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Metrolinx: Presto Fare Card

ShonTron

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That's the other thing. The only TTC stations accepting these cards are Finch, Downsview, Union, Islington and Don Mills (basically only the main stations that YRT and MT feed into, plus Union). So if you use the TTC both ways, keep those tokens handy. If you use GO to enter a station other than Union or Finch (let's see - there's Yorkdale, York Mills, Kipling, Dundas West, Danforth, Kennedy, Scarborough Centre or Leslie), the Presto card also does nothing for you.

GO Train commuters will have regular origin and destination fares stored on the Presto card. If you are taking that regular trip, you only have to tap on – no tap off is required. If you do not have a regular origin and destination stored on your fare card, or if you are not taking the regular default trip, you will have to tap on and tap off.

Ooooh! An unenforceable fare loophole. Why would I want to tap off if I'm going somewhere other than my home GO station if it's on a different corridor or beyond the local station, or tapping off in Viva Zone 2? Maybe I found something I like about this fare card after all. If you have to tap off when you leave, then what's the GoPolice going to do about it if they catch me overriding? :p
 

Observer Walt

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An awful lot of money, and an awful lot of political ballyhoo, for a feature which will carry relatively little benefit to most people. I think Giambrone has it right, he thinks the TTC will have other priorities and most of us would have little difficulty thinking of several.
 

ShonTron

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An awful lot of money, and an awful lot of political ballyhoo, for a feature which will carry relatively little benefit to most people. I think Giambrone has it right, he thinks the TTC will have other priorities and most of us would have little difficulty thinking of several.

The worst part is that the media is buying the hype from the province and the suburban-dominated GTTA, hook, line and sinker.

The TTC doesn't need to replace its fare boxes and ticketing system as badly as GO and the 905 bus systems do - the TTC relies mostly on the no-tech gravity fare boxes. GO's old cardboard ticket/cancellation system is completely obsolete and barely servicable, while the 1980s-era GFI electronic fare boxes in Mississauga, Brampton and elsewhere is getting old as well.
 

jeicow

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I personally see this as a step towards having a zoned fare system in the GTA. It would be better to have introduced both at the same time, but of course, the political way of getting things done will mean each take 10 years to happen, but having this in place will make it a lot easier.

Btw, anyone else see it as a little stupid to not include Kipling as a future site for the readers since eventually both MT and GO will be running into there with the new regional terminal?

If GO and the regional systems manage to market this right I could see there being huge demand in TO for getting this thing put in place. There are already a boat's load of articles saying how the TTC is living in the dark ages of technology compared to places like London, HK and Paris. Once this thing gets serious in the 905 I see city hall caving and going for it (especially in during the next election or two).
 

p5connex

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I don't think the idea in itself is a BAD one- it does however need to be more refined, it should be more like the Oyster Card for the Tube in London- that works, and lets face it, the fare system, however cheap and functional it is (tokens and tickets) is completely inefficient.

There should be ticket dispensing machines lining the walls, where you can get your single-multi-ride ticket- as well as presto-style cards-tickets can fed through the turnstiles/gates- these also have an electronic pad where you can swipe you presto-card in order to enter the subway. No more booths and no more surly TTC booth employees.

p5
 

Hipster Duck

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Agreed p5,

Like almost all things that go badly in Toronto, it is not a bad idea at heart, just a very poorly executed one that smacks of incompetence, miscommunication and unprofessionalism.
 

timeo

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Presto's a terrible name. It sounds like a brand of pasta rather than a high-tech fare-integrated transit card. Who comes up with these names?!
 

Observer Walt

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... or new streetcars, or new streetcar track, or increased frequency of service on routes which have too many standing room only vehicles, or renovated subway stations, or a new signalling system, or ... (on and on).
 

Hypnotoad

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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.

Cannot agree more. The biggest failure of all transit systems in the region, especially GO, is the lack of transit-oriented development.

I look at GO stations along Lakeshore the lakeshore line and think, what a huge disaster. I know there is a need for parking but surely GO, local transit and the province and municpalities can work together and lead the charge on transforming station-area land to reflect transit-supportive guidelines that conform to the province's intensification agenda. Indeed, Burlington tried to move forward with this but the OMB stepped in and disregarded municipal policies and now Wal-Mart is moving beside the Burlington GO station. Huge mistake when the city's plan called for high-rise, mixed-use development. With the number of highway off-ramp office parks lining the QEW, 403 and 401 in Burlington, Oakville and Mississauga it is no wonder that there is a demand for suburban office space. GO could become a much better system if those office parks were located at GO stations, making the system a bi-directional service where commuters actually travel to Burlington, Oakville or other stations in the morning instead of just the one-way commuter rush we have now.

As for the smart card, it needs to resemble the Oyster card. The declining balance card system works well with everyone's debit card or *enter company name here* gift certificate cards so why not bring that mindset to transit?
 

alklay

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"There should be ticket dispensing machines lining the walls, where you can get your single-multi-ride ticket- as well as presto-style cards-tickets can fed through the turnstiles/gates- these also have an electronic pad where you can swipe you presto-card in order to enter the subway. No more booths and no more surly TTC booth employees."

Amen. This is 20 years overdue and needs to be done yesterday. 'Fare integration' is certainly lower on the priority scale.
 

Hipster Duck

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I don't think that the implementation of a smart card system will mean the end of the ticket collector.

I was in Boston recently and although the Charlie Card and the automated machines have largely made ticket collectors obsolete, they now have sad jobs manning brightly painted information kiosks at all stations, dealing with customer questions and complaints.
 

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