Friday, May 18, 2012

Presto Validation. Doin' it right?

It's nice to see GO transit and safety officers taking into account that as PRESTO customers, our trips are recorded and there will be days where we do forget to tap on and there will be more of these days come this summer when these instances happen due to the end of punch-style tickets.

Forgiveness should be given to those who are LOYAL and tap and tap and tap! We've all forgotten at least once. Just don't make a habit of it.

from: "Matthew"
to: "" 
date: Wed, May 16, 2012 at 2:05 PM 
subject: Presto Chronicles?

Was on the 5:15 Union-Georgetown last night.  After Bloor, the GOStapo entered my coach, which was the 2nd coach from the locomotive, to conduct a fare inspection.  I was seated in the mid-level seats, in the quads farthest from the door between coaches.  I pulled out my Presto card, figuring I was in for an inspection within seconds.  I would end up holding my card in my hand for 25 minutes until 20 seconds before I got off the train at Bramalea, waiting.  I shall explain.

The smaller GOStapo entered and kept walking to the upper level seats.  The freakishly tall, heavy, mean-looking SOB (Imma guess he was about 6’6”, 270lbs) who entered the coach behind him, stayed to inspect our tickets.  This guy could have asked us to hand over our wallets and succeeded with every passenger, he was that big.  But I digress.  He turned to his right (my side of the train) and checked fares for the 4 people there.  No problem.  Turned left, and checked.  3 of 4 were good.  4th guy was a young lad who claims he forgot to tap his card at Union.  Very creative, right?  Further implicating him is that he claimed to have no ID.  Now, I don’t know about you, but I keep my Presto card in my wallet, with my ID.  But not this guy.  He had nothing.  Driver’s License?  Nope.  Health Card?  No sir.  Student ID?  Nada.  Nothing with his name on it.

So, mean-looking GOStapo guy tells him “Ok...I’ll tell you what I tell everyone else.  We can do this verbally, but if it turns out that you have anything on file with GO Transit, it becomes a criminal charge.”  I’m thinking...the hell?  Criminal charge?  He must be bullshitting.  The kid proceeds to give GOStapo his name, DOB, and address (I say “kid” because his DOB that he said out loud put him at 19 yrs old).  GOStapo phones it in.  After about 10 minutes, he gets a call back from his investigative team who tells him the kid really doesn’t have a record (but they were somehow able to confirm he had a driver’s license?).  They apparently can also check the Presto usage!  He told the guy “Okay, so you don’t have any history on file with GO.  They were able to tell me that, so that’s good.  Also, I can see that you’ve been using your Presto card pretty regularly for several months, so I’m inclined to believe you that this is an isolated incident of forgetting to tap your card.  I’m going to be a nice guy, and give you the benefit of the doubt, and give you a written warning.”

Normally, I’m all “throw the book at ‘em!”...but this day, I have to say, I believed the kid too.  And furthermore, if they can check presto usage, and can see religious tap-on-tap-off activity, and then one day there’s no “tap-on” and you simply forgot, I’d like to think there’s a fighting chance that honest fare-payers like ourselves who might just forget due to being distracted or exhausted, could maybe get a warning too.


lswgirl13 said...

Oh yes, this kid sounds like a hardened criminal!!! Don't ya' just love cop-wannabes?

Skin Man said...

I have some sympathy for the fare checkers....they're not cops, get treated like crap, by douche bags no less, have to deal with some of the issues cops do...its gotta suck some of the soul out of them.

Anonymous said...

If I were a GO fare checker I would probably hate every single aspect of humanity. More so than I already do.

Anonymous said...

There's nothing douchey about how this guy treated the kid. He went through due process and let him off the hook using reasonable judgement. This is good thing, right?

Anonymous said...

Agreed. There are some really good fare checkers out there!

lswgirl13 said...

I've got no problem with someone who check fares but leave the detective attitude at home. It's like by-law guys, use some common sense and discretion.

Anonymous said...

Lswgirl what kinda personal vendetta do you have against these special constables? As a regular on the lse, I see these guys often, and they need to investigate to catch fare evaders , they arent cops but they have police powers, and at 70k a year to start, they get paid very well to make sure people don't cheat the system , good on them

lswgirl13 said...

No personal vendetta at all. But really, police powers??? And no wonder my fares are so high if they're getting 70K a year (to start???). A real cop doesn't make that kind of money to start.

Anonymous said...

Ahh gotta love ignorance. Take a peak at wikipedia, it pretty much spells out what the Transit Safety Officers are and what they do. Fare enforcement is only part of their job.

"Special Constables"

Current shoulder flashes from GO Transit's Transit Safety Unit, the right being from a Special Constable, and the left with gold stitching being that of a Supervisor
GO Transit hires Transit Safety Officers, who are designated Special Constables that patrol transit property. They are responsible for ensuring passenger safety and protection, enforcing relevant laws or by-laws, offering customer assistance, conducting fare inspections, and supporting local police, fire and ambulance, while also promoting railway safety.[34] Under the Police Services Act, Transit Safety Officers are appointed by the Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police, with approval from the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services.[35]

In addition to By-law No. 2, they have the authority to enforce other laws under police powers such as the Criminal Code of Canada, Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Youth Criminal Justice Act, Safe Streets Act, Liquor License Act, Mental Health Act, and Trespass to Property Act. GO Transit Special Constables are outfitted with forage caps with a hat badge and a black band, shirts displaying the Transit Safety shield, a black kevlar vest with “Transit Safety” printed across the front and back, black pants with a reflective gray stripe, and a duty belt.[34] GO Transit operates a 24-hour transit safety dispatch centre that is able to dispatch Police and Special Constables to all areas served by GO. Customers are also encouraged to report any crimes on GO property to Transit Safety dispatch, or 911.[34]

GO Transit also employs Provincial Offences Officers (internally known as Customer Attendants) to enforce and assist with the proof-of-payment system"

DaGOGuy said...

well this situation just happen on the Kitchener Train. Guy always taps on/off for Brampton. Apparently, he did not know his card stoped working that same day. (he tapped on in the morning no problem) He even told the TRansit person that this was second time card has done this to him. Anyways, after the checking out part etc He gets a written warning! this dispite having a record of always tapping on/off. So, for those out there using PRESTO, make sure you LOOK at the screen. Do not assume the beep means money came off the card. pay attention. this is how GO Transit is gonna screw us because of an honest mistake. Pure Evil

blue said...

DaGOguy- I don't think that they can give verbal warnings. The written warning is the least that they can do.
Anon- where did you get the 70K?