TTC confusion over two-hour transfer periods adds more doubt about failed Presto system

TORONTO, ONTARIO – Against the backdrop of a failed Presto system, massive lost fares and overcrowding across the public transit system, Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 113 is calling on the Toronto Transit Commission to get their act straight when it comes to fare payment and transfer rules.

On February 28, the TTC’s Customer Service Twitter account issued contradictory information about Presto’s transfer and payment rules. The TTC informed riders via Twitter that they could “tap on” within the two-hour transfer period and finish their trip even if it takes longer than two hours to complete. Shortly after, the TTC issued another tweet that contradicted their previous statement, suggesting that the two-hour transfer referred only to travel time. After clarifying with their fare enforcement team, the TTC issued a correction notice and reverted to their original statement, saying that while a rider may board a vehicle within the two-hour transfer window, riders are required to provide payment again once it expires.

“With so much confusion, it’s fair to ask if TTC management knows their own Presto payment and transfer rules?” said Carlos Santos, President of ATU Local 113, which represents nearly 12,000 TTC maintenance and operations workers. “The accumulative effects of the plaguing Presto problems are poor customer service for riders and shattered public confidence in the TTC’s ability to collect fares through Presto, a failed fare system that is already costing our public transit system millions in lost fares.”

As the TTC looks to increase fare inspectors, ATU Local 113 is questioning how these inspectors are supposed to enforce Presto payment and transfer rules when TTC management themselves are confused.

Unfortunately for riders, Metrolinx and the TTC have implemented a complicated fare management system that does not provide riders with adequate information on the status of Presto’s two-hour transfers. At the same time, the TTC continues to take a hardline approach to fare evasion by hiring more fare inspectors and providing stern warnings to honest riders about high fines.

As part of the solution to recapture lost revenue, ATU Local 113 calls on the TTC to reinstate fare collectors at all TTC Subway stations. The union is also calling on the provincial government to fix Metrolinx’s failed Presto system and provide fair funding to Toronto’s money-starved public transit system.

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