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Forget about using Presto on the TTC any time soon

Posted by Chris Bateman / June 24, 2014

toronto presto readerDon't throw away those tokens just yet--most TTC riders will not be using an electronic fare card for some time yet. A new status report due to be presented to the Metrolinx board later this week says Presto, the division of the transit agency responsible for rolling out Ontario's contactless smartcard system, still doesn't know when readers will be fully installed on the subway, streetcar, and bus systems.

The document says next generation Presto readers will only be fitted to new streetcars as they enter service, starting with the 510 Spadina in August this year. The 511 Bathurst, 506 Dundas, and 509 Harbourfront routes are due to follow in what's being called the first wave of installations.

According to the most recent available rollout schedule from the TTC, that means Presto still won't be available on the majority of subway and streetcar routes until at least 2019, more than a decade after the card readers debuted at Union Station.

The existing streetcar fleet will not be retrofitted with readers.

toronto presto machineAt time of writing, just 14 subway stations have basic Presto facilities, most of them downtown on Line 1. 12 new stations with streetcar connections are due to be added as the new streetcars appear, as will the remainder of the stations south of Bloor, excluding Wellesley, the document says.

Current subway Presto devices sell only single fares, but the next generation readers, due to be installed with the new streetcar devices, will offer senior, student, and child discounts. New subway fare gates that will eventually "replace select turnstiles at select subway locations" are also in the works.

The report also provides a first look at the fare vending machines that will be installed on all new streetcars while Presto is phased in (the design of the new low floor vehicles means drivers will no longer be responsible for handling fares or issuing transfers.)

The Single Ride Vending Machines will accept Presto, tokens, cash, debit, or credit payments. There will be two on each new streetcar.

Wave 2, which will see the rest of the streetcar, subway, and bus routes equipped with Presto, is "ongoing," and there is no fixed schedule for it to begin.

Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

Image: Chris Bateman/blogTO.



Jilly Lancaster / June 24, 2014 at 09:57 am
This news belies comment.
Josh / June 24, 2014 at 10:10 am
Wait - so there's gonna be a huge line behind this thing when you get on the streetcar? This was not well thought out.
stapler / June 24, 2014 at 10:11 am
Is this about lack of funds or mismanagement? Is it just a perception or is the TTC really this much of a disaster?
bill / June 24, 2014 at 10:14 am
Full presto roll out or humans on mars which will come first?
JoeParez / June 24, 2014 at 10:14 am
@Josh -- most Eurpoean transit systems have the fare vending machine on the actual vehicle (usually 2 or 3 depending on the size).

This isn't anything new if you've experienced it before.

It beats having a long line of people waiting to pay their fare to the operator though.

There should be vending machines at the actual stops as well (I believe) so that you won't necessarily have to pay your fare on the vehicle.
Stu / June 24, 2014 at 10:29 am
Toronto - always behind on the times.
iSkyscraper replying to a comment from Stu / June 24, 2014 at 10:39 am
No kidding. What a disaster, right from the day they hired fucking Andersen Consulting, a company that had never sold a smartcard system, ever, to assemble a totally new one INSTEAD OF BUYING ONE OFF THE SHELF. Absolutely moronic.

Out of, what, 30 transit systems in North America, Toronto will now be pretty much the last one to have system-wide smartcards.


Steven / June 24, 2014 at 10:42 am
Humans on Pluto?
Franco / June 24, 2014 at 10:45 am
Man Toronto can't get its act together when it comes to transit. 10 years!? This would never happen in other major cities across the world.
rek / June 24, 2014 at 10:51 am
What the actual fuck, Toronto?
Spike replying to a comment from iSkyscraper / June 24, 2014 at 10:51 am
@Stu, iSkyscraper: So what? Big deal.

The thing is, a lot of people who are poor won't be able to afford a RFID card anyway (homeless people needing services that have to go somewhere and don't have a bank account, or anybody else in need) and so this kind of service won't be for everybody, and can't be used by everybody. Having some payment by token still won't be a bad thing, and at least people that need it (including tourists who don't have a card like Presto or be able to get one) can still rid the TTC. And kids that can't have a Presto card because they don't have a bank account are also going to be helped by this state of affairs.

