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rbt

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It gets into how quick the transaction is though. I'm sure you've sat there for your VISA sometimes waiting for it to authorize. You can't be having transactions that slow at a fare gate.

There are two ways of making the system reasonably fast:

1) Let everybody go through quickly and batch authorize later (minutes, not hours or days) and push a black-list out to card readers every few minutes. You would lose the occassional fare but they wouldn't be able to make a transfer and POP enforcement would also get them.


With all-door boarding and no fare gates on the back-doors of streetcars and buses, checking payment in real-time is a lost cause. Many will simply board a back door and not swipe (or fake swipe; common in London) and nobody will say anything.


POP enforcement officers, who already exist to catch people who opted out of paying, would perform a real-time authorization on cards in their black-list (cards which failed the first time around). People recorded as attempting a payment would be given a warning that they should call their bank. Repeat offenders may get a fine.


Drivers would also have the option to enable real-time authorization for customers on request. This allows a customer who fixed their problem (deposit to rectify insufficient balance) to get off the blacklist.


2) Push out a list of known-good card numbers. These would be cards which successfully authorized within the last 3 months and makes the process fast for most frequent users. An unknown card would require authorization to occur in real-time and provided that user rides TTC once every 3 months their loading time with that card would be fast from that point forward.

This method will cause longer lineups at a location like Union Station or the Airport with a large number of first time users but the Airport could solve that by allowing the ticket to be purchased prior to boarding.

Of course, it's pointless to do this unless all doors of all vehicles have fare-gates. No matter how fast the gate is it would slow down loading/unloading of buses over today.



3) Combination of the two. Vehicles using cell based data networks (buses, streetcars) could use a blacklist and subway stations with faster networks could use a whitelist method.

This is actually closer to how bank machines work. If they're on a wired network they perform actions with the central banking server in real-time. If they're on a slow network or disconnected for some reason, they push out transactions at the first available opportunity.

Bank machines have a periodic feed on stolen cards which is checked against during a network outage.
 
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doady

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Okay I finally got my card last week. Apparently my credit card was locked, hence the problems earlier, and I did not realize until I went to the store. It would have been nice if the Presto website said something about the credit card not being accepted so I wouldn't have had to waste my time, not to mention wasting my time at the store.

Speaking of wasting my time, I tried to load money into my account just now, and it only took me about 20 attempts before the Presto website was able to log me into my account. At first, I thought I had entered the wrong PIN, but it was not the case since the website couldn't reset my PIN either. Again, incompetence.
 

cplchanb

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Presto is too overreliant on the internet to purchase and add value to the cards. they should really stick to proven simple tech such as installing add value machines at main terminals and subway stations
 

rbt

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Presto is too overreliant on the internet to purchase and add value to the cards. they should really stick to proven simple tech such as installing add value machines at main terminals and subway stations

Those tend to be anything but simple. This would be a million dollar project for enough to cover Union station (~10 machines).
 

cplchanb

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why is it always about money and being afraid of spending to improve? consider it an investment that would likely generate a more user friendly experience that would in turn provide opportunity for more customers to purchase the presto card. the octopus card in HK is one example of a card that works as well as generate revenue for the city and the TAs, without relying on the internet as the primary source of sale and adding money
 

nfitz

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why is it always about money and being afraid of spending to improve? consider it an investment that would likely generate a more user friendly experience that would in turn provide opportunity for more customers to purchase the presto card. the octopus card in HK is one example of a card that works as well as generate revenue for the city and the TAs, without relying on the internet as the primary source of sale and adding money
There's already machines at the main terminal. You can get any GO Station attendant to do this. And when they roll it out to TTC you'll be able to add money in any station.

Am I missing something here?
 

doady

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Presto is too overreliant on the internet to purchase and add value to the cards. they should really stick to proven simple tech such as installing add value machines at main terminals and subway stations

I think internet is fine as a start (as long as it is working). And as mentioned there are already some of those machines.

