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gweed123

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The PRESTO Card system isn't perfect but works well when things go smoothly. The funny thing I noticed on the GO is that is costs me LESS to do a bus to train connection then straight up train. It works out to be $1 less per ride....that is a lot of money GO will lose from me now that I know the trick!

Local transit + GO Train or GO Bus + GO Train? If it's local + GO, are you factoring in the cost of tapping onto the local bus? Because there is a discount for when local transit and GO are used in conjunction with each other. That discount would show up when you tap onto GO, so that may be why it looks less expensive, because it's actually removing some of the cost of the local transit trip, not necessarily the GO trip.

That incentive is there to promote people taking their local transit system to the GO station, rather than driving to the station and taking up a parking spot.
 

RedRocket191

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^ There are some hidden discounts available depending on which route you take to get to your destination. For example, taking a GO train to Brampton Station and then a 37 or 33 GO bus to Hurontario and Bovaird charges you a normal 02-33 fare while taking the same train to Bramalea and then a 32 GO bus to that same location only charges you a 02-32 fare (probably because the second route only spends two blocks in the zone). Perhaps he's experiencing something similar, but it's most likely what gweed said.
 

Jonny5

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^ There are some hidden discounts available depending on which route you take to get to your destination. For example, taking a GO train to Brampton Station and then a 37 or 33 GO bus to Hurontario and Bovaird charges you a normal 02-33 fare while taking the same train to Bramalea and then a 32 GO bus to that same location only charges you a 02-32 fare (probably because the second route only spends two blocks in the zone). Perhaps he's experiencing something similar, but it's most likely what gweed said.

Another is going to Hamilton by train and using the bus connection at Aldershot. PRESTO doesn't charge you anything when you get on or get off the GO bus, no matter if you're at the first or last stop after leaving Aldershot.
 

gweed123

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^ There are some hidden discounts available depending on which route you take to get to your destination. For example, taking a GO train to Brampton Station and then a 37 or 33 GO bus to Hurontario and Bovaird charges you a normal 02-33 fare while taking the same train to Bramalea and then a 32 GO bus to that same location only charges you a 02-32 fare (probably because the second route only spends two blocks in the zone). Perhaps he's experiencing something similar, but it's most likely what gweed said.

That's true. Whenever you have different fare zone systems overlapping like that there's bound to be some quirks in pricing in a couple different places. With such a complicated overlapping fare structure, there's bound to be some trip patterns that either discount the trip or charge a bit extra, depending on the situation. As long as these are isolated exceptions to the rule, I don't think it's a big issue.
 

royalrivers

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Local transit + GO Train or GO Bus + GO Train? If it's local + GO, are you factoring in the cost of tapping onto the local bus? Because there is a discount for when local transit and GO are used in conjunction with each other. That discount would show up when you tap onto GO, so that may be why it looks less expensive, because it's actually removing some of the cost of the local transit trip, not necessarily the GO trip.

That incentive is there to promote people taking their local transit system to the GO station, rather than driving to the station and taking up a parking spot.

This is GO Bus to GO Train. Guelph to Georgetown then Georgetown to Toronto. Only difference is it takes 10 minutes longer on the bus.

I once go on in Toronto and off at Mount Pleasant, then on at Mt Pleasant and off at the edge of Guelph and that second trip cost me well below the normal rate (we are talking in the cents here). I was both shocked and surprised!
 
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doady

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I tried to get Presto card today. I need to choose security question, so I chose "What is you favourite movie?", and found that "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" would not fit. That was the first annoyance.

And there was payment. For some reason, unlike every online retailer that I have used, Presto requires SecureCode, so I had to create one. Problem is, the SecureCode requires at least on capital letter and one "special character", which means I would have to come up a totally new password that I have never used before and that I would likely forget. And then there is the question of what exactly the hell a "special character" is. Apparently, "&" and "/" don't count as "special characters".

Okay, so after a while I finally create a valid SecureCode that I actually have small chance of remembering, and it goes through... and then Presto website tells me

Payment Cancelled
Your payment has been successfully cancelled

Moneris Message :DECLINED * =
Order ID : CBF01144835
Status : Transaction void

WTF? I redo the process over and over again many times, same result.