Something that you two have to realize-not everybody can get on board with new tech just like that. And not all cities can do so either.
Spike replying to a comment from iSkyscraper / June 24, 2014 at 10:56 am
BTW, to add to what I've been saying about Presto, here's a story about the problems that people have been having with it:
Chester / June 24, 2014 at 10:57 am
How this is taking so long either spells two things. The unions are worried it will remove jobs or just straight incompetence. I say both, how these people still have jobs baffles me. Well Ontario you voted Wynne back in this is what you get.
Spike replying to a comment from Steven / June 24, 2014 at 10:57 am
Humans on MARS, and Mars only (Pluto isn't a planet anymore.)
Jilly Lancaster replying to a comment from Spike / June 24, 2014 at 11:01 am
Spike: What you are saying is ridiculous. All other cities that have managed to move forward with a smartcard system have "poor people" too. They seem to be able to function nevertheless. You don't need a bank account to buy an electronic pass, at at least you sure as hell shouldn't have to have on.
To paraphrase your argument: Since we have homeless and poor people, lets not move forward with new technology that will speed up and improve access to transit. Maybe, Spike, once the smartcards are working some of those TTC employees who are busy counting tokens can be redeployed to help the less fortunate.
horizoncarrie / June 24, 2014 at 11:01 am
Mississauga transit has the presto pass swipe machines installed on all of their buses. There is never a line up to get on a bus. Swipe and walk. That is not a hard task.
iliveattheverve / June 24, 2014 at 11:03 am
Why is Wellesley the ONLY station SoB to not get PRESTO?
horizoncarrie / June 24, 2014 at 11:03 am
I support private funding.
iSkyscraper replying to a comment from Spike / June 24, 2014 at 11:09 am
It's a public transit system that moves people from A to B as efficiently and effectively as possible, not a social services agency.

Systems with RFID cards typically have other options such as paper tickets and/or cash for those who choose not to, or cannot afford, a stored-value card. They will sometimes pay a higher fare for that convenience, depending on the system, but again, see first sentence.

Generally speaking, when thirty or so other big cities (or hundreds around the world) have been doing something successfully for years and Toronto is doing the opposite it's not a good sign.
terryg / June 24, 2014 at 11:19 am
Toronto is such a World Class City! Only 20yrs behind on everything transit related.
Presto Agitato replying to a comment from terryg / June 24, 2014 at 11:24 am
Thanks to all those politicians over the last 30 years who kept telling us that improvements were too expensive to do and deferred spending any real money so they could get re-elected.
Benjamin Smith / June 24, 2014 at 11:29 am
It will have taken less time to build the $9 billion, 6km all underground Spadina subway extension than it will have to get a smartcard on the TTC.
Show me the money! / June 24, 2014 at 11:49 am
Ahhh Karen Stintz's legacy and proven track record lives on!

This article does not mention any of the financing. The original costs were estimated to be $250-million, then they ballooned to $700 Million. What will the new costs be? Every month we wait costs continue to go up. Where is the money? What have we spent on this lack of implementation already?
MontrealBoy / June 24, 2014 at 11:51 am
Toronto was gonna make it's leap from 1955 to 1987 but even TTC fails at doing so.... Nice going, Toronto
905-er / June 24, 2014 at 11:55 am
I wonder what will be done first, the Gardiner construction which is expected to take a decade or TTC implements presto across the board....
2.0 replying to a comment from 905-er / June 24, 2014 at 12:06 pm
Ha ha. And as soon as the TTC implements all other cities will have already mobile payments and will need to upgrade...
Liberty Villain replying to a comment from Spike / June 24, 2014 at 12:07 pm
This has to be one of the weakest arguments I have ever read in a troll section of blogTO.
Spike replying to a comment from iSkyscraper / June 24, 2014 at 12:16 pm
'It's a public transit system that moves people from A to B as efficiently and effectively as possible, not a social services agency.'

It may not be a social services agency, but it does serve the public, and not all of the public HERE IN TORONTO can afford to have cash on hand to use for an RFID card. I understand (based on your previous comments about streetcar stops) that empathy for the less fortunate isn't in your makeup, but can you at least try to have some this time around?
Spike replying to a comment from Liberty Villain / June 24, 2014 at 12:36 pm
Have anything better to rebut with? Or is snark all that you can muster, mister?
carl replying to a comment from Spike / June 24, 2014 at 12:45 pm
In Montreal it works very well. Toronto has less money than Montreal to implement this system?
oneforward / June 24, 2014 at 12:50 pm
Hamilton's transit has Presto on all the buses. What is the obstacle in Toronto? Managerial incompetence? Interfering politicians? The transit workers union? All 3?
Jacob replying to a comment from oneforward / June 24, 2014 at 12:57 pm
Inertia caused by deeply ingrained bureaucracy and fear of change.