Being forced to load the card at specific locations would have its own disadvantages. Presto isn't only for GO, it's for all transit in the Greater Toronto Area (except Toronto's), so what you suggest wouldn't make sense as a starting point. Even GO has stops outside of the stations.
 

doady

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Great. So i'm apparently getting charged a full $2.60 fare for transferring to Mississauga Transit from GO instead of $0.70. Pretty much the only reason I got Presto was to transfer between MT and GO. If they can't even do that properly, then there is no reason for me to use the card.
 

TOareaFan

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I think internet is fine as a start (as long as it is working). And as mentioned there are already some of those machines.

Being forced to load the card at specific locations would have its own disadvantages. Presto isn't only for GO, it's for all transit in the Greater Toronto Area (except Toronto's), so what you suggest wouldn't make sense as a starting point. Even GO has stops outside of the stations.

Wouldn't some sort of "combo" approach make sense. The internet exists...so use it....but we also have machines and people behind desks....so use them too?

One of the things that surprises me (not just about Presto but transit cards in general) is that no one has turned to whomever they bank with and said "can you turn your bank machines into presto loaders too"....I am not a techy but this seems to be something worth looking at.

While I am posting, here is a question that I have been meaning to ask (and it may have been asked/answered way way back) are we ever going to have temporary cards for infrequent users? I use the Montreal system when I am there and I just go to a machine and buy a paper card that works for the number of days that I buy it for.....are we headed in that direction or is it Presto for regular users and cash for everyone else?
 

ShonTron

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Great. So i'm apparently getting charged a full $2.60 fare for transferring to Mississauga Transit from GO instead of $0.70. Pretty much the only reason I got Presto was to transfer between MT and GO. If they can't even do that properly, then there is no reason for me to use the card.

Presto will deduct the whole $2.60 boarding a Mississauga Transit bus no matter what. But look at the GO bus fare deducted at the end of the trip - it should be around $1.90 less than if you made the GO trip without using MT.
 

doady

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Presto will deduct the whole $2.60 boarding a Mississauga Transit bus no matter what. But look at the GO bus fare deducted at the end of the trip - it should be around $1.90 less than if you made the GO trip without using MT.


No this was transferring from GO to Mississauga Transit.

Code:
15/09/2012 	15:27:00 	GO 	Union Bus Terminal Agency	E-Purse Load Value 	$10.00	$11.05 	Sep - 2012 	N/A 	N/A 	N/A
15/09/2012 	16:04:00 	GO  	UnionStationBusTerminal At Ba	E-Purse Fare Payment 	-$4.50	$6.55 	Sep - 2012 	1 	1 	$0.00
15/09/2012 	18:10:00 	GO  	ErindaleGOStation At Rath	E-Purse Fare Payment 	-$1.15	$5.40 	Sep - 2012 	2 	1 	$0.45
15/09/2012 	18:36:00 	MT	1-Bristol Rd/Creditview		E-Purse Fare Payment 	-$2.60	$2.80 	Sep - 2012 	3 	1 	$0.00

So I got charged $8.25 for this return trip, when it should be $6.35, just like the incoming trip was. (They gave me $0.45 "Loyalty Discount" each trip for some reason)
 

RedRocket191

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No this was transferring from GO to Mississauga Transit.

Code:
15/09/2012 	15:27:00 	GO 	Union Bus Terminal Agency	E-Purse Load Value 	$10.00	$11.05 	Sep - 2012 	N/A 	N/A 	N/A
15/09/2012 	16:04:00 	GO  	UnionStationBusTerminal At Ba	E-Purse Fare Payment 	-$4.50	$6.55 	Sep - 2012 	1 	1 	$0.00
15/09/2012 	18:10:00 	GO  	ErindaleGOStation At Rath	E-Purse Fare Payment 	-$1.15	$5.40 	Sep - 2012 	2 	1 	$0.45
15/09/2012 	18:36:00 	MT	1-Bristol Rd/Creditview		E-Purse Fare Payment 	-$2.60	$2.80 	Sep - 2012 	3 	1 	$0.00

So I got charged $8.25 for this return trip, when it should be $6.35, just like the incoming trip was. (They gave me $0.45 "Loyalty Discount" each trip for some reason)

The MT trip is outside of the 2.5 hour GO transfer window (from the time you boarded, 2.5 hours would be 18:34). That's why it's a full fare trip. You were two minutes past the transfer window.
 
