With its usual grace and elegance, the TTC will introduce its PRESTO electronic fare system for use on new, giant streetcars it is preparing to deploy. The streetcars are due August 31 but PRESTO cards won’t appear until November 3rd.
For a couple of months at least, riders will use the old tickets, tokens and transfers. A bit of a clumsy launch, but wait, there’s more.
When the PRESTO cards do let us board a new streetcar, we will tap our card at the door to pay, but we’re not finished yet. Inside the car, it will be necessary to tap the card again on a machine that spits out old fashioned paper transfers. We’ll need these as proofs-of-purchase, because special constables will supposedly issue big fines if we can’t produce one on demand. We also need them to transfer to older vehicles that won’t have the PRESTO magic.
The elaborate make-do rituals will drag on into 2015, while the TTC attempts to create a fare-collecting system that works throughout the city. Anyone see potential for comedy ahead?