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Metrolinx: Presto Fare Card

EastYorkTTCFan

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I've gone well over a year not using a card - especially with the pandemic. No issues.
The card works no matter what but it stops being registered in the Presto system after 30 days of inactivity. Tapping it on a presto device once a month keeps it active in the system as far as registration goes. I don't really use that particular card offten if pretty much sits in my backpack just incase I forget my regular card at home, the last time I actually used it when I looked it up in the Presto app it said it wasn't registered because of inactivity.
 

allengeorge

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The card works no matter what but it stops being registered in the Presto system after 30 days of inactivity. Tapping it on a presto device once a month keeps it active in the system as far as registration goes.
[puzzled] Are you sure? I just checked one of my visitor cards on the Presto website (and app) and didn't see anything about it being unregistered. The balance shows up fine on both. Is there any visual indication that it's unregistered?
 

PinkLucy

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Like others here, I didn’t use my Presto card for over a year because of COVID. It worked just fine once I did.
 

DSC

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The card works no matter what but it stops being registered in the Presto system after 30 days of inactivity. Tapping it on a presto device once a month keeps it active in the system as far as registration goes. I don't really use that particular card offten if pretty much sits in my backpack just incase I forget my regular card at home, the last time I actually used it when I looked it up in the Presto app it said it wasn't registered because of inactivity.
That is simply not true - at least for my cards.
 

PinkLucy

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EastYorkTTCFan

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That is simply not true - at least for my cards.
Ok, I'm only going by what I saw on the app the last tap I did it shows the change in card status. It could be that the card was never properly registered in the prsto system as it's not one that I use often so I might not have tapped it after I added it to my account.
 

Encun

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I found a quirk with the way fares are calculated for trips originating from the eastern Toronto stations (Danforth, Kennedy and Scarborough GO in particular).

If you start a trip from Danforth or Scarborough and transfer at Union with a literal tap-off and tap-on after a few minutes, the fares are actually CHEAPER than if you originated your trip at Union.

In my example, I was taking the train from Danforth to Guelph Central. The website quotes this trip as $14.80. If I set the transfer station to be Union, the price drops to $12.58. This is more expensive than a trip from Union to Guelph ($13.59) even though Danforth is further away from Guelph. I did this and it actually worked in reality.
I checked the online tool for Scarborough GO and Kennedy and it looks like it works the same way, but Guildwood doesn’t.

Interestingly, this doesn’t work going Eastbound. Is there a fare discount program from Scarborough and Danforth that is having unintended consequences for other trips?
 
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Haydenpoon

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View attachment 359299I found a quirk with the way fares are calculated for trips originating from the eastern Toronto stations (Danforth, Kennedy and Scarborough GO in particular).

If you start a trip from Danforth or Scarborough and transfer at Union with a literal tap-off and tap-on after a few minutes, the fares are actually CHEAPER than if you originated your trip at Union.

In my example, I was taking the train from Danforth to Guelph Central. The website quotes this trip as $14.80. If I set the transfer station to be Union, the price drops to $12.58. This is more expensive than a trip from Union to Guelph ($13.59) even though Danforth is further away from Guelph. I did this and it actually worked in reality.
I checked the online tool for Scarborough GO and Kennedy and it looks like it works the same way, but Guildwood doesn’t.

Interestingly, this doesn’t work going Eastbound. Is there a fare discount program from Scarborough and Danforth that is having unintended consequences for other trips?
Base on my experiences, GO Transit apply fares in the following way:

For each transfer you make, you are credited $4.71- $4.72 (which is 15.7% off the $5.60 cash fare). Note that the transfer credit is more than the base fare of $3.70. Therefore, when travelling long distances, the more you transfer, the cheaper is your fare.

However, if you transfer into a short trip (trip under $4.72), Presto will not give you a full credit but you will simply pay $0 for that leg of the trip.

In your case going westbound to Guelph is a short leg followed by a long leg, so maximum transfer credits apply.
Going eastbound from Guelph is a long leg followed by a short leg, so you only get credited $3.70.
 

nfitz

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There's certainly some oddities with GO fare zones and transfers.

For example, Danforth to Clarkson is 9.51. But if get out at Union, tap out, and tap in again, it's only $6.44.

My favourite is that if you go from Danforth to Union it's the (minimum $3.70). But if you then take a second trip a couple of hours later (I think it's less than 3 hours) later, the return leg is $0. Making the average cost $1.85 - cheaper than TTC for the same trip (if it's between 2 and 3 hours).

The oddest thing I noticed lately, is my card updated the autoload settings, between the first leg and the return leg. And it seemed to reset my trip, and charged for the return trip.
 

SubHuman

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I have noticed that when I have tapped back in at the same GO Train station where I tapped out about 90 minutes before, it always reads $0.00 for the charge, but it does add more when I tap out at the final destination.
It can be very strange to try to figure out what they list for individual segments for trips involving multiple GO trains, GO buses, and the (non-TTC) local buses that discount their fare when used immediately before or after GO, but I think it always works out to the same total amount for the entire trip in both directions, even though the individual parts may differ when going in the opposite direction.

Back when you could use the UP Express as part of a GO Train trip between Union, Bloor, and/or Weston (as long as you didn't use Pearson), there was always one particular fare checker on the UP Express on weekends who apparently never had the situation explained to her, or for some reason never understood it, when she saw that I had last tapped on at Oshawa and, as had been instructed by GO, not tapped out and then back on when transferring at Union to go to Bloor.
 
