Toronto’s Transit Commission prepares for its mobile future

Comments

  • Dean-Dina Lubaki

    Why don’t they make an NFC solution for Android?
    Presto cards use NFC!
    Would be nice to buy your tickets or monthly pass straight from your smartphone and then just wave it to pay.

    • vonbraun

      Wrong! Presto does not use NFC, it uses MiFare, which is a contactless technology completely different from NFC.

      The technology you are referