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Metrolinx: Presto Fare Card

crs1026

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I think it's a Metrolinx thing. They're keeping trips to/from the airport separate from trips within the city for accounting purposes.
A quarter-billion dollar GTA-wide system that records and tracks fares for a half dozen transit agencies, including co-fare and inter-operator transfer fare distribution ledgers, but can't handle the accounting to distinguish UPX vs GO fares, based on a single "If" statement (If endpoint=Pearson, use UPE fare table, else use GO fare table)?

It's more likely a change order that hasn't been processed. The GO fares, after all, were a bolt-on added after the UPE dedicated readers were installed. An odd place for Presto to be pinching pennies, all the same. Probably just a low priority change.

I wonder what actually happens to the fare calculation if one taps on at Pearson, but taps off somewhere using the GO reader.

- Paul
 

amnesiajune

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Presumably they use PRESTO info to work out the ridership on individual GO routes, surely UPX is like another GO route (with a higher fare).
UPX is completely separate from Go Transit. It's an independent division of Metrolinx on its own.

A quarter-billion dollar GTA-wide system that records and tracks fares for a half dozen transit agencies, including co-fare and inter-operator transfer fare distribution ledgers, but can't handle the accounting to distinguish UPX vs GO fares, based on a single "If" statement (If endpoint=Pearson, use UPE fare table, else use GO fare table)?
Presto is just a bunch of off-the-shelf products that are configured to work as one system. Nobody's writing code for Presto like you seem to suggest.
 

ttk77

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Presto is just a bunch of off-the-shelf products that are configured to work as one system. Nobody's writing code for Presto like you seem to suggest.
Those two statements contradict each other. Someone took the off-the-shelf components and coded something so they would work together. Whoever did this left out some fairly basic and simple to implement functionality.
 

DSC

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UPX is completely separate from Go Transit. It's an independent division of Metrolinx on its own.
It may be a separate Division (though I thought it was going to be integrated at some point) but no matter, passengers on the GO part of Metrolinx use PRESTO, passengers on the UPX part of Metrolinx use PRESTO and PRESTO is run by Metrolinx. It is really not asking too much to have the tapping process integrated too!
 

Megaton327

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I wonder what actually happens to the fare calculation if one taps on at Pearson, but taps off somewhere using the GO reader.
You get a missed tap off for UPX, which will charge the $12 maximum fare for Union to Pearson. Funnily enough, riding between Union and Pearson, you can just as easily tap on a gray reader and not bother tapping off.

Your GO "tap off" will in fact end up being a tap on to GO, so a few hours later when you don't tap off you will be charged the maximum GO fare from that station. I believe regardless of it being Weston, Bloor, or Union that means you get charged a fare from whichever station it is to Kitchener, I think GO currently uses Kitchener as the most expensive/maximum missed tap off fare from Union (St Catharines and Niagara Falls are more expensive but since they're seasonal they exclude those).

At that point you can probably contact GO and get them to refund you that fare. It would be obvious to a customer service rep who sees your Presto history to look at a 12:00 PM UPX tap on, a 12:25 PM GO tap on, and missed tap offs for UPX and GO, and connect the dots, if they're feeling kind.
 

rbt

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A quarter-billion dollar GTA-wide system ...
Quarter billion? That's a tad short. The operating subsidy on Presto in 2016 alone was around $60M; that's subsidy after the municipalities all kicked in a chunk of ticket revenue (I'm not aware of a single published number).

Presto is a money eating machine.
 

mdrejhon

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At that point you can probably contact GO and get them to refund you that fare. It would be obvious to a customer service rep who sees your Presto history to look at a 12:00 PM UPX tap on, a 12:25 PM GO tap on, and missed tap offs for UPX and GO, and connect the dots, if they're feeling kind.
Where you get the Presto refund matters.

Over the last four years, the GO wickets at Union station have refunded me almost every time for Presto mistakes, as long as the mistake occured right before I decided to go to the wickets -- I go immediately if I need an adjustment. Double-taps, missed-taps, and refunds for missed-trains (in case I decided to take the express bus instead) when beyond the 15-minute Presto refund grace period of the machines.

Time elapsed since the mistake matters a lot in getting a Presto adjustment, so go to the GO wickets at Union whenever you can.
 

Megaton327

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Where you get the Presto refund matters.