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nfitz

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No this was transferring from GO to Mississauga Transit.

Code:
15/09/2012 	15:27:00 	GO 	Union Bus Terminal Agency	E-Purse Load Value 	$10.00	$11.05 	Sep - 2012 	N/A 	N/A 	N/A
15/09/2012 	16:04:00 	GO  	UnionStationBusTerminal At Ba	E-Purse Fare Payment 	-$4.50	$6.55 	Sep - 2012 	1 	1 	$0.00
15/09/2012 	18:10:00 	GO  	ErindaleGOStation At Rath	E-Purse Fare Payment 	-$1.15	$5.40 	Sep - 2012 	2 	1 	$0.45
15/09/2012 	18:36:00 	MT	1-Bristol Rd/Creditview		E-Purse Fare Payment 	-$2.60	$2.80 	Sep - 2012 	3 	1 	$0.00

So I got charged $8.25 for this return trip, when it should be $6.35, just like the incoming trip was. (They gave me $0.45 "Loyalty Discount" each trip for some reason)
The GO portion is from Union to Erindale. So you tapped in on the bus at 4:04 pm, and tapped off the bus at 6:10 pm. The base fare from Union to Erindale is $6.10 - but you'd get the 7.5 discount, so that's the $0.45 loyalty discount (0.4575 ... I guess they round down). So the Presto fare to Erindale should be $5.65 which was what you were charged.

But then you tapped onto Mississauga Transit - however if you look, it was 2 hours and 32 minutes after you first tapped onto the GO Bus. The cut-off for transfers is 2 hours and 30 minutes after you first tap on. This is detailed on http://www.gotransit.com/public/en/fares/presto.aspx under "Travel Window".

What I don't get is how it took your GO Bus over 2 hours to get from Union to Erindale. Was the 4:04 pm tap-on for the 3:50 pm departure or the 4:20 pm departure? Though even the 4:20 pm departure should have gotten to Erindale at 5:07 pm, and you didn't tap off the bus until 6:10 pm. The bus was over an hour late? I heard the traffic was pretty bad on Saturday with the Gardiner closed - but a 126 minute travel time instead of the scheduled 47 minutes?

If so, I'd contact GO, explain the situation, and ask for them to refund the extra MT payment.

Or is there something else going, that I'm missing somehow.

Oops, I was so slow, Red Rocket beat me to it.

The MT trip is outside of the 2.5 hour GO transfer window (from the time you boarded, 2.5 hours would be 18:34). That's why it's a full fare trip. You were two minutes past the transfer window.
The bigger question though is why it took over 2 hours for a bus to go from Union to Erindale, when the trip is scheduled for 47 minutes. Surely, if the GO Bus is that late, it shouldn't be getting GO off the hook for paying the co-fare! I assume GO would fix this at Union if you asked them.
 
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doady

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It took 2 hours for GO to get to Erindale because the Gardiner Expressway was closed. Plus the bus was really crowded both ways, with a dozen standees each trip, so it took longer for boarding and letting people off. The 38 also arrived 8 minutes late as well (you can check the schedule and see). I already email Presto for refund. No way I can accept being penalized $1.90 because both the GO and MT buses took too long.
 

RedRocket191

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The bigger question though is why it took over 2 hours for a bus to go from Union to Erindale, when the trip is scheduled for 47 minutes. Surely, if the GO Bus is that late, it shouldn't be getting GO off the hook for paying the co-fare! I assume GO would fix this at Union if you asked them.

I've seen GO issue refunds over less. I once saw them issue a refund in less than 5 seconds - It was so quick that the customer was visibly upset that they weren't given a chance to vent at the CSR.
 

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