On December 16, 2015, the TTC Board will consider a report from management recommending several changes in the fare collection system. Some of these proposals are straightforward while others are likely to bring confusion and outright complaints from TTC riders.
On December 14, the TTC streetcar system goes to “Proof of Payment” (POP) on all routes and a few days later, Presto will be enabled across the streetcar system. In the short term, paying by Presto will be akin to dropping a token in the farebox on the “old” streetcar fleet. If you need a transfer, board at the front door and get one from the operator. Otherwise, rear door boarding is allowed. Transfers will be required if somewhere in your journey you will encounter a bus that is not Presto equipped. (The TTC is silent on how they will handle a route like 504 King that operates both types of vehicle if a Presto user discovers a non-Presto equipped vehicle is the first thing to show up.)
The roll out of Presto brings the opportunity to revise the fare system, for good or ill, as the TTC migrates away from its conventional model of tickets, tokens and transfers. (It is worth noting that a large number of riders have already made this migration by using Metropasses which are simple, if limited in the fare options they provide.)
The transitional period when both Presto and existing fare payment systems co-exist will be a difficult one. Indeed, there are strong incentives for riders not to shift to Presto until the system is fully functional unless their TTC usage is limited to that part of the network where Presto is active.