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Metrolinx: Presto Fare Card

nfitz

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What an epic clusterfuck. It's almost hilarious if it wasn't our money on the line.
There's issues, sure. Generally though, we've heard reports from many places of long-term 5% fare evasion rates. System-wide the number reported here is 5.4%, and only 3.7% on the subway and 5.1% on the bus.

Yes, 15.2% on the streetcar is a problem. But everyone seems to be focusing on the Child Presto issue. However the report notes that the issue was Child Presto being abused on buses and subways. Presumably fare inspectors are enough to discourage this as much on streetcars.

This also means that just focusing on Child Prestocard isn't going to deal with the streetcar issues.

Clearly the TTC has been understating or not even realizing the issue. But 5% system-wide hardly seems in clusterfuck territory. More so that TTC is only doing as well as many other systems.

Standing in a New York subway station, and watching all the people enter the crash gates there without paying, I'd have a hard time thinking that they only have 3.7% - it seems much worse there in my anecdotal observations.
 

Neutrino

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No, I mean Presto as a whole is such a mess. For me, the really damning fact is that the TTC is spending more to manage Presto than cash handling.
 

nfitz

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No, I mean Presto as a whole is such a mess. For me, the really damning fact is that the TTC is spending more to manage Presto than cash handling.
It's a mess though. But is the TTC spending more? The contractual price TTC is paying is locked in for years, and was based on what they were currently paying for cash handling.

What's the source for that?
 

Steve X

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I don't get why the cards aren't different colors honestly. Sometimes I just think that the contractors hired to develop Presto were gasp not the brightest or best researchers.
The TTC report has stated ML won't distribute different card types due to supply chain cost. Essentially they have screwed over the TTC and don't care. They also noted that not all agencies would ask for ID when setting for child concession or look up the child's name in the database. Basically one with a child can obtain unlimited child cards in which they can sell online for $100-200.

Whoever planned all of this must be living under a rock.
 

littlewill1166

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The TTC report has stated ML won't distribute different card types due to supply chain cost. Essentially they have screwed over the TTC and don't care. They also noted that not all agencies would ask for ID when setting for child concession or look up the child's name in the database. Basically one with a child can obtain unlimited child cards in which they can sell online for $100-200.

Whoever planned all of this must be living under a rock.
People who buy them online are idiots, you could get one yourself for $16.
 

jje1000

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It's unfortunate, incidents like these and the whole ongoing LCBO theft debacle are perhaps contributing to an overall erosion of trust in the public system.

Keenan makes a good point in that a priority should be to improve the reliability of Presto and reduce said "fare repulsion" first.
Job one for me would be to put “fare evasion” to the side for a moment and deal immediately with “fare repulsion,” the phenomenon in which the TTC has been actively making it difficult for passengers to give it money. The well-reported and by now well-known problem of Presto machines and gates not working is one culprit. The machines on streetcars that are supposed to accept cash fares and tokens are another. In my experience, these seem to be out of order a significant percentage of the time; when they do work, they take a minute or more per passenger to process a transaction, therefore becoming useless for a line of 10 people trying to pay their fares during, say, the one-minute trip between the ferry docks and Union Station.

Some of the other problems identified by the auditor have relatively straightforward fixes. The card that lets kids in free should maybe be a different colour, or cause the machines to loudly make a different sound.

In my admittedly limited experience riding in London and New York, banks of fare gates at stations are often staffed by an attendant who’s walking around, answering questions and keeping an eye on turnstile-hoppers at the same time (just having the set of eyes there, I suspect, would deter many sneaks). That’s an example of a fix that would reduce evasion while making customer experience better, rather than worse. And if you had an attendant capable of waving people through at every gate station, you could dispense with child cards altogether.

Finally, since the new streetcars and all-door boarding are identified as a key part of the problem, it wouldn’t hurt to sometimes have fare inspectors on them. In five years of almost daily streetcar riding to and from the Star, I have had my fare checked dozens and dozens of times exiting the streetcar at Union, but not even once on any other streetcar route or at any other point in the system. You don’t want it to be too intrusive, but it ought to be like illegal parking patrolling — just frequent enough that anyone expects they may get caught.

As for children's Presto fraud, another solution I guess is eliminate free children's fares so at least some costs are recouped. But that's not happening under this administration.

