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  #2621  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2018, 10:45 PM
swimmer_spe swimmer_spe is offline
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Originally Posted by matt602 View Post
I'd say the city's concerns regarding that are still valid. If you don't get to a PRESTO agent (City of Hamilton municipal centres, GO stations and Fortinos customer service desk) your only option for loading money onto the card is a credit or debit card online AND the money won't clear for up to 24 hours and until you tap the card on a balance checker or pay a fare.

The problem I've encountered with that is if you don't even have enough money on your card for a single fare and tap it before it's loaded, you'll get thrown into underbalance and the card gets locked until you pay a fee to unlock it again.

If the money applied onto the card instantly (like basically everything else you buy online) I feel like the service would be a lot more accessible. Metrolinx also needs to install self serve machines like the ones in the GTA and TTC subway stations into major HSR terminals (MacNab, Limeridge, Eastgate, possibly the Meadowlands).
As someone who has visited other cities that have cards instead of paper tickets, this all sounds like the ole "The sky is falling"

Most people have a computer/smartphone these days. Debit cards are now also Credit Cards.
And what did they do before? They had places to see them. These machines could be placed at many other places.
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  #2622  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2018, 4:05 PM
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There's also the accessibility issue. Right now, you can buy tickets at almost any corner store. The places you can fill your card are limited.
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  #2623  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2018, 5:30 PM
drpgq drpgq is offline
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Ugh. I hate when these provincial centralization pushes draw money from Hamilton into Toronto. This is especially bad considering how expensive it is.
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  #2624  
Old Posted Jan 17, 2018, 3:41 PM
markbarbera markbarbera is offline
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Originally Posted by swimmer_spe View Post
As someone who has visited other cities that have cards instead of paper tickets, this all sounds like the ole "The sky is falling"

Most people have a computer/smartphone these days. Debit cards are now also Credit Cards.
And what did they do before? They had places to see them. These machines could be placed at many other places.
What about those who don't? There is a significant portion of HSR ridership made up of people on social assistance or disablilty allowance. They do not have credit cards or smartphones as readily available as "most people" would.

As far as the Presto vending machines are concerned, they cannot be placed at as many locations as you may think. As far as retail locations go, Loblaws has an contract with Metrolinx which restricts Prestocard vending machines to their retail locations exclusively (i.e. Fortinos and Shoppers Drug Mart).
Loblaws does not operate any retail north of Barton Street, a vast swath of the city that holds the highest concentration of vulnerable citizens who rely on transit (and are also much less likely to carry a smartphone or credit card)
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  #2625  
Old Posted Jan 17, 2018, 4:55 PM
TheRitsman TheRitsman is offline
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You guys do know there's an autofill option on the Presto account right? If my balance drops below a threshold set by me, it adds another amount. I always have enough for the piece of transit I'd be using for the day or two. It may actually make it easier for those on welfare so they don't have to buy an entire weeks worth of months worth of tickets.
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  #2626  
Old Posted Jan 17, 2018, 5:21 PM
markbarbera markbarbera is offline
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Autofill works well ...again, for that magical demographic called "most people". I use it myself.

Having worked with vulnerable people in the past, I can speak from that experience that autofill is only great if you have something in your account for when autofill kicks in. Many of the people on social assistance and disability allowance are not carrying balances in their bank account, they do not have a line of credit, and they certainly cannot afford the NSF charges that will happen when autofill tries to fill when there is no cash in the bank.
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  #2627  
Old Posted Jan 17, 2018, 5:29 PM
swimmer_spe swimmer_spe is offline
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Originally Posted by markbarbera View Post
What about those who don't? There is a significant portion of HSR ridership made up of people on social assistance or disablilty allowance. They do not have credit cards or smartphones as readily available as "most people" would.

As far as the Presto vending machines are concerned, they cannot be placed at as many locations as you may think. As far as retail locations go, Loblaws has an contract with Metrolinx which restricts Prestocard vending machines to their retail locations exclusively
(i.e. Fortinos and Shoppers Drug Mart).
Loblaws does not operate any retail north of Barton Street, a vast swath of the city that holds the highest concentration of vulnerable citizens who rely on transit (and are also much less likely to carry a smartphone or credit card)
The bold is the real problem.

No company should have exclusivity to it. That would take care of that problem.
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  #2628  
Old Posted Jan 17, 2018, 6:47 PM
thistleclub thistleclub is offline
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Individual PRESTO cards are already assigned to a fare category — typically adult, youth, senior or child. Further back-end customization is also available to municipal providers. (The TTC has cited time-of-day pricing as one such option, enabling transit agencies to implement fare nudges.)

And it's maybe worth noting that the City already implements its Affordable Transit Pass (for qualified LICO, OW & ODSP applicants) via PRESTO.

IIRC, although the recipient is expected to front the $6 card fee, the ATP PRESTO enables them too purchase passes at half price. That's around $51 a month, or the cost of 11 round trips off-transfer using paper tickets. If the City applied the U-Pass level of discount (85% off adult pass rate) to the ATP, its monthly value would be recouped after just four round trips.

As of the 2010 HSR Operational Review, 20% of the HSR’s ridership was recorded as using paper tickets. That number may have shifted as PRESTO was introduced in early 2011. (And I suspect many of those would abandon legacy fare media if it was convenient to do so.)

Another scenario: Metrolinx could simply apply a second funding formula, prorating transit funding to degree of PRESTO conversion. Then the City can keep its paper tickets and forego the additional millions every year, inevitably offsetting the lost operating subsidies through fare hikes.
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Last edited by thistleclub; Jan 19, 2018 at 12:06 PM.
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  #2629  
Old Posted Jan 17, 2018, 7:10 PM
thistleclub thistleclub is offline
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Fun Fact: Apparently you can buy PRESTO cards through a ticket vending machine at West Harbour GO.
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  #2630  
Old Posted Jan 17, 2018, 11:52 PM
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Originally Posted by thistleclub View Post
Fun Fact: Apparently you can buy PRESTO cards through a ticket vending machine at West Harbour GO.
I'm sure both people that go to West Harbour are thrilled.
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  #2631  
Old Posted Jan 18, 2018, 2:41 AM
thistleclub thistleclub is offline
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I'm sure both people that go to West Harbour are thrilled.
Point being, I suppose, that if Metrolinx can rationalize a card/ticket vending machine at a station that serves 100 commuters a weekday, it might be possible to implement similar deployments more widely. The ROI math has to be a little loose.

At present, there are something like 100 places you can buy paper HSR tickets. Many may even have them in stock.

If those paper tickets were outlawed overnight, Hamilton would have 14 locations for users to buy/load PRESTO, not counting Hunter & West Harbour GO. If that status quo were replaced with a PRESTO-only GO/Loblaws stronghold, that number might grow to around 40-50 locations where you can buy and load a PRESTO card in person (here I'm assuming all Fortinos, No Frills, Shoppers, three GO stations and two hubs (Mohawk, McMaster), possibly MacNab Terminal, plus City Hall and municipal service centres, as a baseline). But there's opportunity to add another 10-15 outlets if they were prepared to open service to, say, chain pharmacies like Rexall and Pharma Plus. One also imagines that LRT would feature PRESTO vending outlets at its termini at minimum.

Again, the working poor are already using PRESTO (albeit in limited numbers), as are seniors… because the City made them, not Metrolinx.
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Last edited by thistleclub; Jan 19, 2018 at 12:31 PM.
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