002, it's been continually developed, expanded, and improved where, when, and how possible. This is the model of development that I like and that I hope PRESTO emulates.

TrickyRicky
2010-Jul-08, 18:01
Hey, I don't think it matters who is right or wrong on this fact or that. I just mentioned the Oyster card as an example where a stupid tourist like me who knows nothing about transit thought it was a convenient system. In some cities especially with one-time zone fare tickets I have to ask someone every time or literally stand in front of the machine looking like a moron until someone takes pity on me. The best is if you ask someone and they also don't know so you start to collect a critical mass of morons. The good people running the San Franscisco airport had the smarts to realize that you need the Rosetta stone to decipher how the BART system works so they actually have an employee who stands by the machines full time.

nfitz
2010-Jul-08, 18:03
^ Are you trying to misconstrue my meaning, or has your over simplication made my point unintelligable to you?.I really fail to see you point, which was premised on Oyster taking about 5 years before it was rolled out significantly, which is just fundamentally wrong. It was pretty much rolled out in about12 months ... and most of the hardware was was running on Day 1. Only the private rail companies lagged significantly


What date was Day 1? Was Day 1 when the full Bus and Tube system had Oyster capability? Was Day 1 when the first Oyster card was issued? Was Day 1 when the first Oyster card machine was installed? If so, then I guess the PRESTO roll-out is stupid and they should just bag them all until they can install them at every station and every bus on every network and then make them all go live on "Day 1"?I'd have thought it was clear, was Day 1 was the day it went public. Presto was about May 1st, 2010. Oyster was around July 2003; I'm afraid I don't know the date. Pay-as-you go was up about 6 months later on the Tube, and a few months after on buses.

Bayer
2010-Jul-08, 21:02
So, as I was saying, I had a negative balance on my Presto card, and even after a $20 refill, I had to show up at Union Station to correct the situation.

I tried last Sunday. Of course, the Presto wickets were closed.

Then this week, they refunded my $20, even though I didn't request it. A day later, they took it back from my credit card. Obviously, I'm still in the negative, and I still have to go to Union Station.

An example of payment card that seems to work is the Opus (http://www.stm.info/English/tarification/a-index.htm)system in Montreal.

Tuscani01
2010-Jul-08, 21:27
I tried last Sunday. Of course, the Presto wickets were closed.




You can go to any GO Transit ticket booth at Union Station for Presto help. I've done it and they are all happy to help.

As for Montreal's system... didn't they have problems with it too when it first rolled out?

nfitz
2010-Jul-08, 21:29
So I heard a good one from Presto today. I set up an autload; and I went down to Union yesterday to tag the balance checker to activate it. When I log in today, I can see that it's listed as active, but there is still not much money on my card.

When I phoned in, they said that because I'd set the threshold to $20 ... and there was less than a balance of $10 on my card, it wouldn't add the money ... because it only adds the money when the balance drops below the threshold. If you set the autoreload up below the threshold, it's not programmed to add money straight away.

Between the complex activation procedure, the screw-up with the TTC readers, the inability to fix a negative balance on-line, the inability of station staff to reactivate or set up AutoLoad, and failure to check to see if the balance is below the threshold when it AutoLoad initially activates ... it's like the entire program running the card was designed by morons. I just can't fathom such gross incompetence.

Tuscani01
2010-Jul-08, 21:42
It's about convenience. That is why a rider will pay $6, plus a minimum of $10 to get a card. Convenience. Allowing someone to go into a negative balance, than saying they have to stand in line at a station, and pay a nominal fee is not convenient. It's not that hard to understand.

So paying a $6 fee for the convenience of using a fare card is ok, but a small fee for the convenience of being able to use public transit when you have no money isn't?

Presto isn't making it hard for riders... It's simple. Keep your card topped up and you don't have to visit Union Station.

Back to bus lady... Driver says no... what does she do then? No transit! Now THATS convenient!

Yes travelling to Union is going to cost a fare, and yes you actually have to talk to someone... but its a small price to pay for the guarantee that you can use your card once more if for some reason you forget to top it up. Im sure the problem will be fixed in the future, but for now, its still a convenience that I have already had to rely on once.

nfitz
2010-Jul-08, 21:44
Presto isn't making it hard for riders... It's simple. Keep your card topped up and you don't have to visit Union Station. If it actually worked, perhaps. I've already visited Union Station 3 times, and I'll have to do a 4th before it's actually working.

There's no reason whatsoever that you shouldn't be able to fix a negative balance on-line, or over the phone. The only conclusion is the person who thought this up is an idiot. The design is horrific, and is not making it easy.

Bayer
2010-Jul-08, 23:09
So paying a $6 fee for the convenience of using a fare card is ok, but a small fee for the convenience of being able to use public transit when you have no money isn't?

This isn't about having money or not. I topped up my card, but they still require you to visit Union Station to validate the top-up! I didn't know about that problem at first, and I went in negative territory because I tried to use my card to see if my week-old top-up, which had been processed, had actually been put on my card. It hadn't. Not being able to use that top-up to compensate for the negative balance is beyond idiotic. THEY HAVE MY MONEY. They should be able to use it!

And nfitz, I was afraid of what you are saying about the autoload!! The same thing will happen to me unless there is more than $20 on the card. We'll see next time I go to Union.

It is all incredibly moronic.

nfitz
2010-Jul-09, 00:19
And nfitz, I was afraid of what you are saying about the autoload!! The same thing will happen to me unless there is more than $20 on the card. We'll see next time I go to Union.The trick might be to load some cash at Union Station with the agent there (if the Presto counter is closed, the regular ticket sellers can do it). So that your balance is just above the limit.

It just such bizarrely bad set-up. What's really bizarre is Accenture wouldn't have pointed out the problem with the design. When I subcontract work to a vendor, and what I tell them doesn't make sense, they tell me, and we make it make sense. Why isn't Accenture doing this ... have they done this type of project before?

Justin10000
2010-Jul-09, 07:15
So paying a $6 fee for the convenience of using a fare card is ok, but a small fee for the convenience of being able to use public transit when you have no money isn't?
Presto isn't making it hard for riders... It's simple. Keep your card topped up and you don't have to visit Union Station.

Except it's not even working when even when you keep your card topped. Why defend PRESTO? The design of the system is terrible. Again, I am looking at the card as a normal rider, and the fact that I have to speak to an agent IN person at any station is not convenient. If Accenture was competent at all, they would have set-up the system so a user can resolve any issue over the phone, or online.
Telling someone to "keep your card topped up, or be penalized" is not a great selling point.



Back to bus lady... Driver says no... what does she do then? No transit! Now THATS convenient!


At least she did not pay $6 for a poorly design farecard. Considering the scrutiny transit is under these days, I doubt a driver will deny an old lady entry for being short. I doubt the lady will buy the card, if she heard the stories from people who traveled to Union 3 times, even after their card was topped up. What a terrible way to introduce a fare card! It's not as if PRESTO is innovative, or anything. You would think these companies would have worked the bugs out by now. Jeez. young people are having a frustrating time with this card. I can only imagine an old lady trying to deal with a PRESTO rep!



Yes travelling to Union is going to cost a fare, and yes you actually have to talk to someone... but its a small price to pay for the guarantee that you can use your card once more if for some reason you forget to top it up. Im sure the problem will be fixed in the future, but for now, its still a convenience that I have already had to rely on once.

No, it's a freaking extra FARE! That is not a small price. That is $3 wasted on top on the $6 for a card that barely works. I would be really pissed off, if I topped up my card, and had to pay A CASH FARE to talk to someone to be able to use the money I loaded into the card. Whoever set-up PRESTO is an idiot, and I would not recommend PRESTO to anyone right now. It's a shoddy product.

CDL.TO
2010-Jul-09, 09:08
You guys should get together and send your collected stories to The Star or another paper. The word needs to get out there that there are real flaws in the system that need to be accounted for!

Mapleson
2010-Jul-09, 09:28
I really fail to see you point, which was premised on Oyster taking about 5 years before it was rolled out significantly, which is just fundamentally wrong. It was pretty much rolled out in about12 months ... and most of the hardware was was running on Day 1. Only the private rail companies lagged significantlyNo, my point was that the hardware for Oyster was rolled out, but later expansion kept happening (like TTC for Presto and LO for Oyster). They had the hardware 'Day 1 Operations', but they have incremental improved the software/operational mechanics. That 'Day 1 Operations' happened about 15 months after they started manufacturing the card reader machines. Did you look at the Wikipedia timeline's I referenced? Oyster has come a long way towards being user-friendly over the decade. Or do you maintain that everything available in 2010 was available in 2003? In 2008, five years after Oyster was rolled out, were significant improvements to the breath and usefulness of the Oyster system still being undertaken? That was my point.


The trick might be to load some cash at Union Station with the agent there (if the Presto counter is closed, the regular ticket sellers can do it). So that your balance is just above the limit.

It just such bizarrely bad set-up. What's really bizarre is Accenture wouldn't have pointed out the problem with the design. When I subcontract work to a vendor, and what I tell them doesn't make sense, they tell me, and we make it make sense. Why isn't Accenture doing this ... have they done this type of project before?I think it's pretty obvious the testing protocol wasn't very through, but the "basic" operations seem to work fine, by absence of complaints. I would say the 'features' involving money was done by a seperate group. Accenture should be addressing these problems, now we know they know about them. We can't say if they knew before and did nothing, which is neglegent. Not looking is just incompetance, which I'm willing to forgive if they can respond quickly (like 6-9 months to add payg to Oyster) and throughly.

Whatever they are doing though, they should announce it.

nfitz
2010-Jul-09, 10:31
In 2008, five years after Oyster was rolled out, were significant improvements to the breath and usefulness of the Oyster system still being undertaken? That was my point.There are certainly improvements ... but for anyone who just uses London Transport it has been pretty simple since 2004.


I think it's pretty obvious the testing protocol wasn't very through, but the "basic" operations seem to work fine, by absence of complaints.Absence of complaints? Working fine? Your kidding, right? Anyone whose card goes negative is screwed, and can't fix on-line or over the phone! And there's lots of other major problems that have been documented. When I talk to them on the phone they tell me that a lot of people have been having problems and they are getting a lot of complaints, and they are aware that mistakes were made.

The testing program for Presto was clearly badly designed, and failed to test real-world situations. Oyster gets points there, with full deployment of the hardware, and system-wide testing for months before a client ever got their hands on a card.

Mapleson
2010-Jul-09, 11:32
There are certainly improvements ... but for anyone who just uses London Transport it has been pretty simple since 2004.

Absence of complaints? Working fine? Your kidding, right? Anyone whose card goes negative is screwed, and can't fix on-line or over the phone! And there's lots of other major problems that have been documented. When I talk to them on the phone they tell me that a lot of people have been having problems and they are getting a lot of complaints, and they are aware that mistakes were made.

The testing program for Presto was clearly badly designed, and failed to test real-world situations. Oyster gets points there, with full deployment of the hardware, and system-wide testing for months before a client ever got their hands on a card.I meant the other 99% of the system the "basic" functions that do not involve money, such as fare deductions (no complaints about double fares), and journey beginning/ending (no complaints about over fare), and documentation (no complaints of not getting a discount after 35 trips). If you know of people that have been complaining about these things, I'll withdraw the comment.

I don't see the point of crucifying a fledgling system, which admittedly has several limitating operational design flaws, but hasn't had the opertunity to correct them. I guess they should have made PRESTO "Day 1" in 2016 when the TTC might have a machine balance reader and made it equally convient to everyone and not convient to anyone until then.

nfitz
2010-Jul-09, 13:26
I meant the other 99% of the system the "basic" functions that do not involve money, such as fare deductions (no complaints about double fares), and journey beginning/ending (no complaints about over fare), and documentation (no complaints of not getting a discount after 35 trips). If you know of people that have been complaining about these things, I'll withdraw the comment.Ah ... yes, I admit I haven't heard much about those kind of problems. But it took me about 2 months to get my card to work ... I haven't had much opportunity to test yet, as neither of the stations I use frequently on GO have been activated.