Or they could make children's passes expire annually, like student passes in the past and make it more of a hassle to constantly need new black market passes.
 
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nfitz

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Thanks for that ... looking at those media articles, it appears that it's http://www.ttc.ca/About_the_TTC/Com.../13_PRESTO_Update_and_Transition_Overview.pdf that details the increase in cost.

As for children's Presto fraud, another solution I guess is eliminate free children's fares so at least some costs are recouped. But that's not happening under this administration.
So you'd think there'd be no fraud of people using Children's Presto Cards, if they switch them back to charging 60 cents a ride?

Surely saving $2.40 a ride is almost as attractive as saving $3 a ride!

It's the existence of the card that's the issue - not the fare.
 

Steve X

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Thanks for that ... looking at those media articles, it appears that it's http://www.ttc.ca/About_the_TTC/Com.../13_PRESTO_Update_and_Transition_Overview.pdf that details the increase in cost.

So you'd think there'd be no fraud of people using Children's Presto Cards, if they switch them back to charging 60 cents a ride?

Surely saving $2.40 a ride is almost as attractive as saving $3 a ride!

It's the existence of the card that's the issue - not the fare.
Well there were more student fares being paid at middle schools before the change. Now everyone says they are 12. The TTC themselves ask the operators to not challenge people and delay vehicles made it worst. I just witness a rude schizophrenia person walk right on the bus without paying today like he was entitled to it. The bus drove on.

It's getting near the point where people can avoid paying if they want. I don't think the report has address all those students who claims to be 12 either.
 
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Andy T

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They should just install a multicolour LED light on every gate that will light up with Adult, Senior/Student and Child concession. It'll be easy to spot and have an officer there ready to write a ticket. The report has noted inspectors don't have the ability to arrest someone if they resist or simply walk away.
The presto gates already indicate where it is an adult fare or a concession fare both visually and audibly. There is a different tone for concession fares compare to adult fares and the screens on the opposite side either show white for adult fares or yellow for concession fares.
 

nfitz

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Well there were more student fares being paid at middle schools before the change. Now everyone says they are 12.
What's the source for that claim?

I'm not sure why a 13-year old would be more likely to commit fraud to save about $2.00 (currently) than $1.40 previously.

Also, looking at TTC revenues, shouldn't that fare category be lower than it used to be? Looking at annual data, it's gone up, not down.

don't think the report has address all those students who claims to be 12 either.
The report addressed issues it observed - it hardly seems to be hiding anything. Perhaps it didn't address the issue because it isn't particularly common.

The presto gates already indicate where it is an adult fare or a concession fare both visually and audibly. There is a different tone for concession fares compare to adult fares and the screens on the opposite side either show white for adult fares or yellow for concession fares.
There are different tones. But there's only two tones - regular and concession.

The operator has no idea what the concession is. It could be child (free), student, senior, or even post-secondary student.

There's no age restrictions on post-secondary students. If someone goes back to university at age 40, they could have that card.It

It could also be someone on the Fair Pass Discount Program who receives Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) or Ontario Works (OW).

So what value is that different tone to anyone?
 

WillTo

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I think the tone for child fare should be the reader saying the word "child" clear and loud. That may introduce some shame to someone who is obviously not a child, and could be an easy fix (although who knows with Presto) that may help a little bit.
Yes, and with a bit forethought this would have been built in in the first place. But nooooooo! We're gonna sign an agreement with Metrolinx, then offer free rides for children, lose a bunch of money, then spend more money to update the machines.
 

steveintoronto

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^ What's amazing is that anyone should be surprised this is the outcome. I mean...c'mon. It must have taken cheats all of...what....three seconds, to figure out what a scam had been handed to them?
 

nfitz

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Its certainly a mix of both, I really don't see why you seem to need to play devils advocate though.
Because blaming this issue on the contractor (Accenture) fails to address the root cause of this particular issue.

I'm not sure how that's playing devil's advocate though. I'm not defending Accenture here - I'm pointing out the issue is elsewhere.

Given how harsh I've been about Accenture many times in this discussion already - perhaps more so than Metrolinx or TTC relating to Presto - surely it's okay to point out occasionally it's not their fault (this time).
 

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