Payment Cancelled
Your payment has been successfully cancelled

Moneris Message :DECLINED * =
Order ID : CBF01144840
Status : Transaction void

Payment Cancelled
Your payment has been successfully cancelled

Moneris Message :DECLINED * =
Order ID : CBF01144848
Status : Transaction void

So basically I wasted like 30-45 minutes, thanks to the incompetence of Metrolinx.

Who knows, maybe all the payments did go though and I receive like 3 cards. Or maybe they all went through I receive like 0 cards. Either way, Metrolinx sucks.

Let this be a lesson: don't bother with Presto.
 

RandomBusGuy

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The payment process, especially online is the largest downside to Presto. I love actually using the card for travelling and find it much more convenient that way. But like many others putting money on the card is a pain. Last week I put money on my card online the day before I was going to take GO, like usual. However, this time the bus decided not to load my card. I didn't notice this and when I went to transfer buses, my card wouldn't work. I was only going one stop so thankfully the driver let me on without buying a ticket so I didn't have to pay $4.50 for such a short trip.

They really need to sort out the online system so that someone can put money on the card immediately before leaving home and it appears. I've heard various excuses why it can't be done, but in this day and age where you can buy anything instantly online, adding credit to your presto card should be just as quick. If that's not possible for whatever reason they should at least add presto machines to unmanned stations so it's possible to load the card there until they get the system sorted out.
 

Nobina

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Integrate presto readers into convenience store lottery terminals

The payment process, especially online is the largest downside to Presto. I love actually using the card for travelling and find it much more convenient that way. But like many others putting money on the card is a pain.

I agree, I love using my presto card, but loading money to it is a real hassle.

In the Greater Helsinki, Finland area, smart cards can be loaded at pretty much any convenience store. The smart card reader is integrated into the lottery terminal, and the clerk can add value in increments of 5 euros, with a minimum of ten euros, as well as period passes. I don't see why this couldn't be done in the GTHA and Ottawa areas. Metrolinx, in charge of Presto, and the OLG, in charge of the lottery terminals, are both run by the Government of Ontario. If they added a smart card reader to the lottery terminals, and partnered which some convenience store chains, they could make presto extremely convenient to use, especially for those who want to keep using cash, instead of credit/debit to load their cards. In addition, they should start adding automated presto loading kiosks at GO stations, eventually TTC stations, and other major transit terminals/stops. Making presto easy to load and use is key to making people use it. Implement presto on the Island Ferry, and at municipal recreation centres where fees are charged - even put a presto reader at the cash register in school cafeterias to get kids to start using it when they pay for their lunch.

Please Metrolinx, let's not screw up something that has been done successfully all over the world.

I absolutely resent that the presto readers at TTC turnstiles are mounted on the front, instead of the top. I can't think of anyplace I've been where the readers are not top-mounted on turnstiles, or at least on a slant depending on the make.

It will really be interesting to see what turnstiles the TTC will acquire for Spadina extension subway stations - it's about time we get some modern turnstiles!

Something I really liked in Helsinki, was that the smart card reader would give you a green and yellow light if your balance was running low (below 10 euros), but gives you only a green light if your balance isn't low, or you have a pass. The red light, like here, came on to show insufficient balance. I would like to see presto start to use this. It's easier looking at the lights than the little screen, when you're quickly boarding a bus with a line-up behind you.
 
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Komiksulo

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In other Presto news, on September 2nd, YRT is taking over the Sutton GO bus (route 69), and replacing it with an extension of YRT Route 50 "Queensway". This particular GO route had been accepting YRT fares within York region. I'd been paying with YRT tickets, as it was impossible to pay a YRT fare via the GO bus's Presto terminal, which only took GO fares.

This trip requires a 3-zone YRT fare (and over two hours) to go from Sutton to Finch. I've been using a two-zone paper ticket to get from Sutton to Newmarket bus station, and buying a zone upgrade at Newmarket.

Originally, the only bus in York Region travelling north into Zone 3 was the Route 69 GO bus. There was a local bus circulating around Keswick, but it never left the area. So as far as I could tell, there was little opportunity to pay a multiple-zone YRT fare via Presto from Zone 3. However, with YRT buses replacing the GO Route 69 buses, this is changing.