I did have one a bit along those lines ... on one of my trips to Union the GO Staff offered to enable my default ... Danforth-Union (actually Danforth-Exhibition, but they said they couldn't do Exhiibition yet). They a) said that it wouldn't make a difference if it was Union or Exhibition because it's the same fare zone (my suspicion is that the default trip won't be recognised at Exhibition because it's set to Union). b) they also implied I could start using it straight away for Union to Danforth trips ... but Presto has said GO inspection staff won't like that ... not sure if I should trust GO or Presto on GO policy ... though these are just implementation problems).


I don't see the point of crucifying a fledgling system, which admittedly has several limitating operational design flaws, but hasn't had the opertunity to correct them. I guess they should have made PRESTO "Day 1" in 2016 when the TTC might have a machine balance reader and made it equally convient to everyone and not convient to anyone until then.I'm not crucifying ... I'm merely pointing out the failures in the implementation. The biggest problem was a lack of testing. They locked down the testing so tight, that only a few commuters based in Burlington/Oakville ever tried it out ... and they just didn't encounter the real-world problems that that would have occurred if a less stratified test-group had been used.

Coruscanti Cognoscente
2010-Jul-10, 20:24
All these issues are really making me NOT want to get a Presto card. Not that I can use it anyway, seeing as I only ever take GO Buses and they're not equipped for it.

Tuscani01
2010-Jul-10, 21:08
A
I'm not crucifying ... I'm merely pointing out the failures in the implementation. The biggest problem was a lack of testing. They locked down the testing so tight, that only a few commuters based in Burlington/Oakville ever tried it out ... and they just didn't encounter the real-world problems that that would have occurred if a less stratified test-group had been used.

Actually the system was tested by more than a small group from Burlington/Oakville. It was tested before that in Mississauga, where 500 people were given Presto cards to use for over a year. The second test was between Oakville/Burlington and Toronto, and the second part of that test is where the system was also rolled out for the general public to join.

The problem being faced right now by many is a TTC issue. Balance checkers, and training for TTC employees at every TTC station with Presto would clear up the majority of the issues people face now. For now, there is a minor inconvenience... but its not that bad. I've been using my card for almost 3 months now and have only gone to Union once to solve a problem. The card has been a great convenience for me and will only become more convenient as more stations and transit modes become equipped.

And for Justin10000, I saw a guy get turned away from the 32 Eglinton West bus today for not having the full fare. He was told to get off the bus. Its not a hypothetical situation.

RedRocket191
2010-Jul-10, 22:31
I would like to know how many Oakville Transit, Burlington Transit and GO users are having issues.

I haven't heard anything, but I'm waiting until I do to pass judgement.

nfitz
2010-Jul-10, 22:51
The problem being faced right now by many is a TTC issue.How is either the problem of having to go in person to clear a negative balance, rather than doing it on-line or on the phone; or the Autoload not working unless you set the initial threashold below the current balance anything to do with TTC?


All these issues are really making me NOT want to get a Presto card. Not that I can use it anyway, seeing as I only ever take GO Buses and they're not equipped for it.If you only take GO buses, and don't use TTC or any other local transit, then there is no point until then. Best thing to do is wait until what you take is using it. I'm sure by then use beta-testers will have worked out many of the bugs :)

RedRocket191
2010-Jul-11, 00:00
On count 1 it's not an issue for GO users because they will pass a Presto agency at both ends of their ride. TTC riders, on the other hand, will not.

Just sayin'

nfitz
2010-Jul-11, 00:54
On count 1 it's not an issue for GO users because they will pass a Presto agency at both ends of their ride. TTC riders, on the other hand, will not.

Just sayin'Presto has been fully implemented on both Burlington Transit and Oakville Transit. I'm sure many if not most trips on these agencies don't start or stop at a Presto agency.

Justin10000
2010-Jul-11, 07:21
And for Justin10000, I saw a guy get turned away from the 32 Eglinton West bus today for not having the full fare. He was told to get off the bus. Its not a hypothetical situation.

And I saw a guy tell a subway operator he only had $2.85, and the operator waved him through. Still better than spending $6 on a farecard with so many problems.

nfitz
2010-Jul-11, 12:07
And I saw a guy tell a subway operator he only had $2.85, and the operator waved him through. Still better than spending $6 on a farecard with so many problems.The problems will be fixed ... I can't imagine that by the time that this is rolled out TTC-wide these issues will still exist. Presto is talking about fixing the issues now. And they have been waiving the $6 as they roll out. If you hand in your GO 10-ride ticket or monthly pass, they transfer the existing value to a PrestoCard, and waive the $6 charge. Presumably there will be similar offers for TTC customers when it is implemented ... at least for those with annual subscriptions, etc.

Jonny5
2010-Jul-11, 16:59
Presto has been fully implemented on both Burlington Transit and Oakville Transit. I'm sure many if not most trips on these agencies don't start or stop at a Presto agency.

Actually, I think almost all Burlington Transit routes pass by at least one Presto agency on their route as they use the GO stations as central transfer points.
I don't know much about Oakville Transit, but passing through the stations, I always see there are a lot of routes that terminate there.

Yesterday I had to go to Hamilton from Toronto. Normally I would take the GO express bus, but I was out in Mimico, so I took the GO train to Aldershot and transferred to Burlington Transit route 1, riding it to downtown Hamilton. Happy to report the system worked everything out for me and charged only the 65 cent co-fare for the BT trip portion.

nfitz
2010-Jul-11, 17:04
Actually, I think almost all Burlington Transit routes pass by at least one Presto agency on their route as they use the GO stations as central transfer points.
I don't know much about Oakville Transit, but passing through the stations, I always see there are a lot of routes that terminate there.So basically you're saying it's okay to design the system that you can't clear a negative balance either on-line, or on the phone, and justifying having to go in person to find an agent?

Personally I think such a design is an example of incompetence.

Jonny5
2010-Jul-11, 17:41
So basically you're saying it's okay to design the system that you can't clear a negative balance either on-line, or on the phone, and justifying having to go in person to find an agent?

Personally I think such a design is an example of incompetence.

You can find me saying earlier in this thread the inability to clear a negative balance fee through a website payment is a design flaw. I went negative recently and had to deal with clearing it too.
I was merely pointing out that the suburban transit installations so far do not lend themselves to this type of negative balance problem ever occurring. It's not an excuse of the design , I'm just trying to relate their line of thinking to the current implementation. The system at this stage is designed for someone in Halton who takes transit to/from the GO station, or someone on Lakeshore West who drives to the GO station every day. I don't think the PRESTO folks actually care about the inconvenience to Toronto users at the moment as they don't expect any of them to use the card at all. Especially people from Lakeshore East regions where Presto is still unknown and unadvertised.

However they do need to sort things out soon as their next big test will be HSR/Hamilton transit users who will be on line in two to three months. There are many users there who will never pass near a PRESTO agency.

Bayer
2010-Jul-12, 12:20
Haven't had a chance to go to Union yet to clear up my negative balance. In the meantime, they amuse themselves by repeatedly crediting my $20 reload to my credit card, only to debit it again the next day...

Jaguar4u
2010-Jul-15, 04:17
Yesterday I had to go to Hamilton from Toronto. Normally I would take the GO express bus, but I was out in Mimico, so I took the GO train to Aldershot and transferred to Burlington Transit route 1, riding it to downtown Hamilton. Happy to report the system worked everything out for me and charged only the 65 cent co-fare for the BT trip portion.

Thanks for the tip. I may be using that route in the future.

Can't wait for full TTC implementation.

Coruscanti Cognoscente
2010-Jul-16, 23:29
Haven't had a chance to go to Union yet to clear up my negative balance. In the meantime, they amuse themselves by repeatedly crediting my $20 reload to my credit card, only to debit it again the next day...

That is surely ridiculous...

Jonny5
2010-Jul-17, 14:18
A few details on how the system works which may be of interest to someone:

When you board a local bus, you swipe the card and then ride it to the GO Station. You pay the regular bus fare.
At the station, you swipe again and it charges you $4.20. You do not get the co-fare discount yet. When you arrive at your destination, you swipe again and it charges you the distance portion of the fare, less the co-fare discount for your local transit trip. It will not let you on GO unless you have $4.20 on your card. They talk about going negative on the website, but this is only after paying the $4.20.

How the system knows you are entitled to a co-fare discount is strange. I guess the card stores data that you were just on a local bus and are entitled to it.

golodhendil
2010-Jul-17, 17:09
How the system knows you are entitled to a co-fare discount is strange. I guess the card stores data that you were just on a local bus and are entitled to it. That would indeed be how other smartcards around the world do it.

chriskayTO
2010-Jul-17, 18:07
That would indeed be how other smartcards around the world do it.
Not necessarily - many smart card systems don't have a stored value at all and just "phone home" in order to find out your balance and/or entitlements/passes.

golodhendil
2010-Jul-17, 18:59
^ I guess my focus was on the fact that the system stores data on your last trip, and not where the data is stored.

DavidH
2010-Jul-17, 20:33
The system has to store data on all your trips, so that loyalty discounts can be applied and tax receipts for the federal tax credit can be issued.

TOareaFan
2010-Jul-17, 20:49
Happy to report that my card is now activated....it only took 2 phone calls, 2 visits to the web page and 2 trips to union. This is a super convenient card and I look forward to using it.

Justin10000
2010-Jul-17, 21:17
Happy to report that my card is now activated....it only took 2 phone calls, 2 visits to the web page and 2 trips to union. This is a super convenient card and I look forward to using it.

I cannot wait to make 2 trips to Union! So much more convenient than paying cash! PRESTO!

Jonny5
2010-Jul-18, 00:40
Not necessarily - many smart card systems don't have a stored value at all and just "phone home" in order to find out your balance and/or entitlements/passes.

This is what I was getting at. The system can work just fine without storing anything on the card, but you would not get co-fare discounts when you used the card, but only when the computers go through an overnight process and identify eligible transfers. I guess with so much bus use intended for this system, they had to make it work like this. When you board a bus, the bus' machine will check your card to see how much balance you have used that day already compared to what you had the last time it was updated.

Today I saw for the first time the PRESTO bus machines spit out transfers for anyone who pays in cash. They just print on demand by a button pressed by the driver and look like the tickets GO TVMs create.

golodhendil
2010-Jul-18, 03:13
Actually come to think of it, I don't think any of the (major) transit farecard systems (Octopus, Oyster, Suica, CharlieCard, Opus or any of the other Japanese/American/European ones) don't store data on the card and communicate with the clearinghouse only for non-immediate clearing purposes.

APTA-2048
2010-Jul-20, 23:33
Used my Presto card for the first time today. I was told all I needed to do to activate it was tap a balance check machine. I decided not to register online but go to Union (I needed to go downtown anyways) after a friend of mine registered online and had his card locked because he didn't use it within seven days. However, the attendant at Union said I should register online or by mail, so now I have filled out a registration form and sent it in.

I'm using it mostly for TTC and the occasional GO trip, so the convenience factor for now is small. One thing I don't really like is what is loaded is measured in dollars opposed to specific "tickets" as used on the Opus card. I find it easier to track how many rides I have left with the method used with Opus instead of keeping track of the dollar value and working out what trips I can take.

Also there's an interesting article is the Star about Presto, the TTC, and their new credit/debit card system:



TTC moving ahead with wave-of-the-card payment
But Rossi vows, if elected, to kill it in favour of Presto system

David Rider
Urban Affairs Bureau Chief

The TTC plans to sign a contract this year for the development of a fare system that will allow riders to get on board simply by waving their credit or debit cards, and possibly even cellphones, at the turnstile, Adam Giambrone says.

The TTC chair told the Star on Tuesday that a request-for-proposal will go out in early August, with a winning bid hopefully chosen in the fall for a system-wide rollout to start in 2011.

“It will be an open payment system that will let you use your credit card or debit card at the turnstile, with a wave or a tap, for use on subways, buses and streetcars, to pay either per ride or to load your various transit passes,” similar to transit systems in New York City and Washington, D.C., Giambrone said.

In April, the TTC said it was studying the technology, similar to that of Mastercard’s PayPass system that sees customers at Tim Hortons and other outlets pay for goods with the swipe of a card bearing a radio frequency identification chip. Giambrone said the request-for-proposal will include possible use of chip-enabled cellphones.

