TTC Proposes New Fare Rules for Presto Roll Out

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.

Changes to be Implemented in 2016

Daily Caps on Fares on Presto

Presto users who “pay as they play” (as opposed to those using a pass) would have their total daily fare cost capped at the price of a Day Pass regardless of how many trips they take, effectively removing the need for this type of pass. Given that Presto will not “work” system wide, the paper version of the Day Pass will still be required for people whose trips begin on non-Presto routes.

Weekly and Monthly Passes on Presto

Presto users will be able to load a weekly or monthly pass on their Presto card. Like the Day Pass equivalent described above, this is of limited use to anyone whose trips might start on a non-Presto route. There is no point in paying for a monthly pass and not being able to use it for some trips.

Note that the discounted plans for Metropasses will not be supported on Presto in 2016 (see below).

Mixed Mode Routes and Trips

Some routes operate with a mix of buses and streetcars, and there is no guarantee, especially early in the conversion, that the buses will have active Presto devices. This means that, for example, the 504 King buses will not be able to accept monthly passes on Presto, and pay-as-you-play riders will require a supply of tokens “just in case” a bus shows up.

Daily fare caps on Presto won’t include fares paid with tokens, and so this feature will be of limited use.

Changes to be Implemented in 2017

Standard Cash Fare

Although this option was rejected during the 2016 budget debates, management has brought back to the table the idea that there should be no discounted cash fares for seniors or students (children already ride free). The premise is that this change will push more users onto Presto, and that has the earmarks of “it’s easier for management” rather than “it’s better for the customer”. There is no counter-proposal to explain how the system would operate if the discounted cash fares remain in place.

TTC would introduce a single cash price for all customer categories. It would have the greatest impact on seniors and students paying cash, as they can currently take advantage of a discount no matter what type of fare media they choose to use. Seniors and students would still have access to a discount when using the PRESTO card. This option would encourage migration to PRESTO, is consistent with the other Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area transit operators who also have a single cash fare and do not provide cash discounts for seniors and students, and optimizes TTC revenue and operations. [p 5]

“Optimizing” TTC revenue is a polite way of saying that, because some riders would simply pay the full fare because they have no Presto card, TTC revenues would go up. The projected amount is up to $5-million.

Proof of Payment System-Wide

Some form of POP will be required wherever a rider is on the TTC. Presto users (a group that, by 2017, will also include all Metropass users) have their POP by virtue of their “pass” being encoded on their cards, and non-pass users will have a valid “fare” from “tapping in” at vehicles and stations. What will remain will be the cash fares for which a fare receipt (subway stations or new streetcars) will be required.

An outstanding problem for cash fares is that “transfers” as we know them will disappear. If the point of entry to the system is incapable of dispensing a receipt, then a cash-paying rider would not be able to transfer (see below). This will affect all users of bus routes and the old streetcars except to the degree that the TTC provides on-street fare machines that could issue receipts. One option the TTC is considering is that such riders would just be out of luck and would be forced to pay another fare to transfer.

Tap On/Off Requirements

All surface vehicles would require a “tap on” to enter, and a “tap off” would be needed to exit a subway station through a fare gate.

On the subway, this provision is in part to deal with special fare arrangements for riders from York Region on the Spadina extension (TYSSE), although it is very much a “tail wags dog” situation. Although not detailed in the report, the implication is that if the tap in/out both occur in York Region fare territory (however that is defined by that time), then a lower fare would be paid than for a York-to-TTC trip, probably by a refund mechanism similar to that used by GO (charge full fare on entry, partial refund on exit).

Tap off would not be activated until 2017 when legacy media (passes, tokens, transfers, tickets) would no longer be used. This also co-incides with the opening of the TYSSE, although the timing of events may require transitional provisions depending on how long the legacy media survive beyond 2016.

Tapping out of stations would be a new behavior for customers to learn, customers will be required to tap out on the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension to avoid paying an additional fare when traveling from York region. For consistency, this functionality should be expanded to the entire subway system. This clear message will help reinforce the correct customer behaviour around tapping on all PRESTO devices and provides the TTC with better customer journey data. [p 6]

It will be interesting to see how long it takes the TTC to make use of the vast amount of customer journey data they will have.

Metropass Discount Plan (MDP) and Volume Incentive Program (VIP) on Presto

For MDP users, the cost of a “pass” would be billed at the start of each month at the rate appropriate for their fare type. The TTC also plans to merge the VIP and MDP plans, possibly into a common fare level.

