TTC eyeing major fare structure changes as Presto rolls out
The TTC will eliminate tickets, tokens, and possibly cash, in the next two years as it prepares for the full rollout of Presto.
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The TTC board is considering a massive overhaul of its fare system in preparation for the full roll-out of the electronic Presto card by 2017.
That’s when riders will have to tap their Presto cards on an electronic reader every time they enter and exit the bus, streetcar or subway.
The fare makeover comes less than a month after the TTC board approved a 25-cent cash fare hike and a 10-cent increase in the price of tokens in the New Year.
One of the biggest Presto-related changes the board could approve on Wednesday would be the introduction of peak and off-peak prices to ride the system in 2018.
Many of the staff recommendations are designed to push riders off the old fare system and onto the new electronic payments that would help the TTC eliminate tickets and tokens and, dramatically reduce the amount of cash it handles.
A key staff suggestion is the removal of student and senior discounts for cash customers by 2017.
Other recommendations include:
- The migration of weekly and monthly Metropasses on to the Presto card in 2016.
- A proof-of-payment honour system across all TTC modes in 2017 that would extend the fare inspection system implemented on all 11 streetcar routes on Monday.
- Also in 2017, VIP Metropass customers, who buy their pass through an employer, would be transferred to the MDP (Metropass Discount Plan) for riders who commit to buying a pass for the entire year in 2017. That program would then be sold through Presto.
TTC staff is still looking at whether or not to make a single-ride Presto card available for those who pay cash on the bus or whether to eliminate cash fares entirely on buses.
The idea of apply a two-hour transfer on the system has been suspended pending the outcome of a fare integration study by Metrolinx, expected to offer some recommendations in the spring. The two-hour transfer that has been available on the St. Clair streetcar since the TTC right-of-way was built, is being eliminated at the end of the year.
The TTC is the last transit system in the Toronto region that hasn’t fully signed onto Presto. But it is expected to be the first to have the next generation of Presto that will allow riders to pay their fares with a credit or debit card or, cellphone. It’s not clear when that feature will be available.
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