July 2011 Metropass: It’s Not In The Mail

The TTC has announced that the July Metropasses for subscribers will not be mailed out.  Instead, all customers who normally receive passes in the mail and pay by automatic bank withdrawal should buy a pass at the regular price.  They will receive bank credit for the difference between a pass on subscription and one bought at a station.  Extra stocks of passes will be at collectors’ booths and in pass vending machines.

For full info, please refer to the TTC’s site.

15 thoughts on “July 2011 Metropass: It’s Not In The Mail

  1. This is going to be fun. Lineups next week will be intriguing; that’s 48 000 of us who are choose to not line up each month. Let’s hope they don’t drop the ball on this one and do get those extra passes out by Monday. The vending machines tend to be down or out of student passes.

    It will be interesting to see how many choose not to buy a pass, especially students. I suspect a hit to revenue.


  2. Great news! I’m out of town on vacation for 2 weeks during July. Might be cheaper just to use tokens – especially with the $10 credit!

    I wonder what they’ll print on my tax receipt!

    Steve: I checked on this issue, and the TTC is going to presume that everyone who is a pass subscriber buys a pass and credit them accordingly on their receipts.


  3. When I was on the MDP, the reason I was on it was because I wanted my pass mailed out to me; I’d have been willing to pay more for that. I know I am a unique person, but you can’t tell me all of the 47,999 people only got the pass for the discount.


  4. I usually get my Metropass in my mailbox on the 17th of the month (except on weekends of course) and seeing this news release made me think… is this really necessary? Right now I hear mail service is just going to be every other day in Toronto but even if I get my Metropass 2 days later (on the 19th), I still have 11 days for my pass to sit on my desk before I can use it which seems like plenty of time.

    Steve: Now that the Post Office workers are locked out and no mail is going anywhere, your position has changed. TTC had to take this possibility into account.


  5. One can get movie tickets online, print them and use them to enter a movie theatre.

    Can’t they get a receipt printed and use them to get Metropasses at subway stations in exchange. No, that would be too advanced for the TTC.

    Steve: That gets a bit tricky because you would have to validate each passholder online and ensure that they only exchanged one voucher for one pass. Unlike a movie theatre where your ticket is scanned, and duplicates would be detected, there is no way for a station collector to determine if yours is the only copy of the voucher for “you”.


  6. As I will be out of the country for a week and a bit in July (one of the destinations will be the only major city with an intercontinental transit system), I will be one of those MDP subscribers who just won’t bother purchasing a Metropass next month. I’m sure that there will be a loss of revenue.

    I can not wait for smartcards if only so we can go to 7 day and 30 day passes instead of weekly and monthly passes.


  7. “It will be interesting to see how many choose not to buy a pass, especially students. I suspect a hit to revenue.”

    You think riders are going to find other methods of travel just because the TTC is not mailing a pass? Not going to happen.


  8. Mark Dowling:

    There are disadvantages to smart cards. I am a frequent user of TTC. I easily do 80 trips a month (slow months).

    Every time I use up my card, I’d have to go down to a subway station to refill.

    I like my metropass, Once a month and that’s it.

    In case you go: “fill your card once a month”, the amount of trips I take in the summer is more than yours, Brad Ross, Karen Stintz, Gary Webster and Steve Munro combined.

    One of my neighbours has certain disabilities. He uses a scooter type thing. Kennedy Station is 10km away. So when he runs out he will have to travel that, it takes him over an hour each way.

    We should be able to pay with our cell phones, just like “text to and donate $5” (obviously not donating but paying fare).


  9. @ Miroslav
    “There are disadvantages to smart cards. I am a frequent user of TTC. I easily do 80 trips a month (slow months).

    Every time I use up my card, I’d have to go down to a subway station to refill.”

    Not true. Presto (and every other smart card I know of) is fully capable of auto refilling. You set the level at which it should add more funds, and the amount it should add each time and it automatically bills your credit card (I believe that it will take debit as well, but don’t quote me on that).

    Beyond that, the system is fully capable of having passes added manually to cards or of automatically capping the monthly fare based on number of trips (automatic passes essentially). Both of these system are already in use (well, actually, I’m not completely sure if the manual pass method is up yet, but Brampton will be using it), these are not theoretical capabilities.

    As far as open payment goes, I fully support getting it through Presto, but the idea that it can completely replace a smartcard is ridiculous. One way or another there needs to be a system for those without credit cards/cellphones/whatever and that means smartcard infrastructure even if it takes the form of transit only credit card standards compliant cards. Frankly the TTC’s attitude to Presto has been inexplicable, between the distinct lack of interest (finances aside I have gotten the impression that at least the last Commission had no desire to join any regional system) and the (still unexplained) cost estimates suggesting that TTC implementation will be orders of magnitude more expensive per vehicle and station than other system have budgeted.

    All in all, no the system isn’t perfect, but it’s as good as any other smartcard and the the rest of the region is committed. For Toronto to go with something else serves only to inconvenience everyone and close the door to better integration for the life of whatever technology is adopted.

    Steve: Even Presto’s estimate of the implementation cost on the TTC is high, just not as high (by a factor of around $100m) than the TTC’s estimate.


  10. In response to OgtheDim’s comment, “It will be interesting to see how many choose not to buy a pass, especially students. I suspect a hit to revenue,” Justin Bernard wrote, “You think riders are going to find other methods of travel just because the TTC is not mailing a pass?”

    Justin misses the point. The MDP requires a contiguous 12 months to enroll, and the labour dispute at Canada Post gives people enrolled an option to skip a month that happens to fall in a month that more are likely to not really need a Metropass for the entire month. There are only four full weeks of weekdays plus a holiday Friday in this year’s July, so someone taking only a week off only needs $75 to buy tokens for that commuting. Another $10 (*) buys two extra trips in the month for other purposes, so if faced with paying $85 versus $121 less the credit being offered, it is a no-brainer for many.

    * I just noticed yesterday, at least at Don Mills station, you can buy tokens in quantities of 4 and 8 (like the vending machines sell) in addition to 5 and 10 from the collector. Is this now system wide, or is it just there, or have I missed it all this time? The ‘official’ fare poster only shows the 5 and 10 quantities, it was a hand-written sign (in true TTC fashion!) that noted this.

    Steve: Four tokens are available in other locations, and they are a much preferable multiple to sell as this matches a single note. Of course, come the next fare increase, that won’t be true any more.


  11. I don’t like the idea of going to a collector for a monthly pass as I’ve been disappointed in the past when they have run out. Only to go the next station and next wasting time finding out the same. Could the TTC not have MDP customers come to Davisville (HQ) and extend the hours effective now until the end of June; to pick up their monthly pass. I understand not everyone can do this but would it not save some headaches as MDP already knows who we are. Just a thought.

    Steve: There are a LOT of MDP customers. The TTC claims that it will have extra supplies of passes both with the Collectors and in the vending machines.


  12. @ Miroslav, your neighbour with a scooter should be able to get Wheel Trans from door to door, rather than taking two hours roundtrip to Kennedy Station.


  13. A side effect of this whole event: companies who participate in the VIP plan have had to make alternate arrangements as well. My employer sent out an e-mail to those of us in the VIP program that we could either 1) show up at an office downtown to pick up our pass in person, or 2) have it sent via interoffice mail. Luckily I work around the corner from the pickup spot, so I went today. There were no less than five employees involved in the operation, which was going on for six days, four hours per day. Then all the ones that aren’t getting picked up must be sent out, leading to more employee hours used. I can only imagine the lost productivity this has cost us.

    Steve: Send the bill to Canada Post.


Comments are closed.