Thursday, April 5, 2012

Oh Presto ... more commuting woes

from: rlo
date: Wed, Apr 4, 2012 at 3:35 PM
subject: Presto chronicles

I thought I'd write to you about my Presto Chronicles...or rather non-Presto Chronicles. See I don't actually have Presto, but felt compelled to ask the CSR at the station about it, since I see that they are phasing out the 10 ride tickets. I then wrote to GO transit customer service and got an answer I didn't like...big surprise right?

Ok so I take the Milton line and get off at Kipling most days. For the odd time that I have to go all the way to Union, I use 10 ride tickets. I stamp the 10 ride at Milton and between the 10 ride and my monthly pass, I'm paid up until Union. No biggie.

Well, it turns out that I can't do that once the 10 rides are gone. I can't use the Presto card in conjunction with my monthly pass. Since I have no choice but to tap it at Milton, it will charge me the full fare. So now I have to line up for a ticket every time I need to go all the way to Union or buy a monthly pass all the way to Union (which is a lot more and not worth it for the couple times a month I need to go there). I can only use the Presto card if I get off the train and tap it at Kipling, which is totally ridiculous, because we all know the trains only stop for a minute and that's not enough time to get off, tap and get back on.

I have no intention of getting rid of my monthly pass until I have to, because honestly, why would I trade a pass that doesn't require me to tap for one that I have to tap at least twice a day? Not to mention that now they can totally track your movements. Big Brother, here we come!


James said...

I don't think this is correct. If you press the override button when getting on at Milton you would just need to tap off at Union when not doing your default trip to Kipling.

Bicky said...

I think if you have your default set to Kipling, then you would just need to hit the override button and then tap on at Milton and tap off at Union.

My sister's card is defaulted Union to Whitby but she just hits the override button if she's getting off the train at Ajax or Oshawa.

Hm, I think this person was given bad info.

Squiggles said...

I think s/he was given bad info OR s/he was given the correct info based on what s/he told the person on the other end. Remember, the responders of questions are drones who do not think outside the box.

But on another note: why keep paying more for the monthly pass? Presto will be cheaper in the long run. Especially once you work out the kinks of the "override" system.

Besides, if you wrote to GO with the same convoluted description as above, I am not surprised they were confused. Call Presto (not GO) and ask a real person. That way, they can ask questions back to you and maybe you receive an answer you like or makes more sense.

TomW said...

You do NOT have to set a default trip if you don't want one

Given you aren't making the same trip each time, that's probably the best way forward. You'll have to tap on when you board and tap off when you alight (like a GO bus).

Anonymous said...

The problem is the monthly pass is from Milton to Kipling (Kipling is the stop before Union). If you use the 10 rides, you can punch in at Milton and the trip is paid in full (monthly pass takes you to Kipling, your 10 ride takes you from Kipling to Union) If you try to use Presto the same way, you are tapping on at Milton (not Kipling), but

Presto counts the fare from the location you tap on to the location you tap off. If you have a monthly pass from Milton to Kipling, you can't use it with the Presto card, as it doesn't know you have paid up the fare until Kipling.

rlo said...

I think from reading the responses, people are getting confused. They think I want to use Presto only.

What I want to do is continue to use my monthly pass from Milton to Kipling (no tapping) and for the odd trip that I need to go to Union, I currently use a 10 ride from Kipling to Union. So what I do is punch the 10 ride in Milton and in conjunction with my monthly pass, it covers my fare.

I want to use Presto in the same way. GO customer service has confirmed I can't do that. If I tap in Milton, it will charge me the full fare, as Presto doesn't know/care that I have already been paid up until Kipling (because of my monthly pass). I'm not trying to use Presto only. I want to use it with my monthly pass, the same way I do for my 10 rides right now.

I use the 10 rides right now purely for convenience. Since I only have to go to Union twice a month, buying a 10 ride for the difference means I don't have to line up for tickets each time to make up the difference in the fare and the line ups at Union are crazy. But I will have to once the 10 rides are gone, since it's either switch entirely to Presto or get my monthly pass all the way to Union. Clear as mud?

Anonymous said...

When they get rid of the monthly passes, everyone will have to use presto. May as well get used to it now. Don't set a default. Tap on, tap off. It's really not that hard.

Bicky said...