Over the last four years, the GO wickets at Union station have refunded me almost every time for Presto mistakes, as long as the mistake occured right before I decided to go to the wickets -- I go immediately if I need an adjustment. Double-taps, missed-taps, and refunds for missed-trains (in case I decided to take the express bus instead) when beyond the 15-minute Presto refund grace period of the machines.

Time elapsed since the mistake matters a lot in getting a Presto adjustment, so go to the GO wickets at Union whenever you can.
Good advice, but indeed, that's only if you just realized and it's been a short time since the tap. Someone who doesn't know that when you tap ON a UPX reader you need to tap OFF the same kind of reader, probably won't suddenly figure it out after tapping a GO reader, so it would probably be something they realize a few days later looking at their balance/transaction history. The wickets would not be likely to help with a >24 hour old issue.
 

smuncky

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You get a missed tap off for UPX, which will charge the $12 maximum fare for Union to Pearson. Funnily enough, riding between Union and Pearson, you can just as easily tap on a gray reader and not bother tapping off.

Your GO "tap off" will in fact end up being a tap on to GO, so a few hours later when you don't tap off you will be charged the maximum GO fare from that station. I believe regardless of it being Weston, Bloor, or Union that means you get charged a fare from whichever station it is to Kitchener, I think GO currently uses Kitchener as the most expensive/maximum missed tap off fare from Union (St Catharines and Niagara Falls are more expensive but since they're seasonal they exclude those).

At that point you can probably contact GO and get them to refund you that fare. It would be obvious to a customer service rep who sees your Presto history to look at a 12:00 PM UPX tap on, a 12:25 PM GO tap on, and missed tap offs for UPX and GO, and connect the dots, if they're feeling kind.
This exact thing happened to my girlfriend going to the airport. Tapped on the GO reader at Bloor station. She was then told, incorrectly, by a UPX attendant on the train to tap off at Pearson. So that started a whole ordeal in trying to get the money back from GO and getting a partial refund for the UPX fare.

Oh, to get the refunds, you need to call UPX for their fare and Presto for the GO fare. It was an incredible waste of time.
 

nfitz

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I would have thought that they could do this behind the scenes without inconveniencing and confusing customers. Presumably they use PRESTO info to work out the ridership on individual GO routes, surely UPX is like another GO route (with a higher fare).
They could easily merge it all together.

However, given how crowded I found a late-afternoon that I boarded at Bloor to Pearson a few weeks ago - being standing room only, I suspect they want to keep the option open of charging a bit more for people travelling between Weston and Union than those taking GO - particularly when there's frequent GO service available, with much, much more capacity.
 

TransitBart

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I think it's a Metrolinx thing. They're keeping trips to/from the airport separate from trips within the city for accounting purposes.
When UP was a separate division from GO, it had it’s own president Kathy Haley and it had a mission to create a certain premium level of service.

To create that impression for travelers, they left the platforms open - no fare gates - because fare gates smacked of mass transit. So instead, we have the dopey readers and 3 people on each terminus platform reminding you to tap on and tap off.

Hong Kong’s airport train has tap on/tap off. If it’s good enough for there, I can not imagine why it’s not good enough for here.

Install PRESTO gates. Seal off the platforms so you can’t sail on in without tapping and then get rid of those six overhead jobs. (Better to spend the money elsewhere on transit. Nothing against those folks. Not the best place to spend the Metrolinx subsidy.)

Tap on. Tap off. No programming and separate reader BS. Say you are boarding at Union, and you tap off at Bloor or Weston, it was a GO trip. If you tap off at the airport it was a UPX trip.

And to the point of the post I quoted/replied to-absolutely ZERO extra work to count precisely how many trips were of which nature.
 
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TransitBart

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Quarter billion? That's a tad short. The operating subsidy on Presto in 2016 alone was around $60M; that's subsidy after the municipalities all kicked in a chunk of ticket revenue (I'm not aware of a single published number).

Presto is a money eating machine.
I knew this. But re-reading it, why does this ‘agency’ need a $60M subsidy? Are all GO trips on PRESTO? The addition of 500 million TTC rides with their baked-in contribution will generate a boatload of revenue for this agency. One would think at that point that it would be spinning cash like VISA or MASTERCARD.
 

DSC

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Install PRESTO gates. Seal off the platforms so you can’t sail on in without tapping and then get rid of those overhead jobs.

Tap on. Tap off. No programming and separate reader BS. Say you are boarding at Union, and you tap off at Bloor or Weston, it was a GO trip. If you tap off at the airport it was a UPX trip.
Exactly
 
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