From what I've heard, the TTC is run by engineers and dull pencil pushers who would prefer to maintain the status quo than progress on any new method of doing *anything*.

I mean, what other reason would there be for not even having a machine to buy tokens with a debit card in 2014? How simple is that?
Moaz Ahmad / June 24, 2014 at 01:06 pm
PRESTO was designed by Andersen Consulting as a completely new system because it had to work the GTHA's extremely complicated fare system with multiple jurisdictions (Toronto and 905 Agencies) plus GO Transit, with different fare types (GO has fare by distance, the rest have flat fares) and fare levels (TTC, MiWay etc have different fares)...and transfers...and co-fares. It might have been easier to just have an adult conversation about fares, change thevfare structure and buy an off the shelf fare card...but that didnt happen then and it isn't happening now. Cheers, Moaz
Spike replying to a comment from oneforward / June 24, 2014 at 01:07 pm
PLEASE stop blaming the union just because you didn't get the technological state of the art do-dad to ride the TTC. There might be another factor.

Just saw this interesting article about the CTA and it's farecard system:
i.f. robertson / June 24, 2014 at 01:10 pm
It's been so long since the system was initially conceived and then started to roll out across the GTA, I've forgotten what was decided regarding unlimited use passes, such as the Metropass and the weekly passes currently in use on the TTC. Are they to be phased out? The sense I get from reading third post is that the Presto cards are loaded with a certain number of fares and drawn down each time the user enters a vehicle/the system, making it like paying cash for each use. If so, this is a huge loss for someone like me who has had a Metropass since the early eighties and enters and exits the system in excess of five or six times a day. Say it ain't so!
Moaz Ahmad / June 24, 2014 at 01:14 pm
The fare vending machines shown in the render will probably also accept PRESTO along with other payment media. Their other purpose is to spit out a transfer for those people who will be transfering to another vehicle or line that may not have a PRESTO reader. While there will probably be a line up (and/or a crowd to push through) there will be at least 2-3 machines on the streetcar itself.

There will (hopefully) be PRESTO card readers mounted at each door like the mocked-up one shown. This (hopefully) will take care of the PRESTO card holders that do not need a transfer.

While some people may have to wait to pay their fares...the nice thing is that they can board first (at 4 doors rather than 1) and pay on the streetcar will spend less time stopped and more time moving. Cheers, Moaz
the lemur replying to a comment from iSkyscraper / June 24, 2014 at 01:16 pm
'Systems with RFID cards typically have other options such as paper tickets and/or cash for those who choose not to, or cannot afford, a stored-value card'

Exactly. I've used stored-value RFID cards in other cities where I've either bought the card (and kept it for later re-use) or borrowed one from a local friend/acquaintance. In all cases I was able to put value on it using cash AND I had the option of buying a single-use encoded paper ticket if I wanted to or if I had to (e.g., when I wasn't able to get the RFID card yet).
lowrez replying to a comment from stapler / June 24, 2014 at 01:22 pm
Presto is Metrolinx' baby. Back when Adam Giambrone was TTC Chair (under Miller), he pushed to adopt the Oyster system, which is used in London (and San Francisco, I think?). It's a superior system and would have been less expensive to roll out than Presto, but here we are.
lowrez replying to a comment from stapler / June 24, 2014 at 01:23 pm
That is to say, Metrolinx forced the City to adopt PRESTO over Oyster, despite better options being sought.
MonkyBars replying to a comment from lowrez / June 24, 2014 at 02:11 pm
I have a hard time believing anything Giambrone could say about fare cards. This is a guy who told our class that the TTC would stop using tokens when gravity stopped working...

It kills me that in 2014, even if I have enough money on my debit to buy all of the god-forsaken tokens across Toronto, if I don't have an exact fare in change, I can't take a single ride on our transit system. You can't even buy $20 worth of tokens on debit from the fare collectors at the subway stations, even though they have a debit machine there for Metropasses.
oneforward replying to a comment from Spike / June 24, 2014 at 02:41 pm
The TTC likely has the most backward fare payment and collection system of any large city on the planet.
Mike / June 24, 2014 at 02:49 pm
Guys, this is so obvious that the original funds that were there are not there anymore and take a guess why? If you thought that it was pockted, you thought right. With every major project similar to Presto the timelines were never met and the funds just disappeared. I mean single cases here and there are real due to poor money management but 95% of times the funding is just easily distributed between the BIG guys, its simple. And the worst part - there is nothing you can do about it.

