Friday, March 2, 2012

No way ...

Let me put my Geek hat on for a sec.

So as you all know the Presto transit usage reports went online this morning, March 2nd (not March 1st - not even close).

I took a look at the code surrounding the PDF file that's been inserted for every user's report.

I think someone went in and added the link for each report manually.

This could explain the delay. It doesn't look like the PDF is pulled from a look-up in a database.

I'm not a programmer, just someone who has spent a lot of time in web development in a site design capacity, so I could be wrong, but I don't think I am.

What I don't understand is why the reports aren't embedded as part of the view?

The site keeps track of transactions made in the last 3 months embedded within the page. Why not just extend this code to 18 months?

Wouldn't this just be easier?


Matt said...

Got my presto report...WTF is this crap? Laid out by weeks? I KNOW I didn’t take enough rides in December to qualify for the discount, but lo-and-behold, December is listed in a manner that appears to be a-okay.

TomW said...

1) Why wasn't this available on Jan 2nd? The code can't be hard to write... just change last year's "2010" to "2011", and you're good.
2) @Matt: it lists *all* usage, regardelss of hwo many trips you made.
3) As to weekly vs. monthly.... if in any four consective weeks you made 32 or more trips, then you can claim the tax credit for the amount spent in those four weeks.

Matt said...

@TomW – Shouldn’t the report be listing what months the rides were taken, so that Revenue Canada can determine just how hard to ram the pole when they reassess my taxes again this year (two years in a row, and 3 out of the last four years...its’ getting predictable)? The CRA rules state 32 rides in a “period”, but I can tell you with certainty (if you rely on Presto’s quarterly usage reports embedded on the site) that I only took 31 rides in December (I got a ride home on my last day of work before Vay-Kay kicked in, hence the odd number of rides). Sure, I’ll gladly take the tax credit on 31 rides, but according to “the rules” those 31 rides shouldn’t be eligible.

Matt said...

4 consecutive weeks? I’ve always understood it to be a “period” which resets on the first day of each month. Faak, this is confusing. :-S

Bicky said...

I don't know about this... my transit usage report says I spent $213.50 on 34 rides but when I printed out the transaction report for the one month I used Presto in 2011, it says I spent $249.40. What the frack?!?!

Damned if you use Presto, damned if you pay more for a monthly paper pass - either way, you seem to be pooched.

Anonymous said...

This usage report is so difficult to use. CRA's website says "at least 32 one-way trips during an uninterrupted period not more than 31 days", but with this weekly based report, it's been shortened to rather 32 one-way trips during any 4 weeks. WTF!

lswgirl13 said...

Just like last year, I don't bother downloading anything. I just refer to my handy "2011 GO TRANSIT receipts" envelope. Yep, I'm anal'y organized.

Kelly said...

I don't see anything on my Transit Usage Report page. Any hints on where to find it?

matt said...

I went on the site this morning to look for my report and there it was (such as it is), now this evening when I go to the site again to download it and print it out, it's not there. Maybe they made some mistakes and removed them?

Anonymous said...

Checked it this morning and work and I didn't notice the manual entry thing but LOL if thats true. I'm a programmer, been in the industry less than a year and am by no means a genius yet I could of written a program to auto-generate our reports on click and could of had it done by mid january at the latest (maybe start of February if we have to do extensive testing on it).

Also now I'm home from work and went to access it so I can finally file my taxes and now you have to call them to get it? wtf is that... I called them filled it all out then the auto-voice was like "your request is submited. please hang up now..." wtf is this crap...

C.J. Smith said...

According to homepage of the Presto Card website:

2011 Transit Usage Reports are currently unavailable for download via To obtain a copy of your 2011 Transit Usage Report, call 1-877-378-6123 and press 6.

chris said...

Funny. Same thing I thought this morning. Why a PDF link?? It didn't look like it was contained in a database. Maybe that's the problem. I'm web developer.

Bicky said...

Okay, I think I may have just called Jupiter, with all the numbers I had to input, but it says my request for my transit usage report was submitted. I'm guessing it will be emailed to the email address on file? But when this will actually happen is anyone's guess.

I think this is the first year that PRESTO usage was more widespread. Man alive, what a rigamaroll.

Mustafa Hirji said...

Transit usage reports are on-line now. Mine looks unchanged. Which is unfortunate since I have saved some monthly loyalty summaries which show I took more trips than the usage report includes.

Bicky said...

@Mustafa Hirji: Mine too. Well under the actual number of trips I took.

I emailed them and noticed that they will now get back to you within 5 business days, not the 3 that it used to be.

Flipping ridiculous. Note to Presto users. Print off your transaction summary monthly so you have an accurate count of trips you took.

Bicky said...

