Editorial Archive

Streetcar looking smarter with new card readers

Smartcard equipment onboard new streetcars. 10/14/14 11:05 AM


Smartcard equipment was installed on test car #4401 as field trials continue for the upcoming implementation of PRESTO devices on Spadina. PRESTO payment is schedule to debut on the 510 route in November.

Six card readers (a pair at each centre door and one at the front and back door) will be installed onboard each production car and new cars entering service on the 510 route. Two PRESTO fare/transfer machines will replace the red fare-vending machines that were temporarily installed when the new accessible streetcars were launched into service on Aug. 31. – the same day the 510 became a proof-of-payment, all-door-boarding service.

When PRESTO is activated on Spadina next month, customers with the green smartcards will tap as they board and then tap again at the fare/transfer machine to receive a transfer. Those machines will also allow riders without a smartcard to purchase a single-ride POP ticket using coins or tokens.

The new fare/transfer machine will also replace the existing red fare-vending machine that are located off-board along the avenue. Now that the 510 has resumed regular service along Harbourfront to Union on Oct. 12, the TTC is planning to have a total of 13 PRESTO on-street units installed at the busiest locations along the route in November.

On Spadina, smartcard equipment will only be available on the new streetcars. CLRVs and ALRVs won’t be retrofitted at this time. Customers riding those vehicles will continue to pay at the farebox with tickets, tokens and cash. Riders with passes and transfers (their proof of payment) will be able to take advantage of all-door boarding.

Customers boarding the new streetcars with Senior/Student and Child tickets will continue to validate their fare at existing onboard and on-street red validator machines. The validated ticket is their proof of payment and transfer, which must be deposited in a farebox when transferring to an intersecting route. These riders will also have the option to validate their tickets at the new on-street machines before boarding.

As more routes convert to proof-of-payment service, it will become increasingly important that TTC customers take a transfer when they enter the system.

PRESTO is available at 14 subway stations. The next station scheduled to be smartcard ready will be Spadina.

(Photo: Trials ongoing for PRESTO equipment onboard test car #4401.) 

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