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Haydenpoon

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I have noticed that when I have tapped back in at the same GO Train station where I tapped out about 90 minutes before, it always reads $0.00 for the charge, but it does add more when I tap out at the final destination.
It can be very strange to try to figure out what they list for individual segments for trips involving multiple GO trains, GO buses, and the (non-TTC) local buses that discount their fare when used immediately before or after GO, but I think it always works out to the same total amount for the entire trip in both directions, even though the individual parts may differ when going in the opposite direction.
If your trip does not involve any individual segment with a standard adult Presto fare of below $4.72, then the total fare for the entire trip will be equal in both directions.
 

W. K. Lis

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Fare Collection Modernization


From link.

The TTC has agreed in principle with Metrolinx to proceed with a revised plan to deliver Open Payments with a target implementation as early as the end of 2022.

As established through the 10-Year Fare Collection Outlook work, we have confirmed the needs of a future fare system, including the reinforcement of previously identified needs, including Open Payments. We have the opportunity to continue delivery of Open Payments with PRESTO as we concurrently move forward with project implementation planning.

Metrolinx’s Open Payment Proposal includes the delivery of:
  Open Payments (Debit and Credit)
o Credit/debit card payment (tap to pay – physical and digital cards)
o Adult single fare
  Equivalent price to Adult PRESTO fare
  Monthly Passes not supported

  PRESTO on Mobile: Virtual Card
o Enables the use of a virtual version of the PRESTO card on a Mobile Device (Phone/ Watch)
o All Concession fares and products available

  Device Refresh: New and updated PRESTO devices to enable Open Payments
o Bus and streetcar PRESTO validators
o Inspection devices
o Mobile Fare Payment Application (MFPA) installed on tablets for accessible sedan taxis to enable fare payments and Mobile Fare validators (MFTP) installed on Wheel-Trans vehicles
 

W. K. Lis

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End of the line for TTC’s monthly pass? Transit agency staff eye fare changes

From link.

It could be the end of the line for the TTC’s monthly pass.

For more than 40 years Toronto’s transit agency has been selling passes that allow customers unlimited monthly travel — first as a physical Metropass, and more recently as a feature of the Presto fare card system.

But in a report going to the TTC board next week, agency staff recommend scrapping the monthly pass program and replacing it with “fare capping.” Under the proposed policy, customers would ride for free after reaching a certain number of paid trips each month.

According to staff, fare capping would be more affordable for customers because it would eliminate the burden of having to pay the full cost of a pass at the start of each month. It would also give users more flexibility by automatically granting free rides to anyone who exceeded the set number of monthly trips. Eliminating the need to opt in by buying a pass each month could be especially important because of the unpredictability of Torontonians’ travel habits during COVID-19.

TTC spokesperson Stuart Green said the aim of the proposed change is “to give our customers options that best suit their individual needs and circumstances.”

“Our focus now is on not only bringing existing customers back to public transit, but to attracting and retaining new riders too,” he said, and “modernizing our fare policies” is crucial to that goal.

As of December, TTC ridership was still only about 51 per cent of pre-pandemic volumes.

Staff are asking the board to endorse the fare capping idea in principle at its Feb. 10 meeting as part of the agency’s new five-year fare policy. A more detailed plan would come back to the board in May.

As part of the five-year plan, TTC staff also recommend increasing the discounts for seniors and youth so they align with the city’s Fair Pass program for low-income residents. Seniors and youth currently pay $2.25 for a single ride using Presto, while Fair Pass users pay $2.10. Aligning the discounts “would create a more equitable option for seniors and youth,” the report states.

Monthly passes have been a mainstay of the TTC’s fare structure since 1980 but have become less popular in recent years. In 2015, more than 50 per cent of TTC customers used a Metropass, according to agency data. By 2019 it was less than 30 per cent, thanks in part to the introduction of the policy that allows riders to take an unlimited number of trips on a single fare in a two-hour window.

The cost to the TTC of switching to fare capping depends on where the agency sets the monthly threshold for free rides.

An adult monthly pass currently costs $156, while a single ride using a Presto card costs $3.20. At those prices, a monthly pass user has to take more than 48 trips to realize any savings.

According to the report, if the TTC set the fare cap at 48 Presto taps per month for adults — meaning any additional rides for the rest of that month would be free — and similar “break even” points for other fare groups, the policy would cost the TTC $17 million annually, assuming ridership returns to pre-COVID levels. Lowering the cap to 40 rides per month for all riders would cost $78 million per year.

Shelagh Pizey-Allen, director of transit advocacy group TTCriders, said fare capping “is a positive step” because “when you can’t afford the huge upfront cost of a monthly pass, you can actually end up paying more than the price of a monthly pass if you take the TTC every day.”

“But fare capping won’t help much if the TTC doesn’t also reduce the number of taps to ‘break even,’” she said, noting that the current monthly pass is among the most expensive in Canada. She suggested making transit free after 30 taps would be more affordable and could generate more ridership for the TTC.

As part of the five-year review, staff examined other ways to shake up fare policies, including making transit free, raising fare prices to cover the TTC’s cost of each trip, and providing discounts during off-peak hours, but ultimately rejected them.

In other significant changes to TTC payment options, a separate report on next week’s agenda confirms the agency has reached an agreement with Metrolinx to provide “open payment” on Toronto’s transit system as soon as the end of this year.

The feature would allow riders to pay by tapping their debit or credit card, or mobile wallet, on a Presto reader. It’s been a priority for the TTC since it agreed to take on Presto in 2012, but Metrolinx, the provincial agency that owns the fare card system, has yet to enable it.

The monthly capping is fine. However, there should be also 1-day, 3-day, 7-day, and 30-day options. Could be a bonus for tourists if they can use the 3 or 7 days options somehow, with either a temporary card or smartphone app.

The monthly option should be 30 days and not a calendar month like February or March.
 
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