TTC loses $2.5 million weekly due to malfunctioning Presto machines [Update]

This report doesn't think that the Presto system is ready to be Toronto's main form of transit payment

The union representing Toronto’s transit workers has penned an open letter to Conservative Premier Doug Ford detailing the faults with the Presto system used across the various transit agencies in Toronto.

According to a report from Narcity, TTC workers also back up this claim by saying that the Presto system isn’t ready to handle the increased number of Presto card users as Metro Passes are phased out.

Not only do the machines fail often, but some bus drivers also complain that it takes around an hour to start up the devices in the morning, delaying their start time, the report noted.

When Presto machines break, it sometimes takes days for Presto maintenance workers to fix machines, which in turn keeps buses or streetcars out of commission for a few days, reads the report.

Bus drivers talked to in the report mention that they think somewhere between 10 and 20 percent of fares don’t get paid due to faulty machines during the average bus driver’s shift.

The TTC says that in 2017, 261,112,835 people rode the bus, which means there would be an average of 715,000 bus riders per day.

20 percent of those rides is 143,000, which is the number of people whose $3 fares aren’t being collected, resulting in $430,000 CAD being lost each day, reasons the report.

Update 10/12/2018: A representative from Metrolinx has reached out to MobileSyrup with additional numbers regarding Narcity’s report, as well as a statement from Phil Verster, the transit agency’s CEO.

According to the Metrolinx, for the week of November 26th, Presto card readers in buses and streetcars averaged to 98.9 percent reliability.

Presto point of sale machines in Shoppers Drug Mart locations and self-serve machines were both above 99 percent reliability, and fare vending machines were at 94.2 percent reliable, according to the transit agency.

“Our device reliability throughout the TTC network is strong as evidenced by the data we continue to report to the TTC on a weekly and monthly basis,” said Verster in a statement to MobileSyrup.

For the week of November 26th  readers for buses and streetcars averaged 98.9 percent reliability, point of sale devices at Shoppers Drug Mart averaged 99.1 percent reliability and self-service devices for the month of October included 99.5% for the reload machines, and 94.2 percent at the Fare Vending Machines. We also look to our partners at the TTC to ensure the faregates are performing to the same standard of service expected of Metrolinx.”

Source: Narcity