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Metrolinx: Presto Fare Card

It's sad that Presto is such an overly complex system. The 24hr wait period for loading and using funds is ridiculous. The fact that Presto machines don't sell Presto cards is terrible. Once other forms of patients are gone where will visitors buy the cards? They won't know to go to a Shoppers to buy one.

Also, why does Presto charge $6 for the card. The plastic is worthless and it should be free or charge $6-7 but make that amount usable towards fares.
 
It's sad that Presto is such an overly complex system.
What city are you comparing to here?

The 24hr wait period for loading and using funds is ridiculous.
It's instantaneous if you load at a station, at a machine, or at a vendor. It's only online that may take up to 24 hours (but is normally faster). Which is a lot better than Montreal (where you effectively can't do this without buying your own card writer), or London (where you must tell them which station you'll be tapping to get your load, also after 24 hours).

The fact that Presto machines don't sell Presto cards is terrible.
There's various different types of Presto machines; some don't even take Presto! I thought the vending machine for new cards was coming.

Once other forms of patients are gone where will visitors buy the cards? They won't know to go to a Shoppers to buy one.
Not sure what you mean. Would they need a card, or just use tickets. As far as I know, tickets will still be available in each station - compared to Vancouver, where you find an unstaffed station with a phone on the wall, which when you phone it, they tell you where to walk to the nearest London Drugs.

Also, why does Presto charge $6 for the card. The plastic is worthless and it should be free or charge $6-7 but make that amount usable towards fares.
Gas should be free too ...
 
What city are you comparing to here?

It's instantaneous if you load at a station, at a machine, or at a vendor. It's only online that may take up to 24 hours (but is normally faster). Which is a lot better than Montreal (where you effectively can't do this without buying your own card writer), or London (where you must tell them which station you'll be tapping to get your load, also after 24 hours).

In Montreal there is an "Opus à l'année" loyalty program for the STM where your card automatically gets a monthly pass at the start of each month. If you sign up, you get a month free each year, and discounts on Bixi/Communauto. Same thing exists for the RTM, Opus+ automatically charges you a monthly pass and you get a month free for it. Kind of like the Metropass Discount Plan, except you don't have to make 50 trips/month for it to pay itself back.

Given that a monthly unlimited pass is only about $80, compared to $150/month for TTC, I'd say it's much cheaper and more convenient in Montreal.

But I guess the caveat is that this is for regular users, not for buying the occasional pass. For people who are making unusual combinations of trips, a stored value card may be more convenient, but for regular users who stay on the same set of transit systems a stored pass card is generally cheaper/more convenient.
 
Once other forms of patients are gone where will visitors buy the cards? They won't know to go to a Shoppers to buy one.
It would depend on how they arrive to the city. If they arrive at the airport and take there. Or if someone they know already live her they could pick them up for them. I have a cousin in England that keeps extra oyster cards for that reason. My parents have also borrowed then from friends when they went to London as well. It's not that hard to get ahold of one if you know where to do it or know someone that can tell you. Very few poel travel anywhere without doing research now a days.

Also, why does Presto charge $6 for the card. The plastic is worthless and it should be free or charge $6-7 but make that amount usable towards fares.
That's pretty standard for all fare cards also it's not just a plastic card it also has an RFID tag inside of it.
 
Lately, I've been hitting a lot of dead ends in the system. There seem to be so many non-Presto entrances in the downtown stations and I've been hitting every one of them by sheer bad luck.

Why does it feel like the first Presto stations (downtown) are the ones with the least support now? Whenever I go to the system's extremities in North York or out in the West and East ends, I find shiny new Presto gates — even on secondary entrances — but in downtown stations, they're all old turnstiles and token operated meat grinder secondary entrances.

Did the TTC stop issuing a fare gates rollout schedule? I remember that last year they had one.
 
It's sad that Presto is such an overly complex system. The 24hr wait period for loading and using funds is ridiculous. The fact that Presto machines don't sell Presto cards is terrible. Once other forms of patients are gone where will visitors buy the cards? They won't know to go to a Shoppers to buy one.

