Free Presto card giveaway causes total chaos in Toronto
Riding the TTC can already be a hassle in this city, and although Scotiabank just tried to make it easier, they probably made it a bit worse for one day.
A free Presto Card giveaway at several TTC and GO stations caused some havoc in the streets as thousands lined up to get their hands on the cards.
Yep, a presto card loaded with $6. I feared for my life trying to exit College station just now— Joanna M (@jojomasc88) October 3, 2018
The promotion was meant to advertise the Maple Leafs' first game at the newly-named Scotiabank Arena.
In addition to the fact that free stuff makes people line up like crazy, Scotiabank decided the ideal time to give the cards away was right at the beginning of rush hour, starting at approximately 4 p.m.
Line 1: Customers may experience delays and overcrowding at College, Eglinton and Finch Stations due to Presto Card giveaway— TTC Service Alerts (@TTCnotices) October 3, 2018
Lineups formed early, and began to block many sidewalks outside transit stations very quickly.
The good people who run the TTC Customer Service Twitter account spent the day explaining to people why the lines were forming, despite not being involved in the giveaway.
One person who tried to get a card was Cindy Rossi, who headed to College Station.
According to her, it was unorganized chaos as the TTC staff, police, and Scotiabank representatives were giving conflicting information and mob-mentality set in.
"You had to look for a hand holding out a pass and push through the crowd hoping you would get it," she says, "It got really hot, congested, and scary."
I got to Kennedy and it looks like...this? I thought the subway was shut down and asked a police office and he said: "It's very serious... it's a free presto card giveaway"— Spooktoria 🎃 #GibbyTheBest (@biaginger) October 3, 2018
The mayhem will probably take place again, as Scotiabank is preparing a second giveaway later this month on October 17.
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