Not explained in the report is how pass resales under the VIP plan would be handled. In this plan, a business or institution buys a block of passes and then resells them, possibly at a subsidized discount, to staff or students.

For Study in the 2018 Budget

Peak/Off-Peak Pricing

Different fares would be charged depending on the time of a rider’s trip. An issue for Toronto is that unlike many cities, it does not have low off-peak demand and surplus capacity that can absorb time-shifted riders across the system. There is also a potential “equity” issue among riders on two counts:

  • Riders who make short trips do not have to adjust their travel time by as great a degree to avoid the peak period as those who make long journeys.
  • It is unclear how one would establish who “deserves” to get a cheaper fare because they can shift their commute, or be penalized because they don’t have that option.

For Further Study

Single-Ride Presto Cards for Cash Customers

One ride cards would be available from fare vending machines and, possibly, from third-party vendors. This raises a few issues:

  • Why restrict the sale to a single ride card?
  • Will third-party vendors have any inventive to stock these cards when all other TTC media disappear?

One part of the problem here is the high price charged for a “real” Presto card ($6). By contrast, a limited-term use card costs only $1 in New York.

This is not just an issue for riders wanting to purchase fares, but for agencies that give out free TTC tickets and tokens.

Elimination of Cash Fares on Buses (and Older Streetcars)

This policy encourages migration to PRESTO and reduces cash handling costs, however it creates an inconsistent and less convenient journey for customers starting their trip on a bus and paying with cash. To mitigate these issues, contactless payment by debit and credit (open payments), and an extensive PRESTO third party retail network would need to be available to ensure customers can purchase a limited use PRESTO card or load value to a standard PRESTO card. Some transit agencies worldwide are moving towards similar policies e.g. Transport for London, as the relative cost of handling cash increases. Note: This option will also apply to legacy streetcars while they continue to operate. [p 7]

At this point, this is only a proposal, but it begs the issue of availability of fare vending machines throughout the system to accept cash, and the degree to which riders would use other media via open payments. Note that for debit/credit payments there is no mechanism for issuing a fare receipt.

Loyalty Program Options

One option the TTC will study is whether the MDP and VIP options should simply be discontinued and the “Metropass” established as one fare level.

Not discussed in the report is the concept of moving to weekly or monthly capped fares (as for the daily fare discussed above). If a Presto card never charged more than the equivalent of a monthly pass, then the actual concept of a “pass” has less meaning unless the discount for long-term subscription (MDP or VIP) stays in place.

No Further Study At This Time

Two-Hour Time Based Transfers

The TTC recognizes that time based transfers would simplify travel and fare rules, but continues to drag its feet on actual implementation. The estimated $20m annual cost is no doubt a factor here, but the tradeoff for simplicity is lost in the shuffle. Now that we have eliminated children’s fares, and frozen other fare classes for 2016, some eager politician will embrace time based transfers as a sweetener for the 2017 budget.

While introducing a 2 hour time-based transfer is still considered a worthwhile service improvement that would reduce complexity and make the TTC consistent with other transit agencies within the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, the ongoing Integration work, led by Metrolinx, may propose changes to transfer rules. That being the case, it is recommended that further analysis or implementation should follow the completion of the Fare Integration work if required. [pp2-3]

A two hour time-based transfer can be difficult to manage if there are service delays that affect the transfer window and would cost the TTC an estimated ($20M) in lost revenue from multiple trips made within the two-hour window. This policy however, would make it easier for customers to complete short trips such as getting groceries or going to lunch using transit and create a simpler, easy to understand transfer policy. [p 7]

Is TTC surrendering what would be potentially a very popular fare type to the machinations of Metrolinx who are not known to be sensitive to the needs of urban riders? We don’t know because Metrolinx’ intentions are unknown.

As for delays and the two-hour window, the real question is the amount of travel most riders could expect to make for a single fare. Where time-based transfers are already in use, its benefits appear to outweigh the circumstances in which someone runs “over time”. A related issue here is the “tap out” and whether a journey must be completed within two hours, or only completed to the point of the last “tap in”.

All-Door Boarding on Buses

Despite the benefits of all-door boarding, especially on articulated buses, the TTC does not plan to implement this operation on its bus network except for limited locations with rear door loaders/fare inspectors as at present. Essentially, the TTC position is that it would cost too much to deploy fare enforcement across the bus network, and the potential for fare abuse is too high. All-door loading will only be used on the streetcar system.

