May 30 update: I replied to the response from YRT by saying that as a Presto user that occasionally needs to use a TTC contracted route, I should be entitled to a $2.80 fare on those occasions (an not the $3.50 cash fare) and should not have to spend $28 to purchase ten tickets all at once. Ashley P.’s reply to this was:
We appreciate you taking the time to offer your feedback.
Although we regret the inconvenience, we will continue to advise TTC riders not to use PRESTO until TTC has it fully implemented.
To this, I had to ask where one could purchase single tickets for $2.80, to which the reply was:
You can purchase a pack of 10 adult tickets for $28.00. They are sold at multiride fare machines located at YRT bus terminals, or you can purchase them at any of our fare media agents. Follow this link to search for fare media agent locations near you: http://yrt.ca/en/farespasses/wheretobuy.asp
My final reply was to tell them that I have found a place where I can purchase single tickets for $3.00 each. If anyone is interested in purchasing less than 10 tickets at a time, send me an email and I will provide the details. The original posting continues after the break.
As many are aware, the TTC has a very limited roll-out of Presto at this time. It is only accepted at a few subway stations. YRT began using Presto, for ticket fares only as they still have not implemented monthly passes, about a year ago.
The problem is, some YRT routes are contracted to the TTC to operate and therefore using Presto when boarding such a route is not possible. If one’s journey begins on another YRT route, paying with Presto is possible and a paper transfer can be issued that is usable on the TTC-operated route for the York Region part of the fare.
Oddly, few YRT operators are aware that the TTC does not have Presto terminals on their buses. Over the past few weeks, I have had to make trips that started on a YRT-operated route, but involved a transfer to a TTC-operated route. Each time I asked the operator for a paper transfer after I tapped my Presto card to pay my fare, and each time the operator proceeded to tell me that the paper transfer is not needed as transfers are implemented automatically with Presto. After explaining the need for the paper transfer to board the TTC-operated route, each time this information was received as news by the operator.
I thought I should contact YRT to find out why they have not informed their operators of this need. I received a response from Ashley P. containing the following:
At this time, we are instructing customers not to use PRESTO if they use TTC services. PRESTO customers will not be able to obtain a transfer from the driver or any bus terminal, as the transfer is written on the card. This is why we advise TTC riders not to use PRESTO.
That means that one can choose to either pay the cash fare ($3.50) when making such a trip, or go out and purchase 10 tickets ($28) when making such a trip. I find this unacceptable. I have a Presto card and a major benefit is that I don’t have to carry around different media. If they roll out the Presto card, it is their responsibility to ensure that it is accepted on ALL of their routes. Either they can make sure all vehicles on all routes have Presto terminals, or they have to issue a paper proof of payment for people needing to transfer to a route not equipped with a terminal.
I am sure the number of people who use Presto and need to make trips that involve TTC contracted routes is small. If you find yourself needing to make such a trip, be warned.