Sucks. Wrong. Demeaning. Yes, yes, and yes
#FordMoreYears / June 24, 2014 at 02:56 pm

Mayor and his brother will be hosting a series of Ford Fest barbecues at venues across the city this summer — first one kicks off July 29 at Thomson Park in Scarborough.

Stay tuned for more details.
RiyaH / June 24, 2014 at 02:59 pm
I was excited when I saw the article said the first wave will include the 506... but then I realized it was a typo and the 506 is the Carlton Street car... and Dundas was the 505 :(
Nobody replying to a comment from Spike / June 24, 2014 at 03:27 pm
Was in Washington DC this weekend. Their smart card cost $10 with $8 used towards the metro. $2 for a card is not a financial burden when a single round trip costs $6.
Xijong replying to a comment from iSkyscraper / June 24, 2014 at 03:45 pm
Anyone who has ever worked with government before would know that there is a good bet that Metrolinx and the TTC have been exremely prescriptive with how they want PRESTO to look and work. I have never seen a government agency accept an "out of the box" solution for anything.

Also, just a correction, I think Accenture (Anderson Consulting) was behind card systems in Netherlands and Denmark before Toronto.
Chow More Years replying to a comment from #FordMoreYears / June 24, 2014 at 03:55 pm
You are stupid,
Nothing in this article mentions the Blob Ford or his Legally mentally disabled brother...
Go troll somewhere else...
Christopher King / June 24, 2014 at 04:14 pm
Jesus. Fucking. Christ.

I swear to the gods this city and it's agencies can't do anything right or under budget.
tommy / June 24, 2014 at 04:16 pm
Don't forget about privacy concerns. Presto tracks each and every trip you take, and account information is forwarded to each and every reader in the system daily. How long before someone cracks the system and releases everyone's route?

Oh, and dropping a token or flashing a metropass is far faster than waiting for the slow-ass Presto readers to register a fare. If you think boarding a bus is slow now, just you wait (literally)!
Benjamin Smith replying to a comment from lowrez / June 24, 2014 at 04:23 pm
If I'm not mistaken, Giambrone was actually looking to implement a Pay Pass and Pay Wave system, where you simply tap your debit or credit card and it would deduct the fare. While this would be great, it ignores any form of integration with the rest of the region.

And while the TTC is hardly a leader on that front, in theory you will be able to tap on to a bus or subway, tap on to a GO train, and tap back on to the subway at Union without paying an extra fare (TTC Times Two program).
CW / June 24, 2014 at 05:20 pm
As I understand it, with the new 510 Spadina streetcars you will be able to board all doors and swipe your Presto card if you have one. As a monthly pass holder will I be able to simply walk in the back doors without having to pull out my wallet to swipe or show my pass? I hope other riders don't think I'm not paying.
Bob But Not Doug / June 24, 2014 at 06:29 pm
I visited Melbourne FIFTEEN YEARS AGO and they already had Presto up and running. It worked great!

Everything transportation-related in this city is a joke.
NP replying to a comment from i.f. robertson / June 24, 2014 at 07:24 pm
If this Presto pass operates the same as it does to take the GO Train, you can say goodbye to Metropass' former luxury of truly “unlimited,” pre-paid travel (the freedom of getting on and off the bus/streetcar/subway as many times per-day as you wish).

GO Transit no longer allows you to buy a monthly pass – you have to load up your Presto card with a month’s worth of trips (or more) if that’s what you want.

GO’s Presto passes count every TAP as a fare paid, which means you will be debiting the amount of pays you put on your card each and every time you get on.

If you enter transit 5 times a day, you will debit 5 trips off your card each day. Multiply that by 5 days a week and you’ll be paying a lot more than you used to for “unlimited” travel.

Not many TTC riders talk about the downside of the proposed Presto card, and how it’ll affect those who currently rely on the Metropass’ value to many riders in this city.
Gan4woba / June 24, 2014 at 08:14 pm
A very good example of corruption at it's finest. Why bring in a company that hasn't done anything of the like? Because whoever was in charge of hiring decided to hire a friend for maximum dollar. Nothing out of the ordinary. Just everyday corruption.
Dave / June 24, 2014 at 09:28 pm
TTC: The Delayed Way.

