The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) has announced that it will be making tokens and tickets obsolete sometime in 2017. The TTC has announced that its whole fleet – buses, streetcars, and subway stations – will have PRESTO readers by the end of 2016.
The TTC also announced that the PRESTO card will also enable the elimination of the Day Pass currently offered by the TTC.
Ticket and Token sales will tentatively stop at the end of 2016, but will be accepted as payment until sometime in 2017.
Also on plan is to all passengers to pay by credit or debit card as well.
Also, current TTC employees who work in the ticket booths at subway stations will become Station Attendants and will assist passengers at stations with using ticket machines or assist with inquiries.
I do have some concerns with this procedure:
1) How will this affect fares? While it is assumed that PRESTO will operate on the TTC as it does on other systems whereby regular users will see reduced fares (that would bring the total costs to users to those of the current Metropasses.)
2) What will occur with Day Passes. While the PRESTO card will eventually have a maximum daily rate equivalent to a day pass, under the current system those using a day pass can bring another adult, or a couple teenage children, with them for free on weekends, how will this occur in the future? Removing this option only increases costs for passengers, not encourages passengers using the system.
3) What about the occasional user, like a tourist for example. What options will they have other then use a credit or debit card? And what if it is not accepted? Tourists are not likely to spend $6 on a PRESTO card that they may only use on a single trip to Toronto, especially if they are only visiting the city for a short period of time.