The Davenport councillor, who is not running for re-election in the Oct. 25 election, revealed the plan when asked for his reaction to a pledge by mayoral candidate Rocco Rossi to have the TTC quickly implement the province’s Presto smart card.

Giambrone said the TTC will likely offer Presto or a similar card — also allowing entry with a swipe or tap, without tokens and transfers — for those who can’t or don’t want to use credit or debit cards, including children, as well as continuing with cash and tokens.

He argued open payment, which relies on credit card companies to process transactions, is easier and cheaper to implement than Presto’s proprietary technology.

But Rossi said the open payment system would be much more expensive because the TTC wouldn’t get a hefty subsidy from the province, as it will if it fully adopts Presto.

“If I am elected, in just three short months, Toronto is going to finally get some customer service and new thinking in their transit system,” with a TTC-wide adoption of Presto and later use of it for other city services including Toronto zoo admission and payment of parking tickets, Rossi said.

Later, he said through his spokeswoman Patricia Best that he will “absolutely” try to kill the open payment system if he is elected mayor after a contract is signed.

“Why would they rush this after dragging their feet for so long? Do they truly want to kill any hope of partnership with the province?” Rossi said in an email.

Best added that the biggest problem with open payment is its effect on the “un-banked” — “children, the poor, sometimes the elderly, people with bankruptcies, etc. A municipal card solves that problem and even could possibly be integrated into social services.”

Justin10000
2010-Jul-21, 07:38
A knee-jerk reaction from the Rossi camp. Rossi should be all over this idea.

RedRocket191
2010-Jul-21, 08:35
I've been thinking about this all night, and here's how I feel about this.

If open payment is going to have (1) the functionality of a smart card where it will automatically cap itself after a designated number of rides, if (2) it will recongnize transfers and not charge people again within a designated number of hours, and if (3) it is not being used as a way to delay the implementation of Presto any further than it is already being delayed for those who use multiple systems then I feel I can support it.

But, if this is just going to be used as a way to pay my initial fare (ie they are still going to give me a paper transfer) then please, don't waste my time.

taal
2010-Jul-21, 08:59
I've been thinking about this all night, and here's how I feel about this.

If open payment is going to have (1) the functionality of a smart card where it will automatically cap itself after a designated number of rides, if (2) it will recongnize transfers and not charge people again within a designated number of hours, and if (3) it is not being used as a way to delay the implementation of Presto any further than it is already being delayed for those who use multiple systems then I feel I can support it.

But, if this is just going to be used as a way to pay my initial fare (ie they are still going to give me a paper transfer) then please, don't waste my time.

I dunno, I'd really love that as well actually ... if this is a first step to implementing the full system, and as you said doesn't interfere, I really wouldn't mind - I'd love to buy day passes with my visa card. But I agree with the general sentiment of your post.

gweed123
2010-Jul-21, 09:25
I dunno, I'd really love that as well actually ... if this is a first step to implementing the full system, and as you said doesn't interfere, I really wouldn't mind - I'd love to buy day passes with my visa card. But I agree with the general sentiment of your post.

I have to admit, I'm a tad confused about why paying with your CC and using a Presto card are mutually-exclusive systems. Why not do both? If you aren't leaving Toronto, is there really a difference between using Presto vs using your Visa card? Also, if you're going to be replacing the payment systems across the TTC (ie implementing 1 of those 2 options), why not implement them both at the same time? Why spend the money twice? Of course, we're talking about the TTC here, so doing what is both logical and financially prudent is not an option.

RedRocket191
2010-Jul-21, 10:00
I have to admit, I'm a tad confused about why paying with your CC and using a Presto card are mutually-exclusive systems. Why not do both? If you aren't leaving Toronto, is there really a difference between using Presto vs using your Visa card? Also, if you're going to be replacing the payment systems across the TTC (ie implementing 1 of those 2 options), why not implement them both at the same time? Why spend the money twice? Of course, we're talking about the TTC here, so doing what is both logical and financially prudent is not an option.

They're not mutually exclusive, and I have no problem with open payment being used in parallel. But I do feel that the status quo of only planning for people who live in Toronto is not one that should be maintained. We are expecting a million more people in the region in the planning horizons under consideration, and there is no way that we will be able accomodate them within the 416. As such, a more integrated transit system is needed and one of the vehicles through which that occurs is a single fare payment system (and eventually a single fare system).

I'm not suggesting that the TTC is using Open Payment as a deliberate attempt to undermine Presto and the integration that it represents, but maybe I'm insinuating it.

DavidH
2010-Jul-21, 10:01
If open payment is going to have (1) the functionality of a smart card where it will automatically cap itself after a designated number of rides, if (2) it will recongnize transfers and not charge people again within a designated number of hours, and if (3) it is not being used as a way to delay the implementation of Presto any further than it is already being delayed for those who use multiple systems then I feel I can support it.

I can support it IF it is simply an alternate expression of a PRESTO card, with all of the same functionality. Personally, I still wouldn't want to be standing at a bus stop with my credit card in hand. The risk level with PRESTO is much lower.

TOareaFan
2010-Jul-21, 10:33
Giambrone said the TTC will likely offer Presto or a similar card — also allowing entry with a swipe or tap, without tokens and transfers — for those who can’t or don’t want to use credit or debit cards, including children, as well as continuing with cash and tokens.

He argued open payment, which relies on credit card companies to process transactions, is easier and cheaper to implement than Presto’s proprietary technology.

This is the section of the article that most interests/concerns me and, specifically, the bolded parts. The TTC just, simply speaking, has not accepted Presto. They are still taking shots about the cost of implementation and even in acknowledging that some kind of card is needed as an alternative to credit/debit cards can bring themselves to say Presto without adding "or similar".

There is the prospect, then, that the much vaunted fair payment integration that Presto promises could end up being Presto Card for GO/some locals....then when you get downtown fish out your visa or "not presto but similar card" to get on the TTC.

rbt
2010-Jul-21, 10:36
I can support it IF it is simply an alternate expression of a PRESTO card, with all of the same functionality. Personally, I still wouldn't want to be standing at a bus stop with my credit card in hand. The risk level with PRESTO is much lower.

Why? You report your credit card stolen and the bank (mine does at very least) covers/reverses any fraudulent charges, including ones which occurred before you reported it stolen.

I'm not familiar with what occurs when you report a PRESTO card stolen. Do they freeze the card immediately and refund any trips which you state you did not take?

RedRocket191
2010-Jul-21, 12:02
This is the section of the article that most interests/concerns me and, specifically, the bolded parts. The TTC just, simply speaking, has not accepted Presto. They are still taking shots about the cost of implementation and even in acknowledging that some kind of card is needed as an alternative to credit/debit cards can bring themselves to say Presto without adding "or similar".

There is the prospect, then, that the much vaunted fair payment integration that Presto promises could end up being Presto Card for GO/some locals....then when you get downtown fish out your visa or "not presto but similar card" to get on the TTC.

Let's not forget that Presto is a binding condition of funding for provincial transit projects in the GTA, so we are getting Presto on the TTC... Eventually. They can spin it all they want, legally it has to be Presto AND similar, not OR.


Why? You report your credit card stolen and the bank (mine does at very least) covers/reverses any fraudulent charges, including ones which occurred before you reported it stolen.

I'm not familiar with what occurs when you report a PRESTO card stolen. Do they freeze the card immediately and refund any trips which you state you did not take?

DavidH (and my) point is that some people do not feel safe taking their credit card out of their wallets and flashing it on the bus. I think that's a reasonable concern, and its comparable to not wanting to walk into a dark alley. The odds are that nothing will harm you in the alley, but you can't deny that people won't want to walk down there if given the choice.

DavidH
2010-Jul-21, 12:04
Why? You report your credit card stolen and the bank (mine does at very least) covers/reverses any fraudulent charges, including ones which occurred before you reported it stolen.

Even assuming that I am able to get it frozen immediately, that means that I will be without my credit card for a week. I was through that earlier this year and while my bank was extremely helpful, it was still a royal pain in the rear.

The risk of losing it when I have to take it out of my wallet *in the street* several times per day seems unacceptably high to me. Further, getting my credit card out implies getting my wallet out. Again, that's a risk. My PRESTO card will probably live in my backpack where my GO pass and various transit tickets/tokens live, so the risk there is much less.

I'm only speaking for me, but given a choice between PRESTO and tickets, I'll use PRESTO, once the bugs are out. Given a choice between a credit/debit card and tickets, I'll use tickets. A



I'm not familiar with what occurs when you report a PRESTO card stolen. Do they freeze the card immediately and refund any trips which you state you did not take?
If it is a registered card, it is frozen immediately and you get your balance back. I'm not sure about refunds, though. If it's not a registered card, the balance on the card is not tied to you so there is no way to give you the money back, but at least you are only liable for the money that is on the card.

DavidH
2010-Jul-21, 12:09
Let's not forget that Presto is a binding condition of funding for provincial transit projects in the GTA, so we are getting Presto on the TTC... Eventually. They can spin it all they want, legally it has to be Presto AND similar, not OR.

To make this very clear to everyone else, the cost of NOT implementing Presto is somewhere over a billion dollars, simply because ALL of the provincial funding for the Eglinton, Sheppard, Finch, and Scarborough RT replacement will be withdrawn if they do not implement PRESTO. That's ALL of the capital cost coverage other than several hundred million of federal funding for Sheppard.

This is a FAR greater cost than the cost to implement PRESTO, even if the City has to pay for PRESTO all by itself.

And here while they cry poor, they are going to go ahead and implement a separate system that they are NOT required to implement?

DavidH
2010-Jul-21, 12:31
Well, this is ugly. Adam Giambrone posted to Twitter:

@kklyeung Presto has not actually started development, that's the problem. Open payments is not a new system, which is why it is good.

PRESTO replied:

@Adam_Giambrone PRESTO is available now on Oakville & Burlington Transit, GO Lakeshore West & 7 TTC stations w/ more coming online this year


It's really sad to see that Giambrone doesn't even know that his system has already implemented PRESTO.

waterloowarrior
2010-Jul-21, 13:24
To be fair it could have been a staffer who wrote that message, not Giambrone himself (at least let's hope so ;) )

rbt
2010-Jul-21, 14:22
Even assuming that I am able to get it frozen immediately, that means that I will be without my credit card for a week. I was through that earlier this year and while my bank was extremely helpful, it was still a royal pain in the rear.

Perhaps I had unusually good luck with replacing my card in these occassions.

Justin10000
2010-Jul-21, 14:38
I do not see the issue with open fare payment. To be honest, I would prefer to pay with my credit card over buying a PRESTO card. That is the point isn't it? Having an option other than PRESTO for paying a fare. We should know by now, it wise not to take comments from politicians seriously. The TTC is sticking with PRESTO, there are already readers in place at some stations, I do not see PRESTO being abandoned. One thing, I would like to know is, why is the province taking so long to give the TTC money to fully implement PRESTO throughout the entire system?

nfitz
2010-Jul-21, 15:17
To be fair it could have been a staffer who wrote that message, not Giambrone himself (at least let's hope so ;) )I'd assume that was a reference for the implementation plan for TTC. I'm sure Giambrone is well aware that Presto itself is running.

GraphicMatt
2010-Jul-21, 15:48
Wild speculation: This is incredibly political. TTC management doesn't like Presto because they see it as something being forced on them by an outside group, and they weren't consulted much during the design process. Giambrone is just parroting back what TTC staff are telling him. He does this a lot.

That said, if they can get a credit card company or Moneris or whoever to foot the bill and allow for Credit Card payments on the TTC and have it implemented by next year, then they'd be stupid NOT to do it.

nstuch
2010-Jul-21, 16:19
i am confused about open payment. does this mean when i want to take the bus or subway i take out my credit card and swipe it through a reader? if so, this takes some time for the reader to communicate with Visa and verify that the card is working. seem to me the complexity and amount of time this takes is exactly why every other major transit system in the doesn't use this method and instead uses a Presto like system, as well as for other beneficial reasons. the TTC never fails to amaze

CDL.TO
2010-Jul-21, 16:59
"Rocco Rossi jumped on the TTC yet again, the transit system’s troubles having been a consistent theme throughout the campaign so far, to say he’d have the Red Rocket running on a smart card fare system within 90 days if he wins the Oct. 25 election." -The Sun (http://www.torontosun.com/news/torontoandgta/2010/07/20/14772926.html)

I hope this is just the paper misquoting him. If not... ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. I look forward to him promising to build 100km of subway in 12 months.

rbt
2010-Jul-21, 21:28
i am confused about open payment. does this mean when i want to take the bus or subway i take out my credit card and swipe it through a reader? if so, this takes some time for the reader to communicate with Visa and verify that the card is working. seem to me the complexity and amount of time this takes is exactly why every other major transit system in the doesn't use this method and instead uses a Presto like system, as well as for other beneficial reasons. the TTC never fails to amaze

No. It means you leave your Visa card in your wallet and bring it within an inch or two of a reader which records your fare within a tenth of a second and lets you go. The transit agency (or convenience store or other location) will sum up your charges for the day and bulk bill overnight.

