TTC Suspends Token Sales, Introduces Temporary Tickets in Advance of Fare Hike
The TTC has come up with a way to stop token hoarding in its tracks - by suspending token sales outright, immediately, and replacing them in the short-term with temporary adult tickets.
In a rare Sunday press release, the TTC made the announcement, quoting TTC Chair Adam Giambrone:
"TTC riders have been understandably frustrated by the current token restriction. By issuing temporary tickets, the TTC has found a way to allow customers to buy bulk fares in the short term. This announcement today alleviates customer frustrations, and also allows the TTC to ensure it doesn't lose, potentially, millions of dollars in much-needed revenue."
In advance of the January 2010 far hike, token sales have been spiking as riders stock-pile as many as then can at current pricing to save on transit use in the new year post-fare hike. As a result, sales were first limited to 10 per customer, then a few days later the limit was decreased to 5 tokens per customer. Long lineups at collector booths were becoming the norm, and the Toronto Transit Commission stood to lose as much as $5million in revenue in 2010 if the token stashing trend continued.
The temporary adult tickets will be sold in place of tokens starting tomorrow and through to January 2nd, 2010. This includes retailers like Shoppers Drug Mart and convenience stores. The tickets must be used by January 31st, 2010, and refunds will not be issued for any tickets that are not used prior to the end of January. Using the temporary ticket between January 3rd and 31st will require an additional $0.25 to be tossed into the fare box.
The TTC phased out adult fare tickets back in September of 2008. At this point in time, I can't be certain if the same old design (or leftover tickets from way back then) will be used, or if the TTC has designed and will print a new temporary ticket.
UPDATE (Nov. 23rd): The Globe and Mail revealed this morning that the TTC is spending $50,000 to print these new temporary tickets.
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