Fare by Distance or Zones

The TTC recognizes that a zone or distance based system creates operational headaches:

Customers who use the system for shorter journeys would pay less overall, however this is only true when the initial fare can be reduced, which would have major financial impacts on TTC. Another essential factor is the reliance on customers tapping in and tapping out of both stations and surface vehicles; the latter would have significant negative impacts on dwell times for surface vehicles and may be difficult to enforce without creating major bottlenecks in the system or significantly changing customer behaviors. [p 8]

A Metrolinx analysis of “an integrated distance/zone based system” for publication in 2016. This is no surprise, but the real question is whether Metrolinx will force this option down everyone’s throat to match their own preferences, or leave well enough alone for “local” travel.

Cash POP Receipts on Buses (and Older Streetcars)

The TTC has no intention of providing fare receipts to those who pay cash on buses or the older streetcars. Once transfers are discontinued, they will have no way to avoid paying a double fare when transferring to another route except where a free transfer connection (i.e. within a station) is provided. This is pitched by management as a way to encourage migration to Presto. However, a year’s operation where a fare receipt (a transfer) is available will establish this as “the way things work”, and will be a hard sell when this facility disappears in 2017.

Addressing the Needs of Disadvantaged Groups

This issue will be addressed in a separate report in 2016:

As per the report received by the Board at its November 18, 2013 meeting; it is beyond the mandate and expertise of the TTC to effectively resolve broader social and community issues related to income distribution. In July 2014, City Council directed staff from various City departments to work together to prepare a Transit Fare Equity plan to make the TTC more affordable for low-income Torontonians. This will complement ongoing transit expansion throughout Toronto. The TFE plan is due at the end of Q1 2016, and will include eligibility criteria, costs, and options for pursuing funding partnerships.[p 5]

99 thoughts on “TTC Proposes New Fare Rules for Presto Roll Out

  1. DavidC wrote:

    I always try to use public transit when I visit other cities and, if possible, buy weekly or multi-day passes so I usually do not buy single trip tickets but it seems to me that fewer and fewer large cities accept cash fares on vehicles.

    I have done the same on many occasions. However, most cities that have removed cash fare payment on vehicles have an alternative that does not involve a full-blown farecard. Some have ticket vending machines that issue a fare receipt that is used like a transfer for pay-upon-entry or for POP. Others make use of simple one-use or multi-use cardstock cards that can be cancelled at a TVM or with onboard equipment, and often these are available at any place one can purchase a newspaper.

    Others here have mentioned scenarios where people will occasionally need to use transit having nothing but some coins in their pocket. These situations will continue to exist and have to be accounted for by a public transit agency.


  2. Much like the protracted overhead conversion to pan operation, I’m very much not a fan of this protracted deployment of offboard machines. With all routes now officially POP why not deploy them at the busiest stops at the subway interchanges on 504/501/505/506? It’s low hanging fruit.


  3. When using a streetcar recently I tried paying by Presto, not token, a couple of times.

    I was pleasantly surprised when the driver told me I wouldn’t need to remove my card from my wallet. Before I exited I asked the driver if I should “tap off”, and then “tap on” when I boarded the connecting streetcar. He told me tapping off was not necessary and handed me a paper transfer. Maybe that made sense, in case I subsequently wanted to transfer to a bus, with no Presto.

    A day or two later I took a twenty out of my wallet, to charge my Presto card with another $20. I was unpleasantly surprised to find that, unlike a token vending machine, it wasn’t able to accept cash.

    I did register my Presto card, but I think there is value in not requiring riders to always use trackable registered fare cards. The anonymity of an unregistered card disappears if riders must recharge it with their bank cards or credit cards.

    I experienced two more frustrations. I followed the on-screen instructions, or at least I think I did, when I inserted my bank card, and instructed the machine to add $20 to my card. Initial stages worked, but the final screen told me the transaction failed, and that I should look at my printed receipt for a detailed explanation as to why it failed.

    My final frustration? That printed receipt not only didn’t offer a detailed explanation as to why the transaction failed — it did not offer any explanation whatsoever.

    Jeez Louise — didn’t anyone test these things before they entered service?

    I’ve been told some Presto card charge loading machines do accept cash. Do I have to go to Union station to find one of those machines? Do the machines that accept cash work? Why not have all machines accept cash?

    Maybe in a decade or two the anonymity of using an unregistered fare card will have been eroded because all the faces seen on the surveillance cameras will be run through a facial recognition system — but let’s not rush things.

