Province’s failed Presto another reason why subway upload must stop

TORONTO, ONTARIO – (February 25, 2019) – Amalgamated Transit Union Local 113 is calling on the TTC and Metrolinx to take immediate action to stop the $64 million annual revenue loss from malfunctioning Presto machines and fare evasion, as found in the Toronto Auditor General’s Report.

On the front lines of Toronto’s subway, streetcar and bus routes, public transit workers have seen firsthand the mounting revenue problems since Metrolinx and the TTC rolled out the failed Presto system in Toronto.

In her report, Auditor General Beverly Romeo-Beehler validated transit workers’ long-held public comments that Presto and the ensuing fare evasion were bleeding tens of millions of much-needed cash from our public transit system, with riders and workers paying the price.

“For far too long, the TTC dismissed our union’s valid concerns that its failed Presto system and impractical policies have made it way too easy for fare evasion,” said Carlos Santos, President, ATU Local 113. “With the findings in the Auditor General’s report, the TTC can no longer claim it has a ridership problem. It must face the reality it has a massive fare problem on its hands, starting with the overpriced and underperforming Presto.”

To make a bad situation worse, contractors hired by Presto have responsibility for maintaining the equipment, often leading to repair delays. ATU Local 113 is calling on the province to make TTC workers responsible for fare device upkeep, which will improve repair times and system reliability.

“From gates that don’t work to contractors taking more time than needed for repairs, the Presto problems have only gotten worse over the years, often leaving riders with no choice but to evade fares because of malfunctioning technology,” said Carlos Santos. “It’s 2019 and it’s time to find 2019 solutions to fix Metrolinx’s expensive, outdated and failed technology.”

Toronto’s public transit union is calling for a full stop to Premier Doug Ford’s disastrous scheme to steal the subway system from the people of Toronto.

“The province forced Toronto to take Presto, a system we knew was defective and flawed from Day 1,” said Carlos Santos. “As the province’s Presto fiasco shows, the more Queen’s Park meddles in the TTC, the worse it is for riders. Toronto riders can’t afford more provincial mismanagement and that is why we must stand united and tell Premier Ford to keep his hands off our subway!”

Media Contact