Presto problems: some TTC gates can be opened by umbrellas

by | Apr 6, 2017 | News

By: Helena Shlapak

TTC riders are no stranger to the plethora of problems since PRESTO’s rollout last year.

The latest of these issues was uploaded to Youtube on Tuesday when a man opened a subway gate by waving an umbrella through the partitions.

“The new PRESTO gates have been disasters from the start. Here’s another fail to add to the list,” the description of the video said.

In December of 2016, the TTC estimated that around 12 per cent of PRESTO machines weren’t working as the new payment was implemented.

Vanessa Barrasa, spokesperson from Metrolinx, said that glitches are to be expected as PRESTO is still very new to the TTC.

“It wasn’t just, you turn on a light switch and everything, stations, streetcars and subway had them. TTC is one of the largest, compared to all the 905 areas. If you look at any of those systems and see PRESTO and how it works for them, TTC is just at the very beginning stages.”

In a letter sent to the CBC, the uploader of the video stated that he always wondered why the gaps in the gate were so large.

“The way the paddles work is that on the exit side, there’s any infrared beam so as you approach it, it breaks the beam and that tells the gate to open,” said TTC Spokesperson, Stuart Green.

The uploader of the video also told CBC that the TTC needed to act on its flaws, “Until you expose a flaw to the masses with the use of social media, they won’t act on it.”

But Green said that the gates should not be redesigned.

“This isn’t a design issue, this is a fundamental breaking the law issue. People who are doing this have not uncovered a design flaw, they’re breaking the law.”

Green said people will always try to find a way around paying their fare and the TTC is taking it seriously. He said that fare evasion costs the TTC around $20 million a year.

However it does seem that the video has made an impact on the TTC.

“We’ve got eyes in the station and we’ll be keeping an eye out,” said Green.

Green reiterates that the vast majority of TTC customers respect the fair gates and pay their fair.