TTC riders are irate about chronically malfunctioning Presto readers
As the TTC’s rollout of its new Presto card readers and fare gates continues, Toronto’s public transit riders have discovered a new favourite pastime: complaining about the TTC’s new Presto card readers and fare gates.
It’s not that there’s anything intrinsically wrong with the new card readers. If they were always working properly, they’d be fine—great, even. But frequently the machines are broken: the card readers won’t read, or the card loaders won’t load. The TTC estimates that 8 to 10 per cent of Presto readers are out of order at any given time, and the problem has become such an irritant that the commission recently ordered TTC staff to produce a report on the amount of revenue that has been lost as a result of riders not being able to pay their fares. (They hope to recoup the difference from Metrolinx, Presto’s operator.)
As one would probably expect, Twitter has become the main bile duct for Presto hate. Here’s what people are saying.
There are lots of people out there who are pissed that they can’t use their cards:
a fun thing is when you try to load your presto @ dufferin stn but the collector says the machine has been broken for 2 months @TTChelps
— got out (@truterrors) February 24, 2017
A generation of transit riders will never again trust fare gates:
@TTChelps @PRESTOcard so I thought that's ok I will reload at St. Clair, no can do broken there too, this Presto thing sucks
— Rita Oppediano (@dolcerita) March 6, 2017
Sick burn, right here:
Presto? More like PrestNO. Every evening bus in the last week has had their card reader broken.
— Michael Nugent (@michaelnugent) February 6, 2017
And of course, there are some accessibility concerns:
Presto rollout is such a disaster @TTChelps. Helped an elderly man at the St Clair Centre entrance squeeze his walker through broken gates
— sh__l_n (@shxxlxn) February 3, 2017
But a large contingent of people—maybe even a slim majority—are taking grim satisfaction in Presto’s technical glitches, because it means they get free rides:
Now future proofed with Presto card, will try subway next week see if I can get free ride from a defective machine.
— RonJ (@RJinTO) February 22, 2017
Some people are downright psyched when their Presto card won’t tap:
I just got really, really happy that the presto on the bus was broken. This is what university does to you, friends.
— ʍëɹp (@__drewdouglas) February 8, 2017
Yup, it’s a real money-saver (but try not to think about the hundreds of millions of dollars of public money spent developing and installing this malfunctioning fare system):
The best thing about have a Presto card is that half your TTC trips are free cause the scanners are always broken
— Colin Schultz (@_ColinS_) March 3, 2017
Praise the lord:
Holy shit I actually got a seat on a rush hour street car AND the presto machines weren't working so it was a free ride ??
— Jenny Reed (@xJennaayx) March 1, 2017
The face everyone made this AM when the presto machine was broken on the bus and they got a free ride #Fixthehsr pic.twitter.com/7ut9rwxcxF
— Jennifer Friesen (@friesenjenn) February 28, 2017
Presto glitches are so reliable that they’ve become a legitimate household budgeting strategy:
I pay with Presto cause 1 out of 10 times the machine's broken and you don't have to pay
— Adrian Morphy (@AdrianMorphy) February 18, 2017
2 presto machines are not in service at the subway station .. welp free ride for me
— -!vy Ch0ng- (@ivysmilezz_) January 27, 2017