The TTC and city want to cut ties with Metrolinx over Presto issues
The relationship between the TTC and Metrolinx is a fairly rocky one when it comes to Presto (Metrolinx owns Presto), and a TTC board meeting at city hall yesterday highlighted just how strained things between the two agencies have become.
A report from Toronto's auditor general on Presto effectiveness was released just days ago, and it revealed that the TTC is losing revenue because of issues with Presto.
Some of the issues causing the loss of revenue include coin boxes not being emptied and leading to out-of-service incidents, frozen card readers, inconsistently-reported Presto statistics because numbers are not updated on weekends and holidays, and more.
TTC wants Metrolinx to pay $7.5 million to compensate for fare revenue lost due to Presto equipment reliability. Metrolinx is balking, saying the TTC needs to provide more data to support the revenue loss claim. But Metrolinx controls the data. pic.twitter.com/7FNSxhkRmj— Matt Elliott (@GraphicMatt) October 21, 2019
When the report was presented at yesterday's meeting, it quickly became clear that there is some real support for cutting ties with Metrolinx because of these issues.
The first indication of the lack of cooperation between the two agencies was the fact that no one from Metrolinx was actually present at the meeting, and when asked why no one attended, they simply said they weren't invited.
Heisey says Metrolinx reps should be here today answering questions. "I don't think they respect this commission," he says.— Ben Spurr (@BenSpurr) October 24, 2019
A list of items on which the TTC and Metrolinx disagree was also presented during the meeting, and proved just how unaligned the two agencies have become.
AG lists differences of opinion between Metrolinx and TTC on Presto. Two sides don’t even agree on the adoption rate of Presto (the portion of TTC riders who use the cards). pic.twitter.com/IepSnd7SRJ— Ben Spurr (@BenSpurr) October 24, 2019
The issues appear to be endless, and Commissioner Ron Lalonde said there is a fair amount of interest on the board to find a new fare card supplier.
Still, in light of the fact that the TTC has a 15- year contract with Presto, Lalonde said he won't support switching suppliers.
Instead he said the two must find a way to work together.
Commissioner Jim Karygiannis then moved a motion to instruct the TTC to look into other potential fare card suppliers, which carried with a split vote.
It's unlikely that the TTC will leave Presto for real, as ending a contract isn't quite as simple as cutting ties with an old fling, but they will get a report on the benefits other suppliers could provide for the TTC as well as TTC riders by late 2020.
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