I should theoretically be able to get on the YRT bus in Sutton, pay a 3-zone fare, and go all the way to Finch. Or vice versa. However, at Finch, the YRT Presto machines for VIVA have a button to select a 3-zone fare, but it is disabled. Apparently I am supposed to request a multiple-zone fare when I board the YRT bus. Can I request a 3-zone fare when boarding? If not, can I request a 2-zone fare boarding and get a zone upgrade on the way?

What is the default when tapping on to a YRT local bus: 1 zone? 2 zone? 3 zone? I think it's 1 zone, based on local travels in the Newmarket area.

Last week, I called YRT to ask when 3-zone YRT fares would be payable via Presto. The YRT agent said that because of 'software problems', this is not possible, and she had no information on when the situation might change. She was going to suggest continuing with paper 2-zone tickets and getting a zone upgrade, when I mentioned that was what I was doing.

(For that matter, why don't the YRT ticket machines sell 3-zone fares?)
I agree, I love using my presto card, but loading money to it is a real hassle.

In the Greater Helsinki, Finland area, smart cards can be loaded at pretty much any convenience store...

Please Metrolinx, let's not screw up something that has been done successfully all over the world.
THIS. It should be very easy to load money to the card, and the delay should be the same however you do it. This business of it being immediate if you go to an gency and taking time if you do it from home is unnecessary.

I absolutely resent that the presto readers at TTC turnstiles are mounted on the front, instead of the top. I can't think of anyplace I've been where the readers are not top-mounted on turnstiles, or at least on a slant depending on the make.
I was just thinking about this last week, when I went through College station and used the second-generation reader there. The readers need to be on top of the turnstiles. Perhaps because Presto in the TTC is kind of a pilot program, they didn't want to move the existing TTC card and token slots?

(Incidentally, the panel that lights up indicating success after you swipe your card or deposit your token needs to be at the far end of the turnstile, where you can see it after you swipe/deposit. The only thing that actually works as a signal is the confirming beep. And in a crowded station, that can blur in with all the other beeps from the other turnstiles. I've hit a non-open turnstile more than once when my Metropass or GTA Pass was not read.

From this, I think that the TTC might want to update all its turnstiles.

It will really be interesting to see what turnstiles the TTC will acquire for Spadina extension subway stations - it's about time we get some modern turnstiles!

Something I really liked in Helsinki, was that the smart card reader would give you a green and yellow light if your balance was running low (below 10 euros), but gives you only a green light if your balance isn't low, or you have a pass. The red light, like here, came on to show insufficient balance. I would like to see presto start to use this. It's easier looking at the lights than the little screen, when you're quickly boarding a bus with a line-up behind you.
I like this.
 

Komiksulo

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Got a reply from YRT about using Presto for a YRT 3-zone fare:
Hello [Komiksulo],

Thank you for your email.

Yes, you can use your Presto card for zone 3 travel. As you are travelling to Finch, I would recommend tapping a 2 zone fare for your trip from Sutton to Newmarket GO Bus Terminal. At the Newmarket GO Bus Terminal, I would then recommend tapping a zone upgrade as that refreshes your transfer for another two hours of travel. This way you don’t have to worry about the transfer expiring before you reach Finch. The fare is the same as if you tap a 3 zone at the start of the trip.

I hope this helps, please let me know if you have any questions.
Sincerely,

Cathy
Coordinator, Customer Service
 

Electrify

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Looks like I have finally been bitten by the Presto Screwup Boogyman...

Last Saturday I reactivated the auto refill on my card as well as updated my credit card info since my old one had expired. I used the Presto for one trip on Wednesday, and two trips today. On Wednesday, it showed that it added $30 to my balance.

On my second trip today, I noticed something funny: It appeared to be showing a negative balance. I load up the website on my cell phone and it is showing my balance at about $30.37, which is where it would be with my morning trip.