    Steve: According to the Presto website, loading a card with cash can be done at a Customer Service Outlet. On the TTC itself, only three are listed: the customer office at Davisville Station (office hours only) and the Metropass vending machines at Union and Queen’s Park. Other locations in Toronto associated with other carriers, notably GO, also appear in the list. To what extent this will expand within the TTC system itself, I have not heard any specific plans.


  4. Steve said:

    ‘The TTC and Presto claim that the cost is intended to discourage people from treating these as throwaway cards. This doesn’t explain how other cities get by with much lower purchase costs, and sounds like a made up excuse to replace “cost recovery for making the cards” which seems to have disappeared as a rationale.’

    It also doesn’t explain all of the times in the past when Presto cards were being given away for free.


  5. I’ve been on the Queen car a few times. Only one one run, an inbound morning peak run, did two or three people tap Presto to get on board. This was around Humber Bay shores. Trendy condo dwellers. 🙂

    Last night I had the doubtful pleasure of riding the 501 from Kingston Road to Long Branch loop, transferring at Humber. The car was late and had a full standing load for most of the trip. Not a single Presto bloop.

    At Humber loop the Long Branch car had an issue with the pole catcher, so it picked up passengers from four Queen/Humber cars (of which mine was the first). Not a single person tapped Presto. I presume that, unlike transfer or Metropass POP, you have to tap your Presto every time you transfer. No one did.

    There’s a narrative out there that everyone really really wants fare intergration and seamless travel and such. The first reality is that this is much overstated. The next reality is that Presto would make much more sense on buses, which do run to fare boundaries, and sometimes beyond. Streetcars only do so at Union and Long Branch loop. (To be fair, I haven’t hung around either loop to see if people getting off the GO trains use Presto to board the streetcars. Maybe they do.)


  6. I just have one simple question regarding the use of the turnstile entrances. I am a Metropass user. My trek to the bus involves me using the turnstile entrance close to the bus station at Sheppard. I don’t see a Presto card reader installed there. Will these entrances be fitted with readers in the future or will I have to cross a busy Yonge Street and go through the main station entrance before trekking to the bus station?

    Steve: All entrances will have Presto access.


  7. Further to my post, I just found something on the TTC website some kind of presentation but it seems they don’t really know what to do with these “unstaffed” of entrances as they are “problematic for Pesto integration”, any update since the presentation was published?

    Steve: Yes. All unmanned entrances will be changed to standard (new) low height fare gates.


  8. On “Two Hour Transfers”… from personal experience I can confirm this is now live with Presto on the TTC.

    Boarded 506 streetcar at Woodbine Ave heading Eastbound to Main station – tap in via Presto at 5.41pm on Sat. Presto website reports “Transaction Type” as “Fare payment” with amount of $2.90. (Then traveled via subway to Dundas station arriving approx 6.30pm)

    Then after dinner boarded Northbound subway at Dundas Station – tap in via Presto 7.40pm – 1 hr 59 min later. Presto website reports “Transaction Type” as “Transfer” with amount of $0.

    So I was only charged once on Presto for a non-continuous journey when tap in’s were 1 min shy of 2 hours apart. Perhaps if a fare inspector had “caught me” I would have been told I was violating the rules – but since I can’t control whether or not Presto charges my card on a given tap-in I think I’d have a pretty solid case!

    Will do some further stress testing of this… I totally lucked out on the 1hr 59 timing! 😉

    Totally unsurprising: the only way Presto could have mimicked the old system would be via 100% accurate GPS (never going to happen) plus massive numbers of rules for all the possible valid transfer locations which would need significant manual effort to maintain (not worth the effort, would never be up to date, significant source of customer complaints). For a start just think about all the TTC-Go-TTC scenarios that will be possible once the buses are presto equipped! 🙂 (Did such a TTC-Go-TTC trip with a paper transfer recently – #nice).

    Also had a good conversation with Fare Inspectors on another streetcar. I asked them to show me how they knew whether I had tapped in. They got out their Presto reader and showed me. Pretty neat – although privacy issues had me a little concerned – but I don’t think they can access accounts without a card present – so that’s some control.

    They didn’t know about the above timed transfer functionality, but I did ask them what happens after full Presto roll-out if a vehicle is delayed so subsequent end-to-end one-direction trip is more than 2 hours after first tap-in (hence Presto would incorrectly charge fare again). I was fearing it would be “take down vehicle #, time of incident and call customer service” (Ouch).