It's true though that our systems (TTC, GO, etc.) have different fare options and thus to make a card that covers all of them is tricky. Consider that GO charges based on distance whereas TTC charges based on hours to travel. It gets complex when a customer crosses city boundaries and different transit agencies.

It would have been MUCH better for the city and GTA if all agencies were just one massive transit system, but thats more radical and could take years to implement.

BTW New York City had I think five transit agencies each with subways and some streetcar services and it wasn't till the late 40's to 50's they all merged into the massive MTA (Metro Transit Authority) it is today.
Rice / June 24, 2014 at 09:34 pm
To be fair, TTC never wanted anything to do with Presto. They had their heart set on a state of the art open payment system like many of other modern transit systems. They had Presto forced down their throats by the province. If I remember correctly, the province threatened to with hold funding for both transit city and the new streetcar purchase if TTC didn't accept Presto. Much of what we plan on TTC incompetence is in actuality political incompetence.
#FordMoreYears replying to a comment from Chow More Years / June 24, 2014 at 10:28 pm
When Robbies on a roll he's unstoppable. Robs gonna return, energized, focused, unstoppable drive for that seat.

October 27th!
i.f. robertson / June 24, 2014 at 10:34 pm
@NP - My curiousity piqued by the lack of a reference to monthly or weekly passes in the original piece, I checked out the online outline of the Presto fare structures for the various GTA municipal transit systems and found basically two ways "unlimited" use is accomodated; an outright monthly pass purchase loaded onto the Presto card (Brampton, Durham Region and Hamilton) and a "free after a minimum # of single fares deducted in a week or month" option (Mississauga, Oakville, Burlington, Hamilton). To my mind, the most flexible of these was the MyWay (Mississauga) which has not only a per week minimum "free after" threshold but also retains the two hour transfer window that it has had for many years. Unfortunately, the TTC portion of this fare structure page lists only a single fare option with no discount even for children students or seniors. Not a good sign. I'm hoping this is simply as a result of limited number of system entry points (just fourteen subway stations listed) and that a more nuanced fare structure will be implemented when the roll out is completed across the entire system. Still, it is not encouraging that no such fare (and fair) structure has been announced. Perhaps this is a tacit recognition by the TTC that a system wide implementation is so far off that setting up such a fairer fare structure is now would be far to premature.
#FordMoreYears / June 24, 2014 at 10:35 pm

Ford Fest barbecues will be held at venues across the city this summer — first one kicks off July 29 at Thomson Park in Scarborough.

Stay tuned for more details.
Concerned / June 24, 2014 at 10:44 pm
I was very familiar with this decision when it was made in the early 2000s. I was shocked that Accenture won (but not really based on their lobbying within the Ministry and TTC at the time). Let's just say more than a few eyebrows in the industry were raised with many dire warnings of inevitable cost overruns and delays that went unheaded. It isn't the technology that is the problem, it is the bureaucracy.
Walter replying to a comment from Rice / June 24, 2014 at 10:45 pm
"To be fair, TTC never wanted anything to do with Presto."

This is true. The agreement was that Metrolinx would built the SRT continuous with the ECLRT and TTC would adopt Presto. Council intervened and we got the worst of both worlds.
Steve Munro / June 24, 2014 at 11:14 pm
The TTC was looking at a completely separate farecard system up to the point where Queen's Park stepped in and foisted Presto on them. This is yet another of the Liberal cock-ups where a technology project was mismanaged, but the TTC was forced onboard because without them, Presto is a minor player in terms of total fares collected. They desperately need the TTC to be meaningful.

As to the question of fare structure, my understanding is that the TTC has kept open a range of options for how they would charge, but that any debate on a new scheme has been kept out of the public eye until after the election to avoid having Karen Stintz actually talk about difficult policy decisions. Last year, she asked for a report on time-based fares (i.e. one "fare" buys two hours of travel), but more recently she has shifted to distance based fares that penalize people who live in the suburbs and make long commutes. Why the change?

Obviously Presto supports "pass" options as well as "maximum fares per day/week/month" schemes because they are already doing this. The problem will lie with the TTC and City Council who are, in the current administration, always looking to shake down riders for the most possible. Anything that sounds like lost revenue will quickly run aground with the crew now in power. Just wait until someone proposes fare integration with the 905 and GO that might cause the TTC share of the take to go down.

