Toronto’s Transit Commission has updated the Presto card machine system by enhancing screen readers on all buses, streetcars and inside stations, the TTC said in a statement Sept. 24.
Starting on Sept. 25, TTC customers can see their balance when tapping their Presto card. Also, the updated screens show how much a passenger paid and whether or they are transferring.
A major problems faced by the TTC is fare fraud. According to a February 2019 report, the TTC lost an estimated $61 million in passenger revenue in 2018 due to fare evasion.
However, fare gates are now being notified whether or not users want to commit fraud by swiping a child card.
“A new three-toned chime sound and flashing yellow light will be introduced to indicate a child card is being used,” said the TTC report.
“Clearly this new system will go a long way in fighting and reducing fraud,” TTC bus driver Sammy Younan said. “In the last week over 30 adults have tried to use a child card while I have been on the job.”
Many users have been forced to leave the bus because the machine detects they are using a child card, Younan said. “Eventually this fraud issue will no longer be a problem.”
‘The right thing to do’
TTC users have expressed both positive and negative reactions to the changes.
Some approve these new updates to make it easier to catch those who took advantage of the system by wanting to ride for free.
“It is the right thing to do — those people who avoided paying full fare are finally getting caught,” rider Grissel Castro said.
“Honestly, this is helpful, so people can remember to go and load their cards, also consider making loading possible at more non-TTC spots,” Grissel said.
“I think showing your balance is something that should have been done years ago, many other transit systems do this without concern,” North York resident Omar Kazi said.
“Hopefully it cuts down on people cheating the system,” he said.
On the other hand, there have been several complaints and claims about these new changes and how this can increase robbery and violence in transportation systems.
Others say there was no significant change in the machine system.
“The PRESTO hardware remains the same,” TTC user Alex Rampaul said. “However they just recently updated their screen images to show the enlarged TTC logo, as well as show your remaining balance when you swipe your presto card against the fare reader.”