toronto ttc

TTC finally expands scope of credit and debit sales

The TTC will soon accept credit and debit cards at subway fare booths for sets of 10 tokens or more, the transit commission has announced. It was reported earlier that payments over $10 would be accepted, but that appears not to be the case.

Right now, credit and debit cards are only accepted for weekly or monthly passes. Under the new rules, riders will be able to purchase day passes and tokens in quantities of 10, 20, or 50 with a Mastercard, Visa, American Express, or Interac card.

Cash, token, or Presto (downtown only) will remain the only way of paying a single fare. Tokens in sets 3, 4, 5, and 7 will only be available with cash.

There were concerns when the TTC first installed credit and debit card machines in 2013 that opening up all fares to electronic payments would lead to long queues at the fare box.

"If you could buy a single token with a credit card that would just mean we'd have enormous lineups, so that would be somewhat of a shot in the foot, that would be counterproductive," Byford said. "There is a science behind what we're doing, but ultimately what we really want to do is get rid of tokens, get rid of transfers, get rid of tickets and move to Presto as soon as we can."

Mayor John Tory and TTC CEO Andy Byford said "wave and pay" technology, which allows faster credit and debit transactions, could be installed some time in the next year as an interim measure before the arrival of Presto.

Byford said the TTC had to design and build a cash register system to use with the credit and debit card machines, slowing down the launch.

The changes, which will cost about $1.5 million over the next five years, will take effect Jan. 1 2015.

What do you think? Is this a step in the right direction for the TTC?

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

Image: Mike Campbell/blogTO Flickr pool.


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