Metrolinx: Presto Fare Card

Discussion in 'Transportation and Infrastructure' started by dan e 1980, Mar 22, 2006.

  1. dan e 1980

    dan e 1980 Guest

    GO charging ahead toward `smart card'
    Manager outlines strategies for growth
    Running local transit services proposed
    Mar. 22, 2006. 01:00 AM

    GO Transit wants to give "reward miles" to commuters, build a dedicated bus lane on the Don Valley Parkway and run local transit services to feed its suburban stations, says its top official.

    "We're pushing forward with small successes," general manager Gary McNeil told a transportation summit run by the Strategy Institute think tank at the Delta Chelsea. "It's one little battle after another, but eventually we are going to win."

    Currently, GO is part of a provincial pilot project to bring "smart card" fare payment to transit users across the GTA, the first step to a reward-based fare system. The pilot project will be underway in 2007 for commuters on Mississauga's Milton line. They'll swipe a card through a reader to pay their fare.

    When the project rolls out in full, GO will abandon its monthly passes and 10-ride passes in favour of a program where the more you take GO, the less you'll pay each time, McNeil said.

    The fare card will act as a transit bank account; when you use the system, money will be deducted.

    "Your ticket price will gradually decrease as you use the system. You won't have to worry whether you should buy a monthly pass this month if you're going on vacation, or whether you should buy a 10-ride ticket. The card will do the thinking for you.

    "You won't have to think about the cost of transit any more. It will be on a card — it will make it more convenient.

    "It's got a computer chip that makes it smart. It knows where you are when you get on and off, and charges you for it."

    Other proposals include:

    Encouraging suburban municipalities to stop allowing big-box development around GO stations, instead asking them to build business centres that would promote train use.

    Paying municipalities to put in bus-priority lanes.

    Trying to convince the City of Toronto to agree to dedicated bus lanes on the DVP. McNeil said GO is willing to foot the $2 million bill for upgrading the shoulders on the DVP for use by buses only, but said the project doesn't appear to be a priority for city staff.

    Starting up local transit systems, or having that service contracted out, to get suburban commuters to GO train stations faster. As it is, transit in places such as Oakville, Brampton and Whitby try to serve students and seniors, preferring to let GO commuters make their own way to the station by car.

    "We've embraced the car by providing more parking lots," said McNeil, who said GO added 8,000 spots over five years to bring the total to more than 45,000. "We're probably the largest parking authority in the GTA."

    But space is limited for new lots and it makes sense for GO to run its own service to save parking spaces, McNeil said.

    "I'm saying ultimately if local transit doesn't respond to this stuff, we've got to do it," he said. "We're running out of land and it costs a lot of money to build parking structures. I'd much rather people came by local transit if the service was there ... It's a case where we maybe provide the contractor with little shuttle buses and then define the route."

    GO also has plans to extend trains to 12 cars from 10, build new tracks to beef up service and buy double-decker buses to add seating space.

    McNeil said the ridership growth strategies will eventually mean GO Transit will recoup 95 per cent of its operating costs through fares by topping 50 million passengers annually in 2010.

    GO already recoups 86 per cent of its operating revenue through fares, tops in the world except for a couple of systems in Asia that make money through land development and leasing deals, McNeil said.

    "We are probably the top performer in the world," said McNeil, adding the TTC would be second at about 78 per cent. "If you are an accountant, that's good news because it shows we're taking care of the bottom line.

    "But as a transit authority, it means we're pushed to the limit of our capacity, standing room only and pent-up demand."

  2. wyliepoon

    wyliepoon Guest

    The "smart card" will be a swipe card, a "smart" Metropass? That's still a step down from the contactless card like the Octopus Card that the smart card was supposed to be modelled after.

    Convenient, sure, but I always think about cost when taking GO Transit. It isn't exactly the TTC. I've said it before... I think the introduction of the smart card might lead to a smarter fare collection system- zone fares, fare by distance, whatever. Then you'll really need to shop around for the cheapest transit route to get from A to B.

    ... and yes, bring back the double decker buses!
  3. drum118

    drum118 Guest

    The double deck buses are only months away from showing up at York
  4. drum118

    drum118 Guest

    The double deck buses are only months away from showing up at York.

    Big mistake not going contactless.

    GFI could be the supplier since they have done the most arm bending.
  5. spmarshall

    spmarshall Guest

    Not going contactless? I question that decision, because if you are going to completely change fare collection technologies, you might as well go with the best technology possible. A swipe system creates lines, much like the lines for the ticket cancelling machines at GO stations right now. I really like the idea of contactless like Octopus or Oyster (which I have seen). There's more flexibility with a contactless system, such as collecting fares from passengers leaving a vehicle outside a fare paid area through any door.

    The pilot GO Transit "smart cards" used on the Richmond Hill line were contactless, if I recall correctly.
  6. FutureMayor

    FutureMayor Guest

    Who said they aren't going to be contactless???? You are basing your knowledge of the project on a newspaper article and one quote.

    All indications is that the "smart card" will be modelled after the London Octopus Card.

  7. cdl42

    cdl42 Guest

    You mean the London Oyster card.

    Even if it is "contactless" RFID, you still need to "swipe" the card past a reader.
  8. vistaway

    vistaway Guest

    It won't be based on the London Oyster card, since the company that runs that system was not successful in the bid to run the GTA one...I am not sure who was, though. I am quite sure in he RFP that it was to be RFID-based, in any case.
  9. wyliepoon

    wyliepoon Guest

    Ok, I might be overreacting, but "swipe" isn't the best verb to describe the action of charging fare from a contactless card. Swiping is for Metropasses. "Tap" or "scan" might be better description words.

    In Hong Kong, the action of tapping an Octopus against a scanner is translated as "card slapping" in Chinese (pak kat), while in English it's known as "beeping your card", referring to the beeping sound the scanner makes when the fare is deducted.
  10. miketoronto

    miketoronto Guest

    Its not swipe. Its contactless the last I heard.

    But it does nothing unless fares are harmonized.
  11. cdl42

    cdl42 Guest

    I think the terminology used is more based upon the ideas of the reporter than GO.
  12. TOinSF

    TOinSF Guest

    GO (and the TTC) should be more active in generating density around stations. Why not lease some of their parking lot land for office or mixed-use development.
  13. TOinSF:

    TTC is working on that issue right now, and I believe there are some preliminary activities on St. Clair, Victoria Park and Warden. Islington is also on the books, though the scheme will have to wait for the regional terminal at Kipling to be built first.

  14. Ed007Toronto

    Ed007Toronto Guest

    Beyond TTC lands we need to get more projects like the Hariri Pontarini at Bloor & Jane example built at most stations along the system. Most of the lowrise stations along Danforth, for example, could support a few or more of these type of buildings near the station entrances.
  15. drum118

    drum118 Guest

    Today contactless card allows you to keep your card in your pocket/purse and it can be read by the reader either within 25 feet of a reader at stations or 2 feet on buses. Distance can be set to meet the systems needs on a station by station base.

    This cuts down on riders trying to find their card as they near a reader especially if they have stuff in their hands or arm.

    It allows faster loading that the "Tap" or "scan" or the swipes ones can not do.

    I use a "Tap" or "scan" one for Burlington Transit and it cuts into the loading time compare walking by the driver using a hand held pass/transfer.

    You don’t need turnstile machines since that is one of the larges expenses for a stations as well maintenance cost compare to vertical reader that people can walk freely through.

    Every run into TTC swipe ones where it refuses to read your card causing a backup of riders behind you before moving to another turnstile that works in read your pass? Because I have and it not fun.

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