Another option is to load your Visa/Mastercard/Bank Account details onto your cell-phone if you happen to live in a technically advanced society and tap that against the reader for a tenth of a second.

There is a good reason why many major transit systems are testing the open-payment based systems to replace or compliment their current hodge-podge of independent and non-portable systems. The big catch here is Visa and Mastercard want to be the exclusive card if they are installing the system.

Coruscanti Cognoscente
2010-Jul-21, 22:46
I don't understand why the TTC is so hesitant to adopt Presto as to be open to adopting other "similar" cards. Maybe Metrolinx should have done more to consult the TTC? Not that I'm excusing the TTC here, I think they're mostly inept and should accept Presto and try to improve it.

RedRocket191
2010-Jul-22, 00:22
I don't understand why the TTC is so hesitant to adopt Presto as to be open to adopting other "similar" cards. Maybe Metrolinx should have done more to consult the TTC? Not that I'm excusing the TTC here, I think they're mostly inept and should accept Presto and try to improve it.

In a nutshell, the TTC has a "made in house" culture where they are very weary to implement any idea that didn't come from within the organization. I'm sure there was consultation during the early stages of Presto, but it's likely that a time came when agencies had to choose if they were in or out. The TTC decided that they were out.

Flash forward a few years later and the TTC is now in a position where they are forced to adopt a system that they never wanted in the first place. They aren't allowed to say no, so perhaps these shenanigans are their form of non-violent resistance?

For the record, my comments above are based on my opinion having been a follower of transit issues for the last decade or so. I am not, nor have I even been privy to the discussions which I referenced above. I don't even have proof that they took place.

EnviroTO
2010-Jul-22, 00:44
I would prefer the open system which accepts Visa, Mastercard, AMEX, and other RFID style payments over one which only handles Presto. Why add yet another card to your wallet? I would rather register my credit card with the TTC and have it treated like a Metropass or a Presto card than actually carry around a Metropass or Presto card. No more cards please. The garage door card, employee access card, bank card, credit card, Metropass, Air Miles, Shoppers, Aeroplan, Blockbuster, Car Rental, AutoShare, health card, drivers licence, Starbucks card, etc is quite enough thanks. Everyone with a credit card is going to have RFID in a year or so. Why not simply record the ID in a registration process and treat it like a Presto ID? It works for other rewards systems.

kettal
2010-Jul-22, 00:57
Well, this is ugly. Adam Giambrone posted to Twitter:

@kklyeung Presto has not actually started development, that's the problem. Open payments is not a new system, which is why it is good.

PRESTO replied:

@Adam_Giambrone PRESTO is available now on Oakville & Burlington Transit, GO Lakeshore West & 7 TTC stations w/ more coming online this year


It's really sad to see that Giambrone doesn't even know that his system has already implemented PRESTO.

wow...

EnviroTO
2010-Jul-22, 01:06
PRESTO replied:

@Adam_Giambrone PRESTO is available now on Oakville & Burlington Transit, GO Lakeshore West & 7 TTC stations w/ more coming online this year

You can't trust Presto... they don't even exist yet. You shouldn't trust someone that does not exist.

Coruscanti Cognoscente
2010-Jul-22, 01:08
You can't trust Presto... they don't even exist yet. You shouldn't trust someone that does not exist.

Um?

waterloowarrior
2010-Jul-22, 01:45
Star: Smart cards versus open payment (http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/838750--smart-cards-vs-open-payment)

Riders Might Lose in Battle of the Smart Cards (http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/838749--riders-might-lose-in-battle-of-the-smart-cards)

DavidH
2010-Jul-22, 07:59
No. It means you leave your Visa card in your wallet and bring it within an inch or two of a reader which records your fare within a tenth of a second and lets you go. The transit agency (or convenience store or other location) will sum up your charges for the day and bulk bill overnight.

Another option is to load your Visa/Mastercard/Bank Account details onto your cell-phone if you happen to live in a technically advanced society and tap that against the reader for a tenth of a second.

There is a good reason why many major transit systems are testing the open-payment based systems to replace or compliment their current hodge-podge of independent and non-portable systems. The big catch here is Visa and Mastercard want to be the exclusive card if they are installing the system.

I'm more than willing to consider an open payment mechanism that is more secure. I do have one question, though: Let's assume that by implementation day, we all have credit and debit cards with embedded smart chips; these are now being rolled out and should be the standard in a few years.

If I swipe my wallet without removing my VISA card, how would the system determine that I want to charge my VISA card and NOT the debit card sitting next to it?

Beyond that, I have no problem with open cards as an addition to PRESTO but it should not be in place or PRESTO, nor used as a reason to delay PRESTO. PRESTO has its flaws (boy, the stories I've heard) but these will eventually get worked out.

rbt
2010-Jul-22, 08:33
If I swipe my wallet without removing my VISA card, how would the system determine that I want to charge my VISA card and NOT the debit card sitting next to it?

This is something I've often wondered myself. I expect your phone (see various Japanese Nokia models) will activate a single cards information at a time which should be selected prior to tapping.

If New York or Los Angeles replaces their current metrocard with the open-payment mechanism (they've been testing for about as long as Presto has been testing); we can expect every single smart phone to include this type of functionality as the manufacturer cost is only a couple dollars.

If NY, LA, and Toronto implement it; there is a very good chance I won't need a wallet in 5 years.

Justin10000
2010-Jul-22, 08:55
^^BART tested open fare payment in 2008 with cellphones. From what I read, the customer feedback was positive.

Here is Steve Munro's take on the "Smart Card Wars"

http://stevemunro.ca/?p=4141#more-4141

AlvinofDiaspar
2010-Jul-22, 09:16
Maybe the system should adopt both? Open fare as a replacement for cash fare; Presto as a replacement for all the various types of passes? There is something to be said about the benefit of being able to access transit without having to find a booth/operator, feed a card with funds, etc. But of course, the private sector firm behind Presto might not like that given the assumptions made in the business case.

AoD

Jonny5
2010-Jul-22, 10:54
^^BART tested open fare payment in 2008 with cellphones. From what I read, the customer feedback was positive.

Here is Steve Munro's take on the "Smart Card Wars"

http://stevemunro.ca/?p=4141#more-4141


The most important take-away from that that isn't common knowledge around here is this part:


The Presto system depends on back-end services provided to Metrolinx by Accenture who, as I understand things, bases their fees on transaction counts. Without the TTC on the system, the potential fees are much lower, and the business model falls apart..... Is there a contractual arrangement requiring Queen’s Park to make up a minimum payment to operate Presto?....Is Queen’s Park locked into a high-cost, proprietary technology?

I wonder if the TTC is simply calling the provinces bluff on this. Perhaps to force them to say, "Yes, the contract makes it too costly to implement any technology other than PRESTO".
This would give them leverage to make the proving fund the whole cost of roll-out cost.

brainfreezed
2010-Jul-22, 11:51
I'm thinking that if Presto was contracted out to a credit card or bank, then it could basically become like an interac card or pre-loaded credit card. It could be used the same way as it's being used currently, but now it'll be fully compatible with open-payment. Reloading would be done by ATMs in the stations that are also able to load money onto the card (but also be used as a regular ATM). I don't know how long Acenture's contract to run Presto is, but it seams to me that it could be cheaper to integrate it with open-payment then to run both systems in parallel. I'm sure the banks would be happy to start putting their machines into all the subway and GO stations, with much less of a cost to Metrolinx and the TTC.

I think the fare system itself is something that really needs to be looked at. I'm a supporter of a standardized GTA-wide distance-based tap-on/tap-off fare system...

nfitz
2010-Jul-22, 18:32
Giambrone is twittering up a storm this afternoon:


Province signed secret $250M contract for Presto. What is in it? #TTC can't afford to enter into contracts without all the details.


Presto was state of the art when announced 7 years ago but is already obsolete. Adopting Presto would just be throwing good money after bad


Mayoral candidates need to decide if they will stand up for Toronto or if they just want to impose the Province's will on the City.

Justin10000
2010-Jul-22, 19:06
^^Wow!

I am taking this from Steve Munro, and maybe someone here can clarify it, but is it true you will not be able to load passes into the e-purse? That's a serious drawback if it's true. I do not see why it should be hard to simply pay the cost of a pass online, or at an agent and use the PRESTO card as normal pass.

Tuscani01
2010-Jul-22, 19:19
^^Wow!

I am taking this from Steve Munro, and maybe someone here can clarify it, but is it true you will not be able to load passes into the e-purse? That's a serious drawback if it's true. I do not see why it should be hard to simply pay the cost of a pass online, or at an agent and use the PRESTO card as normal pass.

Its not possible to load a pass for the TTC, not because it is not possible, but because the TTC hasn't fully signed on yet.

Look at Oakville Transit's fare policy with Presto for an example of how it could work if the TTC fully adopted it!

- Fares -

Number of rides Cost/trip
rides 1-8 $3
ride 9 $1.50
ride 10 $0
rides 11-34 $2.55
ride 35 $1.30
ride 36 and more $0

How will PRESTO affect fares?
Each transit provider sets its own fares. The cost of riding an Oakville Transit bus will not change with the introduction of the PRESTO card. The price you pay per ride using the PRESTO card will change based on how often you ride. A current monthly pass will be equal to 35 rides using your PRESTO card.

EnviroTO
2010-Jul-22, 19:20
I don't know how Rossi can be pro-Presto and be a conservative at the same time. The province is getting into the payment card business with Accenture and this is a good idea? Conservatives are now for selling the LCBO which makes money while being for creating a government run pre-pay card system which will surely waste money? There is only one government agency in the country that would make sense to be in the payment system business... the Bank of Canada.

brainfreezed
2010-Jul-22, 19:35
I'd rather have it so the system caps your monthly amount at the metropass rate. So, if you use less then a metropass-worth of fares, your paying for each fare, but once you hit a certain balance before the end of the month, your card (credit/debit/presto/whatever) turns into a metropass. You can do this for daily/weekly passes as well. That should negate the need to put the ability of passes onto fare cards.

Justin10000
2010-Jul-22, 20:40
Its not possible to load a pass for the TTC, not because it is not possible, but because the TTC hasn't fully signed on yet.

Look at Oakville Transit's fare policy with Presto for an example of how it could work if the TTC fully adopted it!

- Fares -

Number of rides Cost/trip
rides 1-8 $3
ride 9 $1.50
ride 10 $0
rides 11-34 $2.55
ride 35 $1.30
ride 36 and more $0

How will PRESTO affect fares?
Each transit provider sets its own fares. The cost of riding an Oakville Transit bus will not change with the introduction of the PRESTO card. The price you pay per ride using the PRESTO card will change based on how often you ride. A current monthly pass will be equal to 35 rides using your PRESTO card.

Where in my post did I mention the TTC?

nfitz
2010-Jul-22, 21:13
I am taking this from Steve Munro, and maybe someone here can clarify it, but is it true you will not be able to load passes into the e-purse?No, it's not true. I think you have misinterpreted what was said over there.

Presto mentions monthly passes in their FAQ


Will monthly/weekly passes still be available? Each transit authority will continue to set its own fare policy. Some will continue to offer a monthly pass, while others will be moving to a “frequent rider” program where the fare is reduced after a set number of trips have been taken. Watch for more information on this from your transit service provider. (https://www.prestocard.ca/StaticContent/Faq#Q31)

Elsewhere they have mentioned that the PRESTO system will be upgraded to handle passes later this year. Though it does seem redundant based on the pricing policies of the agencies who have come on board so far. I guess if your on some kind of annual pass, where you are paying $111 a month instead of $121 a month it might make sense.

