presto card

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. 

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. 

"How MANY times I've had problems with this in #toronto @Metrolinx lmao 'its extremely rare for Presto cards to have problems' - do y'all even USE your system!?" one angry resident wrote

"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.

Toronto journalist Fatima Syed even tweeted her own fact check of the statement. 

"Fact check:@Metrolinx says it's 'extremely rare' for Presto cards to have issues. It's not," she wrote

"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."

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. 

"There are 4 million @PRESTOcard users across the region, and there are millions of PRESTO taps each day," the regional transit agency wrote.

"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."

Lead photo by

Wikimedia Commons


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