The growing tensions between the TTC and Metrolinx appeared to reach new heights this week after a TTC board meeting at the city hall spotlighted the level of distrust between the two transit agencies. The Toronto Star reported earlier this week that the TTC is demanding Metrolinx to pay $7.5 million to compensate for fare revenue lost due to Presto's unreliable equipment. However, Metrolinx argues that the TTC needs to provide more data to support the revenue loss claim even though Metrolinx controls the data.
The fare revenue report was presented at Thursday’s meeting, which quickly highlighted the calls from the board to cut ties with Metrolinx over it's Presto issues. A long list of items on which the TTC and Metrolinx are at odds over was also presented during the meeting, further proving the stark difference between the two feuding agencies.
To add more fuel to the fire, not one spokesperson from Metrolinx was present at the meeting, which spurned reactions of disrespect from those in the commission.
During the board meeting, Commissioner Ron Lalonde admitted that there was a fair amount of support on the board to finding a new fare card supplier. However, he later admitted that due to the TTC’s 15-year contract with Presto, he couldn’t support switching suppliers, insisting that the agencies should find a way to work together.
Commissioner Jim Karygiannis responded by motioning to instruct the TTC to review other potential fare card suppliers. It was reported earlier this week that some Presto vending machine’s on the new TTC streetcars often break down because no one is regularly emptying coins from the machines.
"Based on the work performed with the information we could obtain, it is our view that TTC's estimate of $3.4 million in revenue loss for 2018 due to malfunctioning PRESTO fare equipment does not appear to be overstated," Auditor General Beverly Romeo-Beehler wrote in a recent report.
Whether the TTC and Metrolinx will consider to actually part ways anytime soon is still uncertain. However, alternative options are certainly being explored.