TTC union asks provincial government to step in on transition to Presto

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TTC union asks provincial government to step in on transition to Presto
People walk past Presto machines underground in the TTC subway portals in Toronto on Tuesday, December 4, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

TORONTO   The union representing transit workers in Canada’s most populous city is calling for the province to step in and fix what it describes as a faulty system intended to replace existing monthly transit passes.

December marks the last month that Toronto’s commuters will be able to use Metropasses on the TTC, as the network of buses, streetcars and subways switches over to the Presto card system.

But the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 113 has sent a letter to Ontario Premier Doug Ford asking that the government take immediate action to ensure the transition is smooth.

The union says the TTC won’t be able to handle the influx of Presto users as the card readers regularly fail and take too long to repair.

But Anne Marie Aikins, spokeswoman for Metrolinx, which oversees Presto, says the reliability rate for card readers on buses and streetcars is averaging 98 to 99 per cent each week.

Aikins says the agency is “confident” Presto can handle the transition away from Metropasses.