Province lashes out at TTC over fare system
The TTC and province of Ontario are at odds over what approach should be used for a fare system.
Transportation Minister Kathleen Wynne has blasted the TTC for its talk about developing a new fare system, calling it a complete waste of taxpayers' dollars.
In a statement issued Friday, Wynne noted the government has developed the PRESTO card to allow integration of transit around the GTA -- from GO trains or buses to the TTC, as one example.
"And best of all, the PRESTO system is also being developed to accept other cards -- like debit or credit cards," she said.
"It’s a smart system that connects us and makes the daily commute just a little easier."
On Thursday, the TTC issued a request for proposals for an "open payment" system, with work to begin in January.
"It's coming and it's coming quickly," TTC chair Adam Giambrone told CTV Toronto.
Major cities such as New York, Philadelphia and London are already moving in this direction, he said.
Essentially, the TTC would use the same technology that allows you to make "swipe-and-pay" cashless transactions at businesses such as Tim Hortons.
Giambrone said transit riders would be able to load their metro pass onto their credit or debit card by storing it on the chip.
The system will cost tens of millions of dollars to implement.
Wynne said the city and province have made repeated commitments to PRESTO.
Gas tax funding in the GTA was made with the requirement that municipalities take part in the PRESTO card system, the minister said.
Funding of Toronto's replacement streetcars is also contingent on participating in PRESTO, and the city has been told that the 182 light-transit vehicles for Transit City must also be PRESTO-ready, she said.
"There are a lot of investments to make in public transit, and a lot of improvements to be made at the TTC. To waste money on a duplicate fare system makes no sense," Wynne said.