TOareaFan
2010-Jul-22, 21:21
I don't know how Rossi can be pro-Presto and be a conservative at the same time. The province is getting into the payment card business with Accenture and this is a good idea? Conservatives are now for selling the LCBO which makes money while being for creating a government run pre-pay card system which will surely waste money? There is only one government agency in the country that would make sense to be in the payment system business... the Bank of Canada.

Selling money making businesses to the private sector and continuing to operate those services which are necessary but lose money is exactly my vision/interpretation of what it is to be a (small c) conservative. Conservatitves are about smaller government and the best way to achieve that is to not be involved in operating businesses in competition with the private sector but, rather, focus on those services that the public need (or want) which do not generate the amount of profit/cash flow to attract the private sector into the space.

There is no need for the government to tie up capital by owning the LCBO....they can cash out at a multiple of annual earnings (the market is pretty efficient at establishing the multiples that businesses should trade at) exchanging future earnings for cash today. They can continue to regulate the sale of alcohol and continue to tax the product. Take the billions they will get for the operating business and, either, invest it in needed public services/infrastructure or (probably wiser) pay off some public debt (reduction in public debt is the gift that keeps on giving by reducing annual debt service costs).

Tuscani01
2010-Jul-22, 23:52
Where in my post did I mention the TTC?

You didn't, but Monroe did.

DavidH
2010-Jul-23, 07:25
^^Wow!

I am taking this from Steve Munro, and maybe someone here can clarify it, but is it true you will not be able to load passes into the e-purse? That's a serious drawback if it's true. I do not see why it should be hard to simply pay the cost of a pass online, or at an agent and use the PRESTO card as normal pass.

To add a bit more detail, as I understand it the underlying system does allow for the concept of passes, but the operators implementing it have moved towards the idea of loyalty pricing. The idea is that if you are at the level of usage where you woudl buy a pass, you will get the same total pricing just by riding the system, including reaching a point at which further rides in a month are free. However, if you DON'T ride enough in a month to justify the cost of a pass (say, due to a vacation), you will pay only for the rides you took and will save some money.

The point here is that you get all of the benefits of the pass, including the ability to claim it for income tax purposes, without needing to commit to making a certain number of rides in a month. You can just ride the system and now that you are getting the best available pricing depending on your total number of rides.

On another note, Giambrone's Twitter war against PRESTO continues. One posting read: Presto was state of the art when announced 7 years ago but is already obsolete. Adopting Presto would just be throwing good money after bad

Now, later he did admit in a response to someone: @majken we will support taking Presto, but it is expensive and we're not able to pay for it. Open payments is cheaper and the future.

There seems to be a lot of political posturing going on right now.

PS, word from a birdie is that there are a LOT of TTC riders using PRESTO between the supported subway stations.

Justin10000
2010-Jul-23, 08:37
Clearly I misinterpreted what was said, and thinking about it, I would like to see both the smart card AND open fare collection. I am not against PRESTO by any means, I do plan to get one when Brampton Transit rolls out their system.

One the issue of the TTC, If the province is adamant the TTC implement PRESTO, why not just pay for the entire installation? If the TTC has to pay 2/3rd funding., and the open payment turns out to be the cheaper option, why should the TTC commit to the more expensive option? The province can end this posturing and just pay for the entire installation.

DavidH
2010-Jul-23, 09:07
One the issue of the TTC, If the province is adamant the TTC implement PRESTO, why not just pay for the entire installation? If the TTC has to pay 2/3rd funding., and the open payment turns out to be the cheaper option, why should the TTC commit to the more expensive option? The province can end this posturing and just pay for the entire installation.
Toronto has the financial tools to pay for PRESTO if they choose to. Keep in mind that doing so means that the City gets about $1B of transit expansion dollars that are tied to PRESTO. The cost of NOT implementing PRESTO is quite high.

rbt
2010-Jul-23, 10:04
Toronto has the financial tools to pay for PRESTO if they choose to. Keep in mind that doing so means that the City gets about $1B of transit expansion dollars that are tied to PRESTO. The cost of NOT implementing PRESTO is quite high.

The requirement is that PRESTO be implemented on transit city lines. Funds for those lines happen to be large enough to include PRESTO implementation for them.

Anyway, a good chunk of the cost is purchasing/installing reader equipment, and implementing the network. It is entirely possible that installing both systems costs roughly the same as installing just PRESTO.

It is also possible that Visa or Mastercard will pickup a large portion of those costs for being the exclusive non-presto payment processor.

Given both of those possibilities, I think an RFP (which costs less than a few thousand in employee time) is worth while doing.

nfitz
2010-Jul-23, 10:09
Toronto has the financial tools to pay for PRESTO if they choose to.But why should they, if it's more expensive and not as flexible as some kind of open system. Heck, if you let Visa and Mastercard bid on it for exclusivity, you might even be able build the system for free ... and toss PRESTO support in as well. How much is "Toronto only takes Visa" worth to Visa? How much extra market share would they get if most regular TTC riders switched to Visa?


Keep in mind that doing so means that the City gets about $1B of transit expansion dollars that are tied to PRESTO. The cost of NOT implementing PRESTO is quite high.Only on paper ... if 5 years down the road the Ontario government sill won't pay for PRESTO implementation, and open payment is working very well, then would they turn around and ask Toronto to refund $billions of dollars to the province? No, more than likely, they'd just make a deal as part of another funding deal. Such promises have been broken many times in the past..

The question is, why should TTC push ahead with an antiquated and poorly designed system? Why isn't MTO also pushing open payment? Why is the tail trying to wag the dog.

Clearly, TTC's fare payment system is much bigger, and much more important that whatever GO and the rest of the transit agencies do. Presumably they will all follow TTCs lead, eventually.

TJ O'Pootertoot
2010-Jul-23, 10:40
The paradox is that the longer the TTC stalled on joining everyone else, the greater the likelihood there would be new technology. It seems awfully hypocritical for TTC to have stalled implementation at every turn (not that it's been quick to begin with) and then to criticize it as old tech.

I don't so much disagree that an open system would be ideal, but it's not ideal when the entire goal of Presto is to have the entire GTA on the same system for once. And here's TTC messing it all up. So, if the province gives up on Presto because TTC didn't play ball, who is the tail and who is the dog?

Sorry if this was already mentioned - and correct me if I'm wrong - but beyond the provincial funding FOR Presto, isn't there also an issue with them cutting off gas-tax funding for anyone who doesn't use Presto?

I understand that promises can be broken, new deals reached etc. but there must be some Metrolinx/provincial bureaucrats who have been driven insane by TTC dithering, made apoplectic by this announcement and who are thus not willing to start bargaining at this point...

Blovertis
2010-Jul-23, 10:49
...but it's not ideal when the entire goal of Presto is to have the entire GTA on the same system for once.

Here you've hit the nail on the head. The TTC doesn't object to Presto because it's "old technology" but because integration represents a threat to its power.

For the TTC to portray itself as interested in cutting edge technology at this point is laughable.

nfitz
2010-Jul-23, 10:59
but there must be some Metrolinx/provincial bureaucrats who have been driven insane by TTC dithering, made apoplectic by this announcement and who are thus not willing to start bargaining at this point...I'm not sure why you mention TTC dithering. The government went ahead with PRESTO, on the assumption that TTC would foot most of the bill, and at the same time cut both eliminated annual operating funds for the TTC and delayed already funded transit projects by 5 years.

Asking the taxpayers of Toronto to foot the bill for a system whose primary benefit beyond what an open payment system can do, is provide regional connectivity that primarily benefits non-Toronto residents is an insult to those of us footing the bill.

The TTC's primary job is to provide transit for Torontonians; open payment will do this effectively and a lot cheaper than PRESTO. If the government wants more they can pay the bill.

Coruscanti Cognoscente
2010-Jul-23, 12:23
This fiasco is just another reason to dismantle the TTC.

nfitz
2010-Jul-23, 13:24
This fiasco is just another reason to dismantle the TTC.Why would the MTO taking 7 years to get PRESTO rolling, and then coming out with a product that has so many problems, and is so old-fashioned, expensive, TTC's fault? TTC has been expressing concern about PRESTO for years; clearly MTO has not been taking TTC's concerns seriously.

If TTC can roll out an open-payment system in a much shorter time-frame and a much cheaper cost than what they would have to pay to finish PRESTO implementation, then shouldn't we be dismantling Metrolinx? Perhaps making it part of TTC.

DavidH
2010-Jul-23, 13:40
I'm not sure why you mention TTC dithering. The government went ahead with PRESTO, on the assumption that TTC would foot most of the bill, and at the same time cut both eliminated annual operating funds for the TTC and delayed already funded transit projects by 5 years..

And yet the City HAD been planning on paying for 1/3 of Transit City costs, and is now being asked to pay none. Surely this covers some of the PRESTO implementation costs?

Blovertis
2010-Jul-23, 13:51
Why would the MTO taking 7 years to get PRESTO rolling, and then coming out with a product that has so many problems, and is so old-fashioned, expensive, TTC's fault? TTC has been expressing concern about PRESTO for years; clearly MTO has not been taking TTC's concerns seriously.

If TTC can roll out an open-payment system in a much shorter time-frame and a much cheaper cost than what they would have to pay to finish PRESTO implementation, then shouldn't we be dismantling Metrolinx? Perhaps making it part of TTC.

The TTC could have implemented an electronic payment system years ago, as other systems have done. It is now engaged in a rearguard action to protect its turf and deflect attention from its foot-dragging over the past decade.

rbt
2010-Jul-23, 13:59
Here you've hit the nail on the head. The TTC doesn't object to Presto because it's "old technology" but because integration represents a threat to its power.

Presto does not and is not proposed to do any kind of fare integration. It is strictly a payment mechanism.

A double payment is and will still required when moving between systems unless those systems already have an agreement in place.

nfitz
2010-Jul-23, 14:06
And yet the City HAD been planning on paying for 1/3 of Transit City costs, and is now being asked to pay none. Surely this covers some of the PRESTO implementation costs?I've never seen a City of Toronto budget that shows the city paying for 1/3 of implementation costs. The city created the details of Transit City after they got tipped off by the government that the MoveOntario 2020 announcement was coming. It was never based on the city paying 1/3 of construction.

Why are you making this stuff up? Are you a shill?

nfitz
2010-Jul-23, 14:10
The TTC could have implemented an electronic payment system years ago, as other systems have done. It is now engaged in a rearguard action to protect its turf and deflect attention from its foot-dragging over the past decade.If it had an infinite amount of money perhaps. Giambrone today estimated that PRESTO implementation would cost $479 million and the Ontario government has only funded $140 million (less than 25%).

The TTC doesn't have an infinite amount of money, and certainly wouldn't have spent a half-billion on a fare collection system. If they had that amount of money around, they could also have extended the Sheppard Subway to Victoria Park years ago.

It's only in the last year or two that these cheaper open fare options have become available. Why do you suggest TTC should have been wasting money on implementing electronic payment?

PinkLucy
2010-Jul-23, 16:18
Sent from Minister Wynne's office today:

The TTC's recent focus on a duplicate fare system is troubling and a complete waste of precious taxpayer dollars.

The PRESTO card allows transit riders around the GTA to transfer seamlessly with one card from GO Train to bus or streetcar or subway, anywhere in the GTA. And best of all, the PRESTO system is also being developed to accept other cards -- like debit or credit cards.

It's a smart system that connects us and makes the daily commute just a little easier. Already 7,600 commuters are using their PRESTO cards, and 500 more are joining every week.

The city and TTC made a commitment to PRESTO many times.

Gas Tax funding was provided to GTA Municipalities, including the City of Toronto, with the requirement that they participate in the PRESTO fare card system, provincial funding towards the cost of the City of Toronto's replacement streetcars is also conditional upon the City's full participation in PRESTO and we've communicated to the City that the 182 light rail vehicles for the four Transit City projects in Toronto must be PRESTO ready.

There are a lot of investments to make in public transit, and a lot of improvements to be made at the TTC. To waste money on a duplicate fare system makes no sense.

