As the transit agency in Canada's most populous city is preparing to abolish the decade's old payment system, the Union urges transit workers to catch up with the Ontario regime and rectify what it describes as defective technology in higher technological replacement.
December marks the last month that Toronto's commuters will be able to use Metropas on TTC as the network of buses, streetcars and subways switches to Presto, an electronic card payment system, used mainly in Southern Ontario. By mid 2019, transit tickets and tokens will also be phased out.
But the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 113 has sent a letter to Premier Doug Ford, asking for the government to take "immediate and urgent action" to rectify what it looks like an unreliable system whose machines regularly collapse.
"We want (government) to address the fact that the Presto system has failed," said Union spokesperson Kevin Morton. "It's just a debacle."
He said the trade union believes that TTC will not be able to cope with the influx of Presto users, as card readers regularly fail and take too long to repair, which he said could also lead to loss of revenue.
The Province did not respond immediately to a request for comments on the letter.
Metrolinx & # 39; Very Confident & # 39;
But Anne Marie Aikins, Spokeswoman for Metrolinx, who oversees Presto, said the reliability of card readers on buses and streetcars is on average 98 to 99 percent per week.
"We are very sure that Presto is ready for the transition away from Metropasses," wrote Aikins in an email.
The TTC has called the Metropass a "mainstay for TTC billing for almost 40 years and a regular luminaire in life and the wallet of nearly 300,000 torontoners each month."
Over 78 million of the monthly passes have been sold since they were introduced in 1980 at a price of $ 26. Today, they cost almost $ 150, and after December 31, monthly transit passes will only be available through Presto.
TTC began to offer Presto as a payment method in 2011, and TTC spokeswoman Heather Brown said that more payment options like the monthly passport have become available through Presto in recent years.
By 2017, the TTC had about 1.7 million customers every day, according to the agency's website. Aikins said there are about 1.3 million Presto cardholders who use TTC and approx. 800,000 faucets on card readers a day.
Ridership is not down – paid rider is down.– Kevin Morton, TTC Union spokesman
Brown said that the TTC would prepare for the increase in Presto users by having more transit workers present at Presto vending machines to help commuters. She said that maintenance workers would also be there to correct broken readers "within a reasonable time."
Brown said Presto readers are mostly corrected within 24 hours. She said buses and streetcars have two readers, and if both are down, TTC riders are told to pay at their destination.
Concerns about lost revenue
But Morton said he is concerned that Presto readers collapse means that it will make it easier for commuters to avoid paying the fare.
He said that the letter was sent to the province before sending the letter to the province. A note was sent to its members about the Presto transition. Morton said that the association received "hundreds" of responses from members citing concerns for commuters who could not pay because readers were broken.
In the union's letter to Ford, a number of anonymous TTC employees are cited saying that readers fail daily and sometimes take days to fix.
Morton said he predicts that TTC will lose "a fortune in circulation" as commuters can avoid paying the fare by entering the back of a bus or tram and not tapping the Presto reader. He said that if a TTC rider is caught and fined for not paying, he claims that it would be easier for the person to fight for the ticket in court by claiming that the Presto reader was broken.
Morton added that a loss in revenue could easily be confused with a loss of riderhip.
"It's a joke," he said. "Ridership is not down – paid rider is down."
Brown said that if TTC commuters are caught commit a danger of extortion, they can be fined up to $ 425.