When I got to my stop, I was fortunate to catch a connecting bus to shave 10 minutes off my walk home. I tap my card and it says Insufficient Funds (keep in mind, it had only been an hour since I first tapped on). When I get home I load up the Presto website and this is what it says:

PRESTO card number: PRESTO Card Balance:
3124-******** $-2.43

Date Time Service Provider Location Name Transaction Type Amount Balance Loyalty Month Loyalty Trip Number Loyalty Step Loyalty Discount
05/09/2012 15:47:00 York Region Transit YONGE / WELDRICK-647 Cardholder Configuration Event $0.00 N/A Sep - 2012 N/A N/A N/A
05/09/2012 15:47:00 York Region Transit YONGE / WELDRICK-647 E-Purse Load Value $30.00 $35.97 Sep - 2012 N/A N/A N/A
05/09/2012 15:47:00 York Region Transit YONGE / WELDRICK-647 E-Purse Fare Payment -$2.80 $33.17 Sep - 2012 N/A N/A N/A

Right now it isn't showing the trips I took today, but still I should have $27.57 left on my account. Checking my Mastercard online right now, it appears that it has not been charged for the reload. I'll call them up tomorrow to try and figure out what the hell went wrong, but since I have to take the bus tomorrow to pick up my bike from the shop, and if my card doesn't work, then I'm getting a free ride on the Viva to get my bike and I'll ride it down to the York Region offices to reactivate my account - and HELL if I'm going to pay any kind of fee to fix my card due to their mistake!*

*This is assuming that I did everything right. It is possible that I made a typo entering in the credit card info, in which case I will pay the reactivation fee and drive down to the York Region office to fix the problem.
 

TOareaFan

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I found out something today which I didn't know.....if you have a balance onyour card and you want it refunded to you (say you get transfered out of Province) they charge you 4% of the balance on your card!
 

Electrify

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Well I just got off the phone with Presto... first time I called, their menu ended up leading me to a dead end and I had to redial the number and go through it again. This time I got in touch with a person, and their multi-billion dollar taxpayer funded system couldn't tell me if what credit card they had on file, or why the transaction was reversed (while I carry a balance on the card, I am far from reaching my credit limit). All they could tell me was that it was reversed, and that I would have to pay the fee to clear the negative balance.

Over the phone she guided me on setting up the auto-reload, but of course it won't be active for 24 hours. I have to ride down to Major Mackenzie to pick up my bike, so I guess I'm getting a free ride on the Viva. From there I'll head down to YRT's office to clear the balance (which I will have to pay). If I get caught for my free ride, I'll not only contest it, but be contacting provincial representatives about me getting screwed over for their mistake (unless they can tell me if I entered my credit card info incorrectly, it is their mistake).
 

Electrify

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Don't feel like getting into how all this ended right now, but before the autoload is to take effect, should I have at least enough on my card to cover the fare? Currently my balance is at $0.00 and I should have an autoload waiting to go. I've checked my balance on a Presto reader and it still says $0.00, the balance check hasn't triggered the autoload.

I'm afraid that if I try and pay a fare, it will deduct from my card first, thus creating a negative balance which will need to be unlocked, and potentially cancelling the autoload altogether. An answer to this would be much appreciated before Monday (and ideally before tomorrow) before I have to go to class.
 

nfitz

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Don't feel like getting into how all this ended right now, but before the autoload is to take effect, should I have at least enough on my card to cover the fare? Currently my balance is at $0.00 and I should have an autoload waiting to go. I've checked my balance on a Presto reader and it still says $0.00, the balance check hasn't triggered the autoload.
An Autload based on a threshold value, rather than a simple load?

If you've got $0 on your card, the autoload will never trigger. If (for example) your threshold is $20, it will only trigger when your card has more than $20 on it, and it crosses the threshold. If (for example) you had $10 left on your card, and you set the threshold to $20, then it would never trigger. You have to load some money first to get you above (and I'd go at least $5 high) and then the Autoload should start to work.

It's for reasons like this, that my threshold is about $25. That way, if it fails to work at some point ... I have a good warning that something is going wrong before it hits $0.

I'm afraid that if I try and pay a fare, it will deduct from my card first, thus creating a negative balance which will need to be unlocked, and potentially cancelling the autoload altogether. An answer to this would be much appreciated before Monday (and ideally before tomorrow) before I have to go to class.
I think that's exactly what will happen! I'd suggest going in person to somewhere and loading $ on the card to get you well above your threshold.
 

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