Toronto is furious about Metrolinx's claim that Presto cards rarely malfunction
A claim made by a Metrolinx spokesperson in a CTV News article about how often Presto cards malfunction is sparking outrage in Toronto.
The article tells the story of a Toronto woman who was fined by transit inspection officers after her card malfunctioned and failed to load the money she paid before boarding her train.
Samantha Chong-Luke told CTV she was fined $240 after not having proof of payment on a recent GO Transit trip, though she tried to load her card with $20 before taking her trip.
Later in the article, CTV journalist Pat Foran wrote that "Metrolinx said it's extremely rare for Presto cards to have problems," and it's that claim in particular that has Toronto residents fuming.
"Metrolinx said it's extremely rare for Presto cards to have problems."— Shruti (@ShrutiLJ) January 22, 2020
Lord, give me the audacity of a company trying to gaslight a city of 3 million people🙄. #Metrolinx & #presto is all problems, all the time -- & all of Toronto knows it. https://t.co/agO6RKeqcX
The story has been widely shared online and even has its own Twitter event, which compiles many of the comments and complaints that followed CTV's story.
"I've been on a streetcar where I've tapped my presto card, it doesn't work, then both kiosks on the car are out of service. It then takes TWENTY FOUR HOURS for money you put on your card via the app to be accessible. The TTC and Metrolinx are a sham," another wrote.
metrolinx: presto cards are great we’ve never had problems with them its so rare (:— ruhi (@ruheeka) January 22, 2020
anyone who’s ever breathed near a presto card: pic.twitter.com/8wCiJJ8w4F
Toronto journalist Fatima Syed even tweeted her own fact check of the statement.
"Last month, my sister reloaded her card in the app. The $$ appeared there but didn't transfer over. She was fined. The officer said he'd heard this from many."
Last week, I saw a guy arguing with an officer. He had auto-load on so his card never went into negative balance, he said, and pulled out his phone and TD app to show him. The dude had taken the same route every day for 5 years.— Fatima Syed (@fatimabsyed) January 22, 2020
He still got fined because the card didn't tap.
It's no secret that Presto machines and cards have been plagued with issues since they were first introduced in Toronto, and many are expressing frustration over the fact that commuters continue to be faulted for Presto's mishaps.
"The issue isn't that cards sometimes mess up, no system is perfect," one Toronto resident said. "The issue is treating people like criminals when YOUR SYSTEM caused the issue. (Also, the failure rate of presto cards is probably higher than you want to admit but thats not the real issue here)."
Surprisingly enough, the sheer volume of online complaints about Presto resulted in Metrolinx issuing its own response directly on Twitter earlier today.
"The overwhelming majority of those PRESTO devices do perform without incident on both the TTC and GO. That said, we are always striving to be better."
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