    But their answer was much better: they said since cash will always be accepted on surface vehicles transfers will *ALWAYS* exist as POP for cash payment. That’s a great answer. From earlier in this thread not sure that the fare inspectors are correct – given statements about “the end of transfers” – but their story does hang together!

    Their answer also perhaps explains all the effort on the new streetcars to be able issue a transfer from a Prestocard on the fare machines (there is a special Presto reader on the fare machines for this purpose – I tried it it works!). This was functionality which up until this conversation had seemed to me like a massive expense for the transition period! But now it makes sense to need this functionality of issuing transfers from prestocards in other post-transition scenarios. Of course for the “delay scenario” above it does mean issuing a transfer from a presto card must ignore the tap-in time – since one presumably wouldn’t know their would be a delay before hand! If I happen to remember I may try and get a transfer on a new streetcar >2 hrs after first tap and see what happens.

    Finally wanted to report many Streetcar drivers badly miss-informed about need for Presto users to get a paper transfer. Many try to hand you one when tapping in. One even played the stock “POP in force, please ensure you have proof of payment” after I refused a transfer! I went back and nicely highlighted the new notice above the back doors in streetcars – which he was pleased to know about. Those notices are very clear: only get a paper transfer if you journey includes a non-Presto vehicle – i.e. a bus. It doesn’t mention the non-presto equipped outside TTC property transfer point (e.g. many subway stations) – for which a transfer is also required.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Totally unsurprising: the only way Presto could have mimicked the old system would be via 100% accurate GPS (never going to happen)…

    GPS satellite signals are received inaccurately in the portions of downtown where there are highrises. If the GPS receiver is of sufficient quality, it can still compute a location — but since those signals are reflected off the south side of the buildings north of the receiver, the receiver is tricked into thinking it is north of its actual location.

    If the highrises are tall enough the signal will bounce several times, deceiving the receiver that it is even farther north than its actual location.

    I think this problem with GPS will remain, so long as Toronto has highrise buildings.

    On several photo excursions I pointed my camera with a built-in GPS detector out the window, and took a picture every two seconds or so. When I would upload all those images to Panoramio, it would plot the locations of each photo on a google satellite map. Outside of the highrise section the locations were basically a straight line, followed by a big curve north, when it entered the highrise section.

    Steve: This happens also for the GPS units on some TTC vehicles as they pass through downtown. It’s one of the many effects I have to filter out when doing service analyses.


  10. I think that the comments from antonyupward are out of date. The way Presto works on TTC changed over the weekend.

    5 rides on the 506 streetcar today cost $2.90 each ($14.50). Last week, the same trips would have cost only $8.70 (3 rides and 2 transfers, because less than 2 hours later).

    Yes, some drivers are telling riders they MUST have a transfer, if they use Presto. More poor TTC communication. If you are only going 6 stops, and not planning to transfer, you don’t need a transfer, you can use Presto as POP. Good grief, what do they do when people tap in the back door (which is happening with increasing frequency).


  11. According to users elsewhere, the 2 hour Presto passes on the TTC are finished and it’s a “regular” TTC fare now. I haven’t had a chance to test this myself.


  12. @nfitz wrote:

    “I think that the comments from antonyupward are out of date. The way Presto works on TTC changed over the weekend.

    5 rides on the 506 streetcar today cost $2.90 each ($14.50). Last week, the same trips would have cost only $8.70 (3 rides and 2 transfers, because less than 2 hours later).”

    Wow this is changing fares with no notice… not transparent at all.

    Steve – any chance you can get under the covers on this one and find out what’s really going on? Could be a news story in this “Presto / TTC not aligned on transfers; changes rules behind riders backs”…

    Steve: The initial deal with Presto was that it did not know how to enforce TTC transfer rules and was implemented with a two-hour transfer just to get the system “up”. That’s as much for photo ops and “commitments delivered” as anything, and by doing this the project was not “late”. The software change implemented last weekend now enforces fares the way they are supposed to be charged, and so it’s not an unadvertised increase. Indeed, the interim situation might equally be called an unadvertised discount.

    Another change that was supposed to go in at the same time was an upper limit of four fares per day so that equivalent-to-day-pass-pricing would occur, but the TTC has not announced this. I don’t know whether the feature is actually active yet.


  13. Steve – thanks for the as usual clear no nonsense response.

    I guess I just got lucky – and “sneaked” in under the interim rules just before they changed mid-night on Sat.

