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Toronto Public Library - free Presto cards

  • Last Updated:
  • Jul 3rd, 2022 8:44 pm
Deal Addict
Nov 3, 2009
1702 posts
1071 upvotes
Calgary
what's presto? do I require it in order to take buses?
Member
User avatar
May 24, 2015
335 posts
123 upvotes
Brampton, ON
For the people saying the cards should have been free in the first place....Presto charges a fee if your account goes into the negative. If the cards were free, people would just throw their card away and get another one so they didn't have to pay the fee. When I worked for transit I alone had collected over 200 "lost cards" that people would turn in and no one would ever claim. Look at how much plastic and metal is wasted in producing these things.

When CC tap comes out, I remember hearing that it would charge a service charge for using CC over presto.
Deal Addict
Jul 24, 2003
2168 posts
1101 upvotes
vinnie1990 wrote: with the pilot of credit card tap at the terminals, I don't see how Presto is really required anymore. Long overdue as the whole presto platform is rather archaic given we could've always just used phones/watches/digital-wallets to tap, but obviously they wanted to do a money grab play.
Archaic - definitely. Popularizing the Presto system came 10+ years too late. Oyster card was introduced in 2003, Octopus card in 1998. I don't entirely blame the administration, however. The almighty union fought it for a long time, and here we are. Resource spent but now obsolete.
Last edited by manho on Oct 19th, 2021 2:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Sr. Member
Jun 9, 2009
971 posts
246 upvotes
Hamilton
I would kill someone to get a Toronto library card. My city has few books to loan on Libby.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 11, 2003
1389 posts
430 upvotes
Toronto
I think TTC will take fares payed with cc as regular cash fare.. so no 2 hr window, no free after 40, etc.
Deal Addict
Dec 29, 2012
2133 posts
2211 upvotes
Toronto
jerry70450 wrote: The 24 hour wait applies to any transit card. It's just a limitation of technology.
If you use the app the balance gets updated instantaneously
Member
Sep 30, 2015
372 posts
126 upvotes
York, ON
A number of year back, TTC was still using paper tickets and tokens. It said it is too expensive to convert to a card system. Then all of a sun den, Presto card is in. What happened to the expense? My speculation is that the users pay for the system cost by paying for the card. It is a clever plan.
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User avatar
Oct 27, 2017
3227 posts
3501 upvotes
Haven't taken public transit in ages. But I don't get why can't one just install the Presto app and get a virtual card. Based on the FAQ, you need to link a physical card to account
Temp. Banned
Jun 20, 2020
17142 posts
22924 upvotes
Toronto
krist8 wrote: A number of year back, TTC was still using paper tickets and tokens. It said it is too expensive to convert to a card system. Then all of a sun den, Presto card is in. What happened to the expense? My speculation is that the users pay for the system cost by paying for the card. It is a clever plan.
TTC had already negotiated a deal with another "off the shelf" fare card provider. The province used “political blackmail,” to “coerce” the TTC into going with Presto,

https://ottawasun.com/2012/12/13/presto ... -gone-wild
https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/201 ... ttack.html
Destiny is all
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User avatar
Aug 22, 2014
1476 posts
1754 upvotes
Toronto, ON
peji911 wrote: I would kill someone to get a Toronto library card. My city has few books to loan on Libby.
FYI - You don't have to live in Toronto to get a card. You can get one if you work or go to school in there. Alternatively, you can also pay for a card as a non-resident ($30 for 3 months or $120 for a year).

https://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/usi ... rary-card/
Deal Addict
Dec 28, 2004
1564 posts
572 upvotes
presto was suppose to be testing presto app as the card - i guess covid hit and it went on backburner :( or they don't want to hire/pay for proper app security design and backend team as it affects the execs bonuses :)
Deal Fanatic
Feb 4, 2015
8853 posts
5120 upvotes
Canada, Eh!!
Catenary wrote: I'm well aware of the other options on the market. As I said, Presto implementation began in 2006, before contactless payment was really a thing. That doesn't account for development time before implementation either.

Should they have gone to the market and gotten a system from Cubic, S&B, ACS/Xerox/Conduent or another provider? Absolutely. Would that have significantly changed the system we got initially? Probably not.