TJ O'Pootertoot
2010-Jul-23, 16:19
I kind of admire nfitz's steadfast defence of TTC but I just don't see it.

TTC was perfectly content to keep paying people ridiculous salaries to hand out stupid little tokens no matter what every other transit system on earth was doing. This move has nothing to do with helping riders or supporting new technology - I don't see anything other than it being about a pissing contest with the province.

Since Metrolinx came on board they've effectively been told they're a piece of a bigger puzzle (albeit the biggest, most important piece) and they don't like that. They like to pretend they exist in a bubble. They want the province's money (and rightly so) but they don't want to do the province's bidding. It's ridiculous, IMHO, to tie this into the recent funding delays - TTC objected to Presto from Day One not because they were waiting for open technology but because they didn't want something imposed on them. They are betting, as you suggest, that they are so big and powerful that a dozen other transit systems will give up on Presto because of this. Sadly for them, the TTC and Toronto remain largely at the mercy of the province and this is not going to speed up them getting Transit City money (or, ha ha, DRL money).

nfitz points out they don't have an infinite amount of money, and yet apparently they have enough to research and implement their own fare system while a dozen other municipalities implement a different one. I guess economies of scale don't factor in?

This is all about power and anyone who thinks it's about riders or technology or the injustice of transit funding is, I think, fooling themselves. It's not like they made the announcement and had the head of York Region Transit saying they're ditching Presto to go with TTC's superior system.

And to the comment above, fare integration is a red herring except to the extent that is facilitated by having multiple transit systems on the same card. The issue is not a double fare - it's pulling out ONE card to pay those two fares.

If I'm wrong, I suggest we wait another 5 years and then see what amazing technology TTC can find. Let's just keep waiting forever until Adam Giambrone is happy, and then the other 5 million people in the GTA can get along with their lives.

OH - and if you don't think the province is pissed enough to cut TTC off at the knees when the time comes, check out the harsh wording in this just-released press release:

[SNIP - edited out since it was posted as I was typing :) ]

So, now they're playing a game of political chicken. Good luck.

P.S. I think you're missing what DavidH said above. Typically, the capital funding for transit has been 1/3 from each level of government so, yes, the city surely expected to pay for 1/3 of the TC costs (let's not even talk about their streetcar stimulus bluff). Move2020 was supposed to force the feds hands and it didn't work, forcing the province to effectively pay 2/3 of fewer projects.

nfitz
2010-Jul-23, 16:41
Not sure the big deal here. Even if the TTC is forced to implement it (and Giambrone IS saying, again and again it will be implemented), then surely the big issue is where to find the extra hundreds of $millions to fund it.

TTC already cancelled hundreds of $millions of projects in order to cover the federal portion of the new streetcar order. It's hard to think there's much more that can be cut in the capital budget.

So another source of revenue is required. If they tender this properly, and require the winner (Visa or Mastercard presumably) to make sure that PRESTO is enabled with the install, then they could likely achieve PRESTO implementation along with open fare at less cost than the current $479 million estimate. Perhaps even less that the $140 million that the province has agreed to fund. Heck ... perhaps they could even get one of the 2 companies to pay the TTC for the opportunity to install open fare and PRESTO.

Until the tender results come back, I'd keep an open mind on this.

On other topics ... apparently Islington and Kipling TTC stations will have PRESTO functional next week.

CDL.TO
2010-Jul-23, 17:16
Giambrone today estimated that PRESTO implementation would cost $479 million

The cost estimate has grown over time (from Steve Munro):

- November 2000: $140-million
- March 2004: $140-million
- June 2007: $260-million
- 2010 Capital Budget: $416-million
- July 2010: $479-million

Watch the costs spiral out of control before you very eyes! Even before a single thing is even done!

nfitz
2010-Jul-23, 17:40
Exactly the reason that TTC should run away from this disaster.

What's interesting to note in this sudden unexpected battle between Ontario and TTC, is that the Ontario government is not disputing TTC's cost estimate. I'd have thought they would have simply come out and said TTC was padding the numbers ... but they aren't saying that.

Which in itself raises some interesting questions on why the Ontario government selected such an expensive system.

TTC and Toronto councillors need to protect Toronto taxpayers from yet another excessive Provincial project that is financially out of control.

I must declare a conflict of interest though ... I am a Toronto and Ontario taxpayer ...

waterloowarrior
2010-Jul-23, 18:51
Presto does not and is not proposed to do any kind of fare integration. It is strictly a payment mechanism.

Presto is proposed to be used as a tool for fare integration across the GTHA
http://www.metrolinx.com/thebigmove/strategies/strategy6.html

nfitz
2010-Jul-23, 18:59
Presto is proposed to be used as a tool for fare integration across the GTHA
http://www.metrolinx.com/thebigmove/strategies/strategy6.htmlIf there was fare integration, I'm sure it would be a tool that would be used - in the same manner the current weekly pass is a tool that is used.

But if there is no progress with fare integration, then it remains strictly a payment mechanism.

DavidH
2010-Jul-23, 21:59
I've never seen a City of Toronto budget that shows the city paying for 1/3 of implementation costs. The city created the details of Transit City after they got tipped off by the government that the MoveOntario 2020 announcement was coming. It was never based on the city paying 1/3 of construction.

Is there proof that you have that Transit City was created with the expectation of full provincial funding? Point me to a URL, please.



Why are you making this stuff up? Are you a shill?

Hardly. The City has cried poor for so many years with the expectation of a provincial bailout (frequently granted) that it is hard to see it as anything other than another political ploy. I don't have a whole lot of sympathy for Giambrone's position at the moment, particularly considering the smear campaign he is currently running.

One last comment here: none of what is happening right now can be fully understood without taking into account that Giambrone will be out of office in several months.

nfitz
2010-Jul-23, 22:37
Is there proof that you have that Transit City was created with the expectation of full provincial funding? Point me to a URL, please.Proof ... no. But that's the rumour I've heard. Though just look at the timeline ...

The City of Toronto announced Transit City on March 17, 2007. MoveOntario 2020 was announced on June 15, 2007 including all of the Transit City lines - with the assumption that the cost be covered 2/3 by the province and 1/3 by the federal government. These things don't come out of nowwhere, and City of Toronto and Government of Ontario were in communication. It's hard to believe that Miller wasn't aware of what was coming. But actual proof ... no.


Hardly. The City has cried poor for so many years with the expectation of a provincial bailout (frequently granted) that it is hard to see it as anything other than another political ploy. I don't have a whole lot of sympathy for Giambrone's position at the moment, particularly considering the smear campaign he is currently running.Smear campaign? All he did was answer a couple of questions about something that was released in public TTC documents back in May (http://www3.ttc.ca/About_the_TTC/Commission_reports_and_information/Commission_meetings/2010/June_2_2010/Supplementary_Reports/Procurement_Authoriz.pdf). Every time he has spoken, and every document I've seen has stressed continued support for a GTA farecard; the document in question says "The approach to open payments outlined in this report does not change the Commission direction regarding PRESTO that was approved at the November, 2009 Commission meeting."

The current cost of implementing PRESTO has been estimated to be $490 million, of which the Ontario government is only funding less than $47 million. The city would be responsible for almost $400 million. That's a huge amount of money!

If piggy-backing open fare on this, and reducing the city's cost by one or two hundred million, then we'd be fools not to take is.

Who could complain, both PRESTO and open fare implemented for less money than just implementing PRESTO. Well, the only complaint may be from Accenture, who'd lose their monopoly on TTC fares ... but that's nothing to do with the City of Toronto, who are footing most of the cost. It seems to me that the Province of Ontario sold something to Accenture that it wasn't in a position to sell!


One last comment here: none of what is happening right now can be fully understood without taking into account that Giambrone will be out of office in several months.Do you want to expand on this? I'm sure he's quite happy to screw the McGuinty government, especially if he saves the city money at the same time. After all, look at how badly the McGuinty government screwed the TTC over Transit City funding ... breaking promise after promise ... only months after the promised were made. Heck, I'd like to personally screw McGuinty after the forked-tongue crap he's pulled with TTC between the removal of promised funding, and the elimination of funding for TTC operations. I haven't lived under such a blatant liar of a Premier since Bourassa.

EnviroTO
2010-Jul-24, 00:11
TTC was perfectly content to keep paying people ridiculous salaries to hand out stupid little tokens no matter what every other transit system on earth was doing. This move has nothing to do with helping riders or supporting new technology - I don't see anything other than it being about a pissing contest with the province.

Getting rid of tokens will require the replacement of every turnstile on the system. Change is expensive so it makes sense to change when there is a system which seems a little more future proof. If the TTC had jumped on Dexit seven years ago they would have adopted something without staying power. Now that VISA, Mastercard, and AMEX are standardizing and have a smaller payment without signature or PIN entry solution there is a solution that makes sense.


Since Metrolinx came on board they've effectively been told they're a piece of a bigger puzzle (albeit the biggest, most important piece) and they don't like that. They like to pretend they exist in a bubble. They want the province's money (and rightly so) but they don't want to do the province's bidding. It's ridiculous, IMHO, to tie this into the recent funding delays - TTC objected to Presto from Day One not because they were waiting for open technology but because they didn't want something imposed on them.

No, they were against it because there was a huge expense with no business case. It will be an expense without reducing long term costs. With open pay you get rid of the need to accept money because cards are tied to credit and bank accounts. With some other form of fare you still need to get money onto the card with either a bank account or a credit card. Presto is an additional intermediary step with a whole new call centre and support staff to employ.


This is all about power and anyone who thinks it's about riders or technology or the injustice of transit funding is, I think, fooling themselves. It's not like they made the announcement and had the head of York Region Transit saying they're ditching Presto to go with TTC's superior system.

Who cares what some other GTA region is doing? What are their cost recovery ratios? What are their modal splits? Every transit system in the GTA except GO takes cash fare. Why isn't GO following the established common fare mechanism?

Presto is a middle man between a bank and a transit company that doesn't need to be there. Presto is a make work project which requires a whole new IT department, call centre, and support staff and is an advertisement for integrated transit where none truly exists.

Presto cards only contain a unique ID... they don't contain money or passes. The money and passes are stored on a central server and this is why Presto readers on buses can't tell if you are going to go into a negative balance. Newsflash... credit cards and debit cards contain unique IDs. Why does Presto need to put a new card in my wallet? Why do I need to take money off my credit card, put it onto a Presto card, and then tap it to take the bus? It makes no sense. I check into my flight at Pearson using my credit card and I'm not paying anything. I register any credit card on a website and I get points for dining at certain restaurants automatically. Why can't I use the same card to go on a bus? The reason is that the province is advertising they are integrating transit in the GTA when in truth nothing has been integrated at all. All the transit agencies are still run independently, fares are set independently, route planning is done independently, etc.

Coruscanti Cognoscente
2010-Jul-24, 21:48
Why am I not surprised that it's the LRTistas that are leaping to the TTC's defense on starting a new open payment system when we already have Presto? There's gotta be a reason behind that. Oh yes, because LRTistas are not logical and consider the TTC infallible. Especially Giambrone et al.

nfitz
2010-Jul-24, 22:48
Why am I not surprised that it's the LRTistas that are leaping to the TTC's defense on starting a new open payment system when we already have Presto? There's gotta be a reason behind that. Oh yes, because LRTistas are not logical and consider the TTC infallible. Especially Giambrone et al.Maybe it's that the same ones who support cheaper and practical solutions such as LRT instead of building expensive subways through low-density areas, also support cheaper and practical solutions such as open payment, rather than expensive solutions such as Presto.

Perhaps it's simply that those opposed to open payment and LRT simply have no sense of the value of money.

Coruscanti Cognoscente
2010-Jul-25, 00:47
Maybe it's that the same ones who support cheaper and practical solutions such as LRT instead of building expensive subways through low-density areas, also support cheaper and practical solutions such as open payment, rather than expensive solutions such as Presto.

Perhaps it's simply that those opposed to open payment and LRT simply have no sense of the value of money.

I don't think this has anything to do with value for money, considering the value for money on SELRT and/or Scarborough RT doesn't make any sense. Nor does implementing a new, different fare payment method for the TTC when the province has already come up with one for all transit systems in the GTA.

No, the common denominator here is the inept TTC. Basically every decision they make these days needs to be questioned and taken with a bucket of salt.

Oh and when I say the TTC, it's probably more apt to say the leadership of the TTC is inept, i.e. Adam Giambrone. He is a real jackass. First cheating on the girlfriend. And now the anti-Presto tweets. What level will he stoop to next? This guy doesn't just have poor judgement. He has none!

lead82
2010-Jul-25, 00:55
It is the subwayistas that like to ware money re-inventing the wheel and spending almost half a billion dollars on a fare card that is a proprietary technology and requires a whole separate infrastructure to support and build the presto refill stations. My prediction is that if Ontario insists that the TTC implement Presto, it will only be done at the handful of stations that the province has funded. The rest if the implementation will be done over a period of 20 years. I would much rather have the private sector build us an open payment system or better yet, leap frog this and let us pay with mobile phones like they do in Sweden or like Air Canada does with the electronic boarding pass. Purchase fare online or on your phone, receive SMS with your ticket or pass with 2d barcode, then scan barcode as you enter bus or subway station. Presto is a technology we should have adopted in the 90s with the rest if the world. Now instead of leap-frogging we are still coming in with something a technology that is at least 10-15 years old.

Coruscanti Cognoscente
2010-Jul-25, 00:59
But at least this proprietary technology exists and is currently in use in the province. Where is open payment actually in use, besides testing?

You can tell from Giambrone's tweets that they're being obstructionist, and the province is seeing right through it.

lead82
2010-Jul-25, 01:07
Open payment is in use Everywhere! Go to any Timmies or Starbucks or your local has station. They all now have the visa/mc tap and go scanners as an option of payment. All the TTC would need is to get a sponsor such as a bank to pay for installing those readers and voilà, the payment system is done. Visa and MC will take care if all the rest. While I personally don't like Giambrone, the open payment system is the way to go if the TTC can get it essentially for free or at a very cheap cost. If it is made to also support Presto then all the better. I say let them submit the RFP and see what happens.

Coruscanti Cognoscente
2010-Jul-25, 01:25
Assuming people want to whip out their credit cards for public transit

picard102
2010-Jul-25, 01:36
Seems odd to me that two systems so similar, in all but software essentialy, are not able to interoperate.

nfitz
2010-Jul-25, 02:19
No, the common denominator here is the inept TTC.What has Presto's failure got to do with inept TTC? The program has been completely bungled ... if you want to look anywhere to the Ministry of Transportation staff who have taken 7 years to get this to the point where it's outdated, and still not working properly.

Jeffery Young is the project director (http://www.infogo.gov.on.ca/infogo/office.do?actionType=telephonedirectory&infoType=telephone&unitId=UNT0026044&locale=en). Surely we should be asking questions of those who are responsible for the current bungled program.

nfitz
2010-Jul-25, 02:20
Assuming people want to whip out their credit cards for public transitWhy would this be a concern? Most people pull out their wallet to get their card boarding transit. And why not, we live in the city with one of the lowest crime rates in the country; in a country with one of the lowest crime rates in the continent!

TJ O'Pootertoot
2010-Jul-25, 08:44
Who cares what some other GTA region is doing? What are their cost recovery ratios? What are their modal splits? Every transit system in the GTA except GO takes cash fare. Why isn't GO following the established common fare mechanism?



I think we've hit the nail on the head. You think there's Toronto, and then the GTA.
Newsflash - it's not "some other GTA region," it's ONE BIG REGION intended to be on ONE FARE SYSTEM.
Why is that confusing TTC-lovers? Toronto might be the centre of the universe, but it's not the whole thing.




The reason is that the province is advertising they are integrating transit in the GTA when in truth nothing has been integrated at all. All the transit agencies are still run independently, fares are set independently, route planning is done independently, etc.

Check your grammar and tenses - the province says they are INTEGRATING but you say nothing is INTEGRATED.
Could that be - and I'm just throwing this out for discussion - because the province is still INTEGRATING?
You're right, it's not done yet. No one said it's done. And as long as the TTC keeps trying to throw its weight around and overruling Metrolinx, it won't get done any time soon. So far, theyr'e not behind the schedule they set, especially with Presto's full rollout over a year away.

Oh, and one flaw with the credit card thing? Not everyone has one.
Kids don't have them and those poor people Dave Miller wants to help in Malvern might not either.
Or maybe someone having trouble with his credit cards doesn't want to put something else on them?
But I'm sure you're right - Visa and Mastercard will be only too happy to fight over who gets to make sure all those people have a card they can use.

I said it before and I'll say it again - this has nothing to do with making things easier for riders or using the best technology. You praise TTC for waiting seven years to which I said, let's wait another seven and the tech will be even better. It's amusing how you turn the TTC's ancient token system into some sort of praiseworthy attribute. Sure, sure - New York has had Metrocard for over a decade but that's only because they're not as clever as TTC! They should have waited until the very best technology was available. Riddiculous.

The TTC has revelled in operating in the Stone Age and if they'd been given the ongoing funding they should have, I shudder to think what they'd have done with it. This is 100% about TTC and Ontario/Metrolinx squaring off and since the province holds several hundred million of TTC's cards, I don't like the outgoing chair's odds of pulling this off.

Jonny5
2010-Jul-25, 10:39
In other news... we better hope no one still has to use that old fashioned cash payment system on PRESTO vehicles. I have ridden on several PRESTO buses now and the transfer printing process for these machines is terrible. I timed it at 5 seconds to print one. It's like they equipped them with a dot matrix printer. If you pull on the transfer as it's printing, even slightly, the printer shuts down and the operator has to open the machine and try to realign the paper, print out a test receipt and close it up again.

rbt
2010-Jul-25, 10:44
In other news... we better hope no one still has to use that old fashioned cash payment system on PRESTO vehicles. I have ridden on several PRESTO buses now and the transfer printing process for these machines is terrible. I timed it at 5 seconds to print one. It's like they equipped them with a dot matrix printer. If you pull on the transfer as it's printing, even slightly, the printer shuts down and the operator has to open the machine and try to realign the paper, print out a test receipt and close it up again.

It does seem unfortunte the TTC has not yet installed 2500 of these things on buses, streetcars, and in the subway. Damn TTC for not having PRESTO yet.

Yes, this is sarcasm and I look forward to the open payment system being implemented. PRESTO should have a provincial level inquiry.

Justin10000
2010-Jul-25, 12:07
Oh, and one flaw with the credit card thing? Not everyone has one.
Kids don't have them and those poor people Dave Miller wants to help in Malvern might not either.
Or maybe someone having trouble with his credit cards doesn't want to put something else on them?
But I'm sure you're right - Visa and Mastercard will be only too happy to fight over who gets to make sure all those people have a card they can use.

Riders will also be able to use cellphones to pay their fares. Nearly everyone has a cellphone.

Those poor people in Malvern might not be too happy to shell out a $16 initial payment for a fare card. The options for reloading are pretty limited too. If asked, I am certain those poor Malvernites would prefer the easier payment method, which is pay by cellphone, or with tickets and tokens.

Komiksulo
2010-Jul-25, 12:14
Riders will also be able to use cellphones to pay their fares. Neraly everyone has a cellphone.Are these the cellphones with Near-Field Communications chips? AFAIK they're only on an experimental basis in North America. I'm not sure whether such a chip can be retrofitted to existing phones.

rbt
2010-Jul-25, 12:45
Are these the cellphones with Near-Field Communications chips? AFAIK they're only on an experimental basis in North America. I'm not sure whether such a chip can be retrofitted to existing phones.

The additional cost is minimal. It would take less than a year for all cell phones sold in North America to have this feature if New York, Toronto, Chicago, and LA adapt Open Payment technology for their transit systems. Within 4 years (all the 3 year contracts expire), well over 80% of phones carried by North Americans would have the feature. That's a pretty damn short timeframe for a new payment system to be deployed over a continent. Chipping physical cards has taken longer than this.

The frequent turn-over of cell phones will also allow for painless system upgrades too.

Allowing small purchases to be made without a signature or pin was actually the tricky part. Enabling the retailer to defer and group transactions to reduce their per transaction cost is the icing that makes it work. Oddly enough, the physical implementation is the easy part.

TOareaFan
2010-Jul-25, 13:22
The additional cost is minimal. It would take less than a year for all cell phones sold in North America to have this feature if New York, Toronto, Chicago, and LA adapt Open Payment technology for their transit systems. Within 4 years (all the 3 year contracts expire), well over 80% of phones carried by North Americans would have the feature. That's a pretty damn short timeframe for a new payment system to be deployed over a continent. Chipping physical cards has taken longer than this.

The frequent turn-over of cell phones will also allow for painless system upgrades too.

Allowing small purchases to be made without a signature or pin was actually the tricky part. Enabling the retailer to defer and group transactions to reduce their per transaction cost is the icing that makes it work. Oddly enough, the physical implementation is the easy part.


I hope these questions don't come out wrong or are misinterpreted......


1. Just because cell phone turnover might allow all phones to be replaced in a +/4 year span.....willl they? Does everyone trade in their phone after 3 years? (in this question "everyone" = "large majority")

2. How is the revenue sharing done/proposed in these systems....what financial incentive is there for the cell phone makers/carriers to offer this feature....without one they may balk at the cost of producing those new phones.

3. This is the one I feel dumb about asking......from what I understand, payment in these systems is processed when you get on, say, a streetcar and your payment enabled device or card is near the terminal......what prevents multiple payment enabled devices from all paying at the same time.......so, I carry my b'berry and my wallet (which typically has 3 credit cards and a bank card in it).....how do I not pay 5 times?

picard102
2010-Jul-25, 14:42
I'm not sure whether such a chip can be retrofitted to existing phones.

They can via a sticker applied to the outside of the phone.

rbt
2010-Jul-25, 16:36
I hope these questions don't come out wrong or are misinterpreted......

Excellent questions.


1. Just because cell phone turnover might allow all phones to be replaced in a +/4 year span.....willl they? Does everyone trade in their phone after 3 years? (in this question "everyone" = "large majority")

It is my understanding that a large percentage of those under 40 do indeed replace or upgrade their phone regularly.


2. How is the revenue sharing done/proposed in these systems....what financial incentive is there for the cell phone makers/carriers to offer this feature....without one they may balk at the cost of producing those new phones.

Primarily the same reason that nearly every phone has at least a crappy camera in it. There are certain marketing features that the retailers require to sell the phone. Will you buy the $99.00 phone with the payment capacity or the $98.75 phone which doesn't have it?

Or, will you sign the 2 year agreement with Rogers (free phone!) for the phone with the payment capacity or the 2 year agreement with Telus and get the free phone which doesn't have it. If a large portion of the population (seems to be under 20%) will not purchase an item without feature X, then it gets added to everything due to volume cost.

Smart-phones will start first, of course, and technology will get pushed down just as clock, camera, calendar, address book, and other functionality has.



3. This is the one I feel dumb about asking......from what I understand, payment in these systems is processed when you get on, say, a streetcar and your payment enabled device or card is near the terminal......what prevents multiple payment enabled devices from all paying at the same time.......so, I carry my b'berry and my wallet (which typically has 3 credit cards and a bank card in it).....how do I not pay 5 times?

Actually, this is by far the best question. I have absolutely no idea what would happen if you tapped a wallet full of smart devices. I'm hoping that the wallet will dissappear like the wristwatch. Multiple cards may be copied to the phone, so they probably will be. After loading it onto the phone you leave the physical credit card at home in the firebox (next to that now antique watch).

Nokia phones with the ability to load multiple cards onto generally require you to select a card first or will broadcast the previously selected default.

Blovertis
2010-Jul-25, 17:19
Before you tech-heads get too starry-eyed, bear in mind that Canada has cell phone penetration of 65%, a rate that is likely lower among senior citizens, who happen to be prime users of the TTC.

Coruscanti Cognoscente
2010-Jul-25, 17:30
Before you tech-heads get too starry-eyed, bear in mind that Canada has cell phone penetration of 65%, a rate that is likely lower among senior citizens, who happen to be prime users of the TTC.