    Still no idea how they can implement those existing transfer rules reliably over time. There is so much driver / subway ticket agent discretion in the current system, not to mention GPS issues and changes due to planned and unplanned surface route changes.

    @Nfitz – can you clarify: Did you tap-in 5 times expecting to pay “3 rides and 2 transfers” – i.e. 3 * $2.90 and you were actually charged for 5 journeys 5 * $2.90? Doesn’t that mean the implementation of the old rules didn’t work for you?


  14. @antonyupward – taps at (about) 9 AM, noon, 1 pm, 3:30 pm, 4 pm, all on 506. Last week I would have expected 3 rides and 2 transfers.

    This week I had expected a daily rate cap at $12 – though I had 5*$2.90. Turns out the daily rate cap hasn’t been activated yet. February they are hoping, apparently.


  15. Steve, Nfitz – new video posted here by TTC gives lots of “official” answers.

    Steve: I think the TTC is gradually finding all of the little “exceptions” that need to be ironed out for the Presto implementation to work.


  16. This all seems like a lot of complicated fare change talk…but what strikes me is that one relatively simple thing is missing – arbitrarily dated metropasses.

    Today is February 1st, and this morning, there was a huge lineup at 8:25 am at Islington station at both ticket booths with people buying Metropasses. It’s obviously like this at the end/beginning of each month. So inefficient.

    What does a Metropass HAVE to be valid from the 1st of a month until the 27th, 28th, 30th or 31st of a month? Why can’t I buy a Metropass on the 15th of March to be valid until the 14th of April?

    In for example Zurich, Switzerland, you can do this. And Zurich doesn’t use any fancy electronic ticketing system or whatever (although they have zones), everything is paper based. So when you purchase a monthly ticket on a ticket machine, on say, the 12th of June, you get printed on your ticket, in large bold letters, 12.06.2016. – 11.07.2016. (inclusive). Even more, you can actually CHOOSE the exact date your monthly pass should start on…say you need it from tomorrow, but you know you won’t have time in the morning rush to buy it…no worries, buy it today, just choose the correct date on the machine (and of course, you can buy in person at a service desk, but machines are available almost at each bus stop, whereas service desks or kiosks are only at more frequented stops and stations).

    With Presto or whatever, this should be even easier.

    Similarly, why are weekly passes valid only Monday to Sunday? After Tuesday, you can’t buy a weekly pass. Why can’t I buy a 7 day pass any day I want, valid for the next 7 days? What if I am visiting Toronto from Wednesday to Wednesday? Or my car broke down and will be in the shop Thursday to Thursday?

    It seems like a such a simple change. Weekly passes are paper passes…easy to just write a date on: Feb. 6th, 2016. Monthly passes…again, I don’t see why it can’t be done. It’s so simple and so minor yet would make things so much more convenient and would reduce crowding at end of month / start of month days. Why don’t they do it? Are they planning it, at least?

    Steve: There has been talk of this sort of change, but I don’t know what Presto has built into their software. It is an obvious modification that would be quite popular, I expect.


  17. Andre S.:

    Similarly, why are weekly passes valid only Monday to Sunday? After Tuesday, you can’t buy a weekly pass. Why can’t I buy a 7 day pass any day I want, valid for the next 7 days? What if I am visiting Toronto from Wednesday to Wednesday? Or my car broke down and will be in the shop Thursday to Thursday?

    Just for completeness: weekly, and I think monthly, passes have worked exactly that way in Boston for some years now.

    I happen to have sitting on my desk a 7-day pass from a visit to Boston about four years ago. It was valid for exactly 168 hours, from 09:43 PM on the evening I bought it to 09:42 PM seven days later. It is a machine-issued paper ticket with a magnetic stripe (a `CharlieTicket’). Boston’s smart card (`CharlieCard’) was in use then too, but for some reason wasn’t yet able to store a weekly pass; I think that may still be the case.


  18. I took my Presto card out for a spin this past weekend. I made a trip downtown to do some quick shopping using streetcars both ways and tapping as I entered every vehicle.

    The end result? I was charged one fare.

    Maintaining the existing TTC transfer rules in a Presto system isn’t tenable in the long term.


  19. Yep – agree. Last week similar experience. Checking the transactions on Presto website turned out they thought I’d boarded somewhere in the West End (Bathurst & College) when in fact I boarded at Woodbine/Gerrard. Assume Presto callcentre going to take the brunt of this and then have to push people back to TTC….


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