Also, why does Presto charge $6 for the card. The plastic is worthless and it should be free or charge $6-7 but make that amount usable towards fares.
The 24hr wait is the maximum till it might take for it to load online. Once you paid online, the balance can't update your card instantly sitting in your wallet. You have to tap the card against a reader to update your card's balance. The reader you tap needs to be informed that you requested to add money to your card. If it's the TTC, it should only be an hour or two as it updated over cellular data. If it's a GO, Miway, YRT and another 905 system buses, they only update over WiFi at the bus garage. Some buses are dispatched early in the morning won't update the readers to know you requested a load till the next day hence up to 24 hours.

In the smartcard world, they understand that if they made this card free, people would throw them out and buy a new card all the time. This leads to waste or plastic, RFID chips, card shortage during busy season, unnecessary retail service, increased service activity to process new cards, increased database size as ML don't know which card ended up in the garbage and etc. There is a cost to get the card to people. It's not free but it's not $6. They purposely set the card to $6 so people don't throw them out. Unlike other smartcards, presto makes people buy the card oppose to a deposit that can be refunded for tourists. I guess ML doesn't want to deal with the cost of refunds. They should make the card $2 as an activation fee with a $4 refundable deposit. The expiry date should be written as the warranty end date too.
 
Why does it feel like the first Presto stations (downtown) are the ones with the least support now? Whenever I go to the system's extremities in North York or out in the West and East ends, I find shiny new Presto gates — even on secondary entrances — but in downtown stations, they're all old turnstiles and token operated meat grinder secondary entrances.

Because the TTC's main priority was to have Presto rolled out system-wide. Every station got Presto by the end of last year, so they did a good job there. I think they might just be trying to figure out what improvements can be made from the currently-installed gates, just like the currently-installed gates got some improvements from the first ones that went into St. Clair, Main Street and Wellesley.

Did the TTC stop issuing a fare gates rollout schedule? I remember that last year they had one.

The schedule is still end of year for every fare gate to be converted. The TTC needs to buy their remaining fare gates from the supplier and then figure out the installation schedule.
 
I shall. but seriously, my time is worth more than the quarter. But with that attitude, it can be open season on consumers.
I agree it's 'only a quarter' and that your (and our) time is worth more but YOU are the one who raised it here. According to the 'rules' it should not have happened unless you owed 25 cents on the card or their system made an error. If the latter it would be good if they knew about and fixed it.
 
As far as I know, the TTC 'loyalty program" or daily caps will be implemented later in 2017. This from the last TTC CEO's Report:

Device availability continues to improve and PRESTO have commenced a trial whereby customers can buy PRESTO products at select Shoppers Drug Mart stores. As well, a limited number of Metro passes for adults and seniors were made available on PRESTO June 1. Staff will monitor the customer experience before making more passes available, including adding additional pass products.

Thanks for the heads up, I'll keep my eyes peeled for this. I have to stop using so many figures of speech.
 
I hate to keep coming back to this but since I bought my Presto card I've been trying to learn the rules of the game. Last week I was at Spadina transferring from the subway to the bus and I asked a TTC employee if I needed to tap onto the 510 streetcar and she said "no" (N.B. I'm not sure what her position was, she was just standing around). Today I was back there again and I asked a fare enforcement guy the same question and he said that yes, I do have to tap onto the streetcar because when he reads my card it will "show continuity" (his words). So today I tapped when I got on the streetcar and when I got home I checked my Presto account (I don't have a cell phone). My account currently shows the following for today:

Transit Agency Location Type Discount Amount Balance

Toronto Transit Commission Spadina Station Transfer $0.00 $0.00 $0.00

So it appears that the fare enforcement guy was correct since I was not charged when I tapped when getting on the streetcar. Interestingly enough, my other Presto transactions from this afternoon have yet to show on my card activity page.

I'm started to feel like I'm playing a game in which the rules are interpreted differently by various players and the rules themselves are constantly changing.
 

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