Oops, sorry for the double post. Goblins at work. :o/

TT said...

Interesting they reduced the discount on the monthly passes just before this fiasco. I imagine there are a lot of people reconsidering presto right now.

DF said...

So how exactly do we input our transit usage on our tax returns? I used to put monthly totals using my monthly passes. With this mess do we have to input each weeks total or do we just enter one grand total for the year and take our chances. !!

Bicky said...

@DF: I'd go with a monthly total.

This whole Transit Usage Report is crap. They're missing a bunch of rides off my report when compared to my transaction summary I printed off. Dingbats.

Squiggles said...

Boy, am I glad I only just switched to PRESTO. Which means that the headache all of you are experiencing this year I get to deal with next year!

lswgirl13 said...

At the end of the day, the tax break/savings is next to nothing anyways.

C.J. Smith said...

My report was accurate.
It may be nothing compared to the thousands shelled out but $480.00 back into my pocket doesn't hurt.

DF said...

How the hell do I get monthly totals out of that dogs breakfast?? And surprisingly the transit passes do make a difference in my tax return It's one of the few things I claim that do make a bit of a difference. Probably gets me a couple hundred bucks back. I barely get much back as it is since I have no dependents. My huge rsp contributions and transit passes are the only things that I claim and that help.

Anonymous said...

DF, I always do a yearly total and just make sure I name it "GO Transit Passes". I've never had a problem. *knock on wood*

marcdroo said...

Found this site while searching to see if any others were having the same issue. I just spent 1/2 hour on the phone with Presto support arguing with the CSR as to why 4 weeks (ie. 28) days is NOT the same as the CRA qualifying period of 31 days. This difference of 3 days will essentially cut my Public Transit Tax Credit eligibility in half (most months or '31 day periods' I was right around the 32 required rides to claim)- needless to say I'm pretty p/o' d at presto/GO right now. I've got an escalation ticket open. I strongly encourage others to do the same.

Anonymous said...

32 rides - is 32 ONE WAY RIDES.
I'm a tax accountant.
The rules are 16 days where you rode back and forth in a consecutive calendar month.

In a nutshell. You qualify for February provided you took GO 16 days and rode one way to Union and one way back home.

C.J. Smith said...

Hi Marc

The language right from the CRA website is this:

Electronic payment cards if:
- the card is used to make at least 32 one-way trips during an uninterrupted period not exceeding 31 days; and
- the card is issued by a public transit authority that records and provides a receipt for the cost and usage of the card.

If you ride the train twice a day for 16 days in a 31 day period, you qualify. End of story.

marcdroo said...

I'm well aware of the eligibility definition from the CRA site as well as the source from the Income Tax Act: 118.02 (1)

Let me state the problem again: Based on Presto's Usage report, there is NO WAY to determine how many trips were taken in any 31 day period because it reports by WEEK and not by DAY. So I know how many trips I've taken in any 35 or any 28 day period but that's not what the CRA needs. I hope you can appreciate the difference.

C.J. Smith said...

Hi there
Sorry, I understand now.
I submitted it as is to Rev Can.
My report consistently shows 10 trips a week.

I'm pretty sure the folks at Rev Can can interpret the reports. They're the ones who would have advised Presto on what would be acceptable. You would think so, right?

From my report, it shows I took more than 32 one way trips for Feb 2011.

marcdroo said...

No problem,
in my case my weekly total varies (10,6,8,7,6,9,10 etc.) but based on the presto monthly reports (* which I should have saved a copy of every month *), I was at the minimum required 32 rides in at least 8 or 9 of the 12 months last year, but based on that usage report, I'll only be able to claim 4

Just spoke to a Revenue Canada Rep after getting off the phone with Presto. She was very helpful but could not confirm that Presto's reporting would be sufficient in my case.

DF said...

I called Presto to complain about the nightmare that is the transit usage reports, indicating how by using those reports it is not possible to 100% determine how much per month that I spent. She informed me that these 'transit usage reports' are NOT official tax receipts and that I should visit the CRA website to determine exactly what I need as an official tax receipt for my transit expenses.
From the CRA Website:

To make a claim, you need:
the passes,
or the receipts for the passes,
or a letter from her employer if her employer participates in a transit pass program.
Felicia has all her passes, and she just needs to make sure the pass displays:
an indication that it is monthly or longer
the date or period it was for
the name of the transit authority or organization
the amount paid
and the identity of the rider by name or unique identifier.
She said what I should have been doing is printing off the monthly usage reports each month last year!!! well fuckyouverymuch and thanks for telling me that LAST YEAR ASSHOLE!!! especially since you can only go back 3 months on the site. She goes 'ya, I think there was a miscommunication, maybe on our part'. I said "ya, no shit Sherlock".