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Thursday, March 20, 2014

"Transit users who resent waiting 24 hours to access money deposited to their Presto fare accounts had better get used to it". - Toronto Star Report

Metrolinx, which operates the Presto fare payment program, says there is no way around the 24-hour lag time, due to the complexities of a system used by 10 separate transit authorities, each with different technologies.

We’ve been reporting on Presto problems, particularly money put into accounts that appears to disappear, or is far less than the amount actually deposited, which generated dozens of complaints from readers.

They also told us about other problems, including a 24-hour delay before money credited to the account online through a bank or credit card can be accessed to pay a fare.

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6 comments:

Tyson Moore said...

It's interesting how they want to hear from readers who "don't buy Metrolinx's explanation." While the design of the PRESTO system differs from its cousins in quite a few ways, there's really no better way to avoid the lag time for bus fare devices without having them perpetually/periodically connected to some network (cellular or whatnot).

It would be interesting to set up access points in areas where buses congregate (e.g. GO stations, bus terminals) so they could synchronize transaction data more frequently. I'm not sure whether the existing process is automatic or manual, but that could potentially reduce the lag time to around 4 hours.

Squiggles said...

And this is why I will leave work a few minutes early and load at Union. No waiting. No lost money. As good as this pathetic system can get.

Bicky said...

With all the issues of double dipping and money gone missing, I load up in person. Takes a few extra minutes but I have peace of mind knowing my funds are there.

Michael Suddard said...

I'm calling Metrolinx's bluff in this story:

OC Transpo (Ottawa's System) is working on a way to do it via the cell system. Here is Reddit link showing an Ottawa Citizen article (I can't find the original online, but remember reading it)the hardwired systems can be redone every 4 hours. Thus, it really is Metrolinx saying "it can't be done" they need to check with their techies about the truth: http://www.reddit.com/r/ottawa/comments/1m04vm/oc_transpo_considers_fixing_two_day_payment_delay/

Skin Man said...

I always load in person...that cluster f*ck of missing money has ensured I will never change....unless of course they take that option away like I don't know say monthly passes.

Alex said...

Michael,

I am aware that OCTranspo is planning on moving to a 4 hour load period by switching to cellular connections, but at this time they are the only ones who are working on this. Considering that the Star is a Toronto-centric publication and none of the systems there are switching, I don't think the PR people are really doing anything wrong here. Even when Ottawa switches, there is still no guarantee that the loads will actually take 4 hours, in case the bus is out of cell range.