The proposed streetcar rollout is very strange if they are not going to retrofit to the existing cars which will remain in use for years. The bus fleet has to be equipped anyhow. I suspect Presto may be trying to save some money on the implementation because there is a cap on the amount Toronto has to pay toward the project.

If there is any good news here, it is that Ottawa went through the teething problems of "Presto Next Generation" and the TTC at least will get a system with many of the bugs already worked out.

BTW there will be fare machines at major stops so that someone can "prepay" before boarding a car. Development of a lot of the machinery for the rollout is behind schedule, and for the first few months, the Spadina car will run with a hybrid system using TTC staff almost as conductors.
asarochester / June 24, 2014 at 11:24 pm
The system is been implemented elsewhere with relative ease so it appears that the TTC is the reason for the delay. One has to remember that the TTC is run by its union - management is largely powerless, and the union doesn't want anything that will potentially affect the number of $30/an hour jobs it has a monopoly over. Presto, once implemented Will reveal how unnecessary having staff kiosks in every subway station is to sell tickets. Indeed no other major subway system operates this way today. Go to places like Berlin and almost no subway stations have ticket takers. But the ETU has a permanent veto over that kind of efficiency here my suspicion is that we'll probably never see Presto fully implemented unless as some have recommended Metrolinx takes over the operations of transit in the GTA and stops letting the unions make policy.
DPChurch / June 25, 2014 at 01:36 am
@Chester - Nice (off topic) try. The decision to adopt Presto and it's slow implementation have nothing to do with Wynne. Unless you want her Liberal government to give Ontario's transit system additional dedicated funding to implement it more quickly. No? Didn't think so.
John replying to a comment from 2.0 / June 25, 2014 at 02:46 am
Actually one of the reasons the TTC has held out this long has been their demand that they receive the next generation Presto readers. These will come with the capability to support RFID payments maid via your cellphone or PayPass/Interac Flash.
The TTC also took its time with this so that a rushed and flawed system is not put into place from day 1. TTC management saw the potential for chaos should a system that has well over 1 million riders a day were to have serious errors in it. So in a intelligent move the TTC is ensuring that once running this system will be ahead of the industry standard and be reliable.
Give the TTC some credit, they are a huge organization, tasked with moving millions of people on hundreds of vehicles safely every day. They are starved for cash compared with other large transit agencies of its size. ( the TTC has the lowest government subsidy in north America, and must rely heavy on fairs for its operations. Yet they still manage to provide us with decent, reliable service. On well maintained vehicles 24/7 (which is more then other cities who suspend service after 2am.) and we enjoy one of the best safety records amongst transit agencies.
Robert5521 / June 25, 2014 at 09:18 am
Embarrassing. Just back from a vacation in Europe where transit is easy to use and payment systems automated. Why can't we get it right?
Rando / June 25, 2014 at 11:00 am
Wouldn't the presto system cause them to greatly reduce their coin processing staff? Wouldn't they be unionized?

Spike replying to a comment from John / June 25, 2014 at 02:45 pm
FINALLY, somebody who's NOT just bitching for the sake of bitching about TTC like they usually do. Good summing up of why the TTC is being cautious about Presto rather that just leaping into it full tilt boogie.
iSkyscraper replying to a comment from Xijong / June 26, 2014 at 03:13 pm
Not true at all. All cities customize a little, but most buy their smartcards from system integrators like Cubic Transportation, Arcontia, Giesecke & Devrient, ACS Xerox or others who have done the process many times over, using more or less the same MIFARE parts. The multiple-fares thing for GO and such is just programming, no big deal.

Prior to Presto, Andersen (I refuse to call them Accenture) had no experience in being the lead integrator for a transit system. (They "participated" in the Dutch development.) They clearly had no idea what they were doing and blew the budget and schedule, even though the underlying MIFARE tech is the same for Presto as Oyster or virtually any other smartcard.

And as noted in prior news articles, Andersen is now trying to sell Presto to other cities at a lower cost, having broken into the market and done the learning curve with Toronto.