And don't forget the population is quickly aging.

nfitz
2010-Jul-25, 18:12
Before you tech-heads get too starry-eyed, bear in mind that Canada has cell phone penetration of 65%, a rate that is likely lower among senior citizens, who happen to be prime users of the TTC.What's the credit-card penetration rate? What's the double penetration rate of cellphones and credit cards? It's hard to imagine an older person without a credit card, or a younger person without a cell phone.

Given they are also going to support PRESTO, I just don't see this is an issue.

EnviroTO
2010-Jul-25, 19:04
I think we've hit the nail on the head. You think there's Toronto, and then the GTA.
Newsflash - it's not "some other GTA region," it's ONE BIG REGION intended to be on ONE FARE SYSTEM.
Why is that confusing TTC-lovers? Toronto might be the centre of the universe, but it's not the whole thing.

If you look at ridership the other transit agencies are quite irrelevant. None of the other agencies even have a turnstile or a fare gate. With the TTC having the largest ridership and the greatest number of fare rates for the same service, greatest number of collection devices, greatest number of vehicle types, and greatest number of vehicles its needs should be front and centre to the selection of a fare system, not an afterthought.


Check your grammar and tenses - the province says they are INTEGRATING but you say nothing is INTEGRATED.
Could that be - and I'm just throwing this out for discussion - because the province is still INTEGRATING?

No, my tenses are correct. Presto is an advertisement about INTEGRATING, but it does nothing for integration because when fully rolled out nothing will actually be INTEGRATED. If they were really serious about integrating they would take over the whole thing, not roll out a new card for your wallet. Presto is aptly named. Presto being a magic word and magic being the art of illusion.


Oh, and one flaw with the credit card thing? Not everyone has one.

Oh, and one flaw with the Presto card thing? Not everyone has one. Far more people have credit cards and bank cards.

Who doesn't have a bank account? Every bank card will have tap and go capability in the next few years. Debit cards don't require a good credit rating.

Every tourist will have a bank card and a credit card... nobody will have a Presto card.


Or maybe someone having trouble with his credit cards doesn't want to put something else on them?

Or more likely there is someone who looks in their wallet and has a bank card or a credit card but don't have exact fare nor Presto. Do they need to go to a convenience store to buy tokens, go to some Presto agent to move money from one card to another, or can they tap and go?

People take their welfare cheque and deposit into a bank account... instantly this money is available on their bank card which they tap and go on the TTC. Convenient. But no, the province has a plan... these people will need to find a way to move money from their bank account to Presto.


I said it before and I'll say it again - this has nothing to do with making things easier for riders or using the best technology.

I agree. It has absolutely nothing to do with making things easier for riders, that is a side benefit. It has to do with a limited budget and a business case. The TTC only does things that make it easier for riders if they can show a revenue model which shows they will spend less or get more revenue. Replacing tokens or metropass with another card doesn't save the TTC any money at all. They still need to collect payments and convert those payments to a fare media. Credit and Debit card payments get rid of the need to handle fare media at all... it goes straight from bank account to bank account without ever being some kind of ticket, token, or card. That saves money and processing costs.

EnviroTO
2010-Jul-25, 19:17
In other news... we better hope no one still has to use that old fashioned cash payment system on PRESTO vehicles. I have ridden on several PRESTO buses now and the transfer printing process for these machines is terrible. I timed it at 5 seconds to print one. It's like they equipped them with a dot matrix printer. If you pull on the transfer as it's printing, even slightly, the printer shuts down and the operator has to open the machine and try to realign the paper, print out a test receipt and close it up again.

Yep. Presto is not ready for prime time. The need for a paper transfer printer tells how outdated the system already is.

RedRocket191
2010-Jul-25, 21:00
Yep. Presto is not ready for prime time. The need for a paper transfer printer tells how outdated the system already is.

The paper transfer printers are for people paying cash, not for presto users.

EnviroTO
2010-Jul-25, 21:04
Then they should use the TTC method. It is much quicker.

RedRocket191
2010-Jul-25, 22:44
Works for OC Transpo. Saves a crap load of paper IMO.

CDL.TO
2010-Jul-26, 09:46
Works for OC Transpo. Saves a crap load of paper IMO.

Yup. Works in a lot of places. It's unfortunate that PRESTO got bad printer technology, but that will undoubtedly be one of the easiest things to replace when more units get manufactured.

On the other side of the debate, having a credit card is not an issue. All the credit card companies offer both prepaid credit cards and credit card "gift cards", which use the same infrastructure but require you to load money on them ahead of time and work on a declining balance like a debit card. If we saw an open payment system get rolled out, we would simply see RFID credit cards for sale at ticket booths, at transit terminals, and in convenience stores that you can buy and load money on to. You wouldn't even need to register it if you didn't want to.

That said, I am yet to see any assurance that an open payment system will be able to offer the same functionality as a PRESTO smart card. Will open payment allow transit operators to collect statistics on how people move through the system to be used in service planning and transportation modelling? Will open payment track how someone moves through the system so, if applied to GO, it could calculate zone fares and co-fares? Will open payment give riders the peace-of-mind that if they just tap their card any time they board a transit vehicle that they will be charged the proper fare without having to deal with transfers and passes?

If I can see assurance that open payment will offer the same level of functionality as PRESTO, then I will think it's a great idea and sing its praises (and think that, yet again, Toronto has benefited from being a late adopter). But the whole point of a smart card is the functionality... if all PRESTO was intended to do was to replace the change in your pocket then the system would have been implemented 5 years ago at a fraction of the price.
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RedRocket191
2010-Jul-26, 10:21
^ You've captured my sentiments exactly. If it works the way Presto does/will eventually when rollout is complete, I have NO problems with both systems being used. My suspicion is, however, that the TTC is going ahead with open payment so that their near-blatant position in opposition to Presto will be strenthened. That is not something I can support, because as far as I'm concerned the agreement with the province over funding trumps any other argument. People, companies and governments should not be able to weasel out of agreements (unless I'm allowed to have my OSAP debt excused, of course :cool:)

TJ O'Pootertoot
2010-Jul-26, 12:50
I agree with the last couple of posts.
I don't have a problem with open payment, nor am I in love with Presto (since I haven't seen it yet).

But it strikes me that TTC has procrastinated and then pulled this out of thin air (in an election year, with a lame duck chair no less) for political, rather than transit reasons. That's what I find upsetting.

GraphicMatt
2010-Jul-26, 13:33
Looks like the Open Payment system is being pushed by the guy behind New York's smart card system (and currently behind the same city's piloted open payment system):



Man behind TTC’s push for “open payment” sticks to his guns
The New York-based transit guru behind the TTC’s controversial move toward “open payment” says he believes the electronic fare system would cost Toronto “a small fraction” of the cost of adopting the province’s Presto smart card.

Paul Korczak’s words are sure to further infuriate Transportation Minister Kathleen Wynne, who on warned the TTC it risks losing hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies if it doesn’t halt its open payment efforts and fully implement Presto.

She urged the TTC to scrap its plan to issue, in early August, a Korczak-developed request-for-proposal and called TTC chair Adam Giambrone’s touting of open payment “troubling and confusing” given that Ontario has already spent $200 million on a system with one card to get commuters into and around all the GTA transit systems.

Korczak, awarded a $1.3 million contract to lay groundwork for the next-generation system where riders pay with a tap of their debit or credit card on an electronic reader, said he doesn’t get mixed up in politics.

But, sitting on a bench in the Eaton Centre on Sunday, he didn’t mince words arguing that open payment, which he helped pioneer at the end of his 27-year career with New York’s transit utility, would a better choice for Toronto than the smart-card technology he introduced to the Big Apple in 1999.

The savings, he said, come from the fact that the credit and debit technology, including tap-and-pay cards like Mastercard’s PayPass, is used in stores everywhere so the TTC could use off-the-shelf electronic readers and other equipment. Banks and credit card companies process the transactions, reducing the transit service’s operating costs.

Ontario has committed $173 million toward the estimated $400 million to $500 million cost of the TTC fully adopting Presto, now accepted at seven subway stations and soon to be at 12.

Asked how the cost of open payment would compare, Korczak said: “It’s a little early to put a number on it but my experience says it would be a small fraction of that (total Presto) number . . . .”

“Proprietary custom-built (smart card) fare systems are expensive to design, build and maintain and that’s why New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and Washington are moving from them to open payment,” added Korczak, whose two-man company is involved with the switch in each of those cities.

“But the main benefit is customer service. Customers can use the card of their choice, debit or credit . . . just as they do in every retail shop in here,” he said, gesturing at the mall. “People know how to shop. There’s no learning curve.”

He estimated, based on his involvement pilot projects, including an ongoing one in New York, that open payment could be up and running on the TTC within 30 months of a contract being signed.

But Wynne is far from alone in arguing the TTC is doing its riders a disservice by going back to the drawing board when it previously supported a regional system already working on GO, the TTC and elsewhere.

The Toronto Board of Trade, an influential business group, argued last week that the costs of open payment are bound to be higher than those of Presto because going it alone would cost Toronto the provincial subsidies.

Rob Prichard, chief executive of the Metrolinx regional transit agency, also argued open payment costs would be higher and said, rather than criticizing Presto, the TTC should be rolling it out and helping make it better.

“The first step in all of this is getting Presto implemented across the region. The second step is a process of continual improvement.”

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/ttc/article/840118--man-behind-ttc-s-push-for-open-payment-sticks-to-his-guns?bn=1

EnviroTO
2010-Jul-26, 21:43
With a chair that isn't running in the next election and a mayor that isn't running what benefit politically is there to supporting or not supporting Presto? There doesn't seem to be anything to gain politically by going against the province.

Coruscanti Cognoscente
2010-Jul-26, 22:41
With a chair that isn't running in the next election and a mayor that isn't running what benefit politically is there to supporting or not supporting Presto? There doesn't seem to be anything to gain politically by going against the province.

Um that's exactly why they're doing it, because they have no music to face. It's just an FU to the province probably due to the the delayed Transit City funding.

It's quite clear the TTC isn't doing this for benevolent reasons.

nfitz
2010-Jul-26, 23:04
Um that's exactly why they're doing it, because they have no music to face. It's just an FU to the province probably due to the the delayed Transit City funding.Given that Giambrone has been talking about open payment since long before McGuinty cancelled the Transit City money, I really don't see the link.

If it's going to cost $400 million for TTC to implement Presto, and they could perhaps implement both Presto AND open payment for only $200 million or $300 million, then aren't we fools not to look at this in detail?

The bulk of Presto costs haven't been incurred yet, and the Government of Ontario is expecting Toronto to foot more of the cost of Presto than than Ontario has for the rest of the system combined.

nfitz
2010-Jul-26, 23:07
Well for once Royson James nailed it:

Province-TTC spat hurts GTA transit users ... it concludes:


There is a solution. Allow the TTC to pursue this potentially good idea, as a pilot project. Changing over the rest of the GTA should then not be difficult.

Technology changes so often and quickly that it is almost impossible to avoid getting stuck with outdated systems. But it would be negligent for the TTC to plow ahead when the signals clearly point to a changing landscape, where Presto-type systems are yesterday’s ideal.

Unless, the province is on the hook for millions in its secret contract with the Presto provider?

EnviroTO
2010-Jul-27, 00:38
Um that's exactly why they're doing it, because they have no music to face. It's just an FU to the province probably due to the the delayed Transit City funding.

It's quite clear the TTC isn't doing this for benevolent reasons.

Is it? They did listen to a presentation by Dexit long ago. They have looked at new fare boxes for a while. They did introduce new Metropass machines. Why is this move a master plan of evil and all the other things they have done normal operations? If it truly was to spite the province why not have a TTC version of tap-and-go rather than a VISA / Mastercard / Interac RFID plan which makes logical sense. To spite them fully shouldn't they have selected something a little more illogical? Maybe VISA and Mastercard are in on this scheme to spite the province. Did you ever ask yourself why didn't our credit cards have this a long time ago? Why now after the province came up with Presto are these credit card companies coming up with this stuff? The timing is suspect don't you think? Interac is coming out with RFID in 2011 and the TTC tender will close in 2011. Interac hates the provincial Liberals obviously.

Coruscanti Cognoscente
2010-Jul-27, 00:41
It's quickly becoming clear that the forum is becoming ever more divided between those who blindly follow the TTC on every aspect and those who don't.