TTC fare payment

Province knocks TTC's open-payment plans

That pesky province is butting its nose in Toronto transit plans again. Keep to yourselves, provincial government (and P.S. ...save Transit City)!

Anyway, Transportation Minister Kathleen Wynne sent a letter to the TTC today advising it to "carefully consider" its plans to pursue an open-payment system. Wynne said the Commission's desire to seek open-payment capabilities could be worked out with PRESTO, the company that already has a $250 million contract with Metrolinx.

The TTC, meanwhile, will be voting tonight on whether to award a sole-sourced, $700,000 contract for legal advice on the open-payment system.

"There are many ways we can make investments to improve public transit," Wynne wrote. "Wasting money on duplication is not one of them."

YouTube star TTC chair Adam Giambrone responded that duplication isn't the case since costs will be borne by the private partner. "We had to try and work with the province around open-payments," he added, "but it became clear that they were not fully committed."

Mayoral frontrunners seized the opportunity to put in their two cents; the Ford camp said plans should be held off until the election, Rossi derided the sole-sourced nature of the contract and the city's decision to move ahead with open-payment and Smitherman, in true Furious George fashion, said, "They'd better damn well build in an escape clause in the contract."

Photo by Mike Campbell Photography in the blogTO Flickr pool.


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