You cannot tell me that Metrolinx could not have gone to Cubic or G&D or ACS and pulled out a more-off-the-shelf, cheaper solution. (i.e. - Charlie Card in Boston, same functionality as Presto. Same!) This whole deal was corrupt.
Stan replying to a comment from Spike / June 27, 2014 at 06:06 am
You do not have to have a bank account for Presto. Anybody can get one and load money on it.
Karen Stintz / June 28, 2014 at 01:24 pm
I'm soooo sorry! My kids took up my time-I'm a Mom-so I dropped the ball on Presto. I am still 'good to jam' so I will do my pennance by bending over on the TTC system from now until October 27...if you vote for me. Vote MILF! Vote Stintz!!
Rob Ford / June 29, 2014 at 07:32 am
I'll jam youse! Not deep, cuz my stomach's too big, but I'll jam ya good!
Irwinn Mimico / June 29, 2014 at 10:05 am
Oh Mr. Mayor! Jam me anytime! I'm a MILF(Mimicokan I'd Like to Fuck)!!
Joe / June 29, 2014 at 02:06 pm
As someone said, Presto is the province's fault, they blackmailed the TTC into using it. If the TTC didn't choose Presto, the Liberals threatened to pull funding from streetcars and transit city.
Karen Stintz / June 30, 2014 at 09:57 am
I make easy money because I'm a M**O**M!!!!
observer replying to a comment from Spike / July 1, 2014 at 04:38 pm
Since when we are building Toronto for homeless?
Duane / July 2, 2014 at 08:11 am
A good read on how London (UK) makes it transit work:

10 years to roll out this system is a why our system doesn't ever more effective or efficient with each passing year. 70% of operating costs are covered by fares in London.

London has multiple fare systems/price points and manages to make their system (Oyster) work. Only Toronto could mess this up. We should have went with the Oyster system that London has as it's already being used by a city with similar needs to Toronto.
affordable costumes / July 5, 2014 at 07:42 am
Wonderful post however , I was wanting to know if you could write a litte more on this subject?
I'd be very thannkful if you could elaborate a little bit more.
Thank you!
Spike replying to a comment from i.f. robertson / July 9, 2014 at 08:17 pm
What you said is just it; the PRESTO card will take out money every time you use it until there's nothing left (you have to top it up with the occasional infusion of cash from your bank account, or by going to the kiosk at GO Transit and putting money onto the card.) The thing is, not all people have enough money to use these cards ALL OF THE TIME (something that iSkyscraper and the others here don't get) and also, PRESTO has had problems with giving people the funds to go on the train/bus when they top it up and then expect to be able to use it immediately, but can't because it takes 24 hours for a load of cash to be registered onto the card by the system (there's a class-action lawsuit being readied in Richmond Hill by disgruntled Presto users who use VIVA, or so I've heard from a lady I was talking to.) These things have to be taken into consideration even if Presto's launch was a success and Metrolinx had bought an off-the-shelf system, but people here don't give a fuck, since many of them have an FYIGM attitude towards other not as fortunate as them and think that they should be in Sanctuary Districts, or concentration camps.

@observer: One thing I have to say to you is this;

'If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.'

John F. Kennedy
laura schmidt / July 15, 2014 at 10:48 am
Why is it so important to have Presto that people are mad in the comments?

It's at least as inconvenient a system as it is convenient.

Sounds like a few "commenters" work for Presto or other smart card vendors.
Clb / September 2, 2014 at 10:07 am
Wow a lot of misinformation going around let's clear things up:

1) You CAN have a Monthly pass for unlimited travel on presto. You pay the monthly pass rate and the funds are NOT added to the epurse but rather "activate" the the pass functionality for the transit system in which you paid. so nothing is deducted each time you tap it's just valid til the pass expires.

2) it is NOT slow you literally just tap and it takes fractions of seconds for it to process the payment and no need for the machine to "spit out" transfers because the transfer is loaded onto the card so when you tap on the next bus it tells you how much time you have left on the transfer ( in Brampton, mississauga, hamilton etc the transfers are valid for unlimited travel in any direction for 2 hours, I know the ttc has a complicated transfer system and that's one of the issues with how that will work) I honestly think it's slower to put debit and credit machines which need time to authorize payments on the vehicles, those should be left at the stops and just presto on board.

3) the point of presto isn't to make your lives horrible it's so that you can get from say toronto to hamilton, or brampton, or markham or anywhere go transit can take you without having to worry about paying 6 different cash fares ( and the cash fares are more than the presto fares) There used to be a GTA pass not sure if it still exists but I suppose at some point there will be an option to have a single fare to ride many transit systems which IS easier. / January 7, 2015 at 09:01 am
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