@rlo - you do know that your discount with a paper monthly pass is now LESS than if you use Presto exclusively? Why give GO more money than you have to just for the convenience?

Squiggles said...


What a lot of us are confused about is why on God's Green Earth would you purposely give GO more money each month? Especially if switching to PRESTO only will solve your problems. And I do believe, like Bicky, I made a comment to such effect above.

I think you are too set in your ways to think about this in a critical manner.

And to make things more fun, if I remember correctly, the paper monthly pass only has about a year or so left before it is phased out completely. I think we read about it in the same post as the 10 ride.

Save your money. Switch completely over to presto and not bother dealing with the extra charges.

But remember, you opened up yourself up by complaining to a public website about presto. Then you don't like the responses. Your comment above is borderline condescendin. Which none of us deserve.

GuelphGoGuy said...

I use presto and it is not set to any destination. I use it from Guelph to Union tapping on and off as I go. Sometimes during the month, I have to take the Bus from Guelph and get off at Georgetown, tapping on and off as normal. The fare system as set up now is you get charged the 10 ride rate up to ride 35 at 7.5% off, drops to 87.5% off from 26-40 and 100% off for 40 onward. HOWEVER, the devil is in the details. If you do not have a set destination (always start and end same location) then it adjusts the value/ % based on the trips used to something like this:

1 1 to 35 0 %
2 36 to 40 11.43 %
3 41 to 70 79.51 %
4 71 to 100 85.2 %
5 101 and up 85.2 %

Anonymous said...

"What a lot of us are confused about is why on God's Green Earth would you purposely give GO more money each month? Especially if switching to PRESTO only will solve your problems."

Because Presto sounds like such a pain in the ass!!!

With a monthly pass, you can buy it once and forget about it.

They get you right from the start with Presto, $6 for a card!

Then you're constantly having to juggle your balance to make sure you have enough. And pray their system doesn't mess up or delay your deposits for too long.

Put more money on to avoid this, you say? Sure, give GO Transit a nice interest-free loan!

And pray again it doesn't mess up when you tap on (e.g. the old double tap business).

And have to fumble to produce the card every time you tap on or off.

And then, in the end, get screwed when you go to claim a transit tax credit and find out GO won't be sending you any sort of supporting information!

No thanks!! (And no, I'm not the same Anonymous who started this topic).

Squiggles said...

Yes, it is a pain in the ass until you get a system/habit of using it.

As well, the $6 fee is waived most of the time. You just need to show them that you have some sort of multiple payment (monthly pass and/or 10 ride).

Personally, I put money on twice a month, which isn't a hassle for me. The tap on machine tells you how much you have left on the card, so you never need to worry about running outta dough.

And how exactly is buying an entire month of rides any different than an interest-free loan? You paid out 200 bucks to GO (a guess) for rides you HAVEN'T taken yet. It is the same thing.

As for the Usage Report, ignore it. Most aren't right anyway. Just log onto the site at the start of the month and print out the usage for the previous month. It is simple, has the amounts each ride cost and it tells you how many rides so that you know how much you paid. Easy.

But then again, you Anon, make some good points. Many of them I did back in February. It just doesn't take into account that the fare hike made PRESTO the cheaper option. And with GO being quite expensive for what it is, I don't want to give them anymore money than I have to. Besides, habits only take 2 weeks of concerted effort to change/break. Try PRESTO for a month, and you will be brought over to the dark side.

Plus, remember, the monthly passes won't be available forever. They have a plan to phase them out. May as well get used to PRESTO while you still have the option of switching back.

Moose said...

@ Squiggles

It was not my intention to be condescending, just to state the issue that I'm having with Presto. If you were offended, I'm sorry about that.

As far as switching to Presto, I won't do it unless I really have to. The savings in money is not worth the inconvenience. It is the same reason that I buy the monthly pass right even if I'm only going to use it for 3 weeks. I take a not just the GO, but also the subway and a bus to get to work. Since the bus is unpredictable, it often leaves me running for the train. Not having to tap can mean the difference bween catching the train or waiting for the next one.


mumzthewurd said...

Squiggles, have you tried to call Presto? I've tried and been lost in their endless menu where no choice is what I need. Is there a real person there? It isn't a choice on the menu.
But you are right, Go doesn't know Presto and vice versa.