Online loads were very new to contactless ticketing when Presto launched, and most systems didn't support it at all. If you wanted to do it with Oyster, not only was there a delay, you also had to select the station at which you would "pick up" your load at - not on a bus, an actual station. This generally wasn't an issue as there was a plethora of locations to load your card at otherwise, such as the expansive tube network and convenience stores which the GTHA lacked.

Presto is a great example of government contracting disaster, but a balanced look at it includes recognizing what was possible at the time.
I was using contactless payments few years before 2006... obviously in another city.

Worked well and efficient... can't really understand why Presto was used... like reinventing the wheel.
2022: BOC raised 7 times and MCAP raised its prime next day.
2017 to 2018: BOC raised rates 5 times and MCAP raised its prime next day each time.
2020: BOC dropped rates 3 times and MCAP waited to drop its prime to include all 3 drops.
Sr. Member
Jun 9, 2009
971 posts
246 upvotes
Hamilton
sn00ch wrote: FYI - You don't have to live in Toronto to get a card. You can get one if you work or go to school in there. Alternatively, you can also pay for a card as a non-resident ($30 for 3 months or $120 for a year).

https://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/usi ... rary-card/
Yeah, I used to pay for a NYC card and it was cheaper and had 10x the selection as the TPL.

As a prime member, I get a lot of books for free through prime reading and the ones I need to get, are much cheaper than $120 for a library card through various online book sellers. I spend less and get to keep the book, loan it, etc.

I lived living in Toronto until I finally moved out and realized how unnecessarily expensive it is. Charging $120 for a library pass for non-residents is extremely expensive.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Feb 23, 2004
10299 posts
1082 upvotes
Toronto
ForFoxSake wrote: For the people saying the cards should have been free in the first place....Presto charges a fee if your account goes into the negative. If the cards were free, people would just throw their card away and get another one so they didn't have to pay the fee. When I worked for transit I alone had collected over 200 "lost cards" that people would turn in and no one would ever claim. Look at how much plastic and metal is wasted in producing these things.

When CC tap comes out, I remember hearing that it would charge a service charge for using CC over presto.
I also got charged to replace my presto card that cracked. I can accept having to pay for the first card. But it's definitely a cash grab when I can't get a free replacement since I'm transferring my existing balance over (whether negative or positive)
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Member
User avatar
May 24, 2015
335 posts
123 upvotes
Brampton, ON
Dash wrote: I also got charged to replace my presto card that cracked. I can accept having to pay for the first card. But it's definitely a cash grab when I can't get a free replacement since I'm transferring my existing balance over (whether negative or positive)
I agree, anyone transferring a balance exceeding the price of the card shouldn't be charged for the new card.

Honestly my time at the TTC I realized that when the provincial politicians got involved with controlling the TTC, more and more things began making less sense.
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User avatar
Aug 7, 2007
4361 posts
3127 upvotes
GTA
ForFoxSake wrote: Honestly my time at the TTC I realized that when the provincial politicians got involved with controlling the TTC, more and more things began making less sense.
We hate it too at Metrolinx. Every time there is a new party, we just know things will blow up.

It’s frustrating that it’s hard to get into places like the TTC and Metrolinx, because the competition is a bit tough. They hire some really skilled people who can plan well, all for a politician to come in and blow it all up because they love subways.
Newbie
May 20, 2015
68 posts
262 upvotes
Richmond Hill, ON
samson wrote: Agree.... The card itself should be free. With CC taps, do you lose out with unlimited transfers in 2 hr window?
No, you wouldn't lose out on the benefits.. your CC is essentially your account which would store all your transaction history records.
Deal Addict
Nov 3, 2009
1702 posts
1071 upvotes
Calgary
MrDisco wrote: Presto is a transit payment card, should you ever you visit Toronto. You can also use cash.
Thanks. Should I get one if I live in Toronto? Haven't used the public transit yet but is it better to get it now or it will always be free?
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User avatar
Oct 14, 2017
1087 posts
1534 upvotes
Toronto
Presto is a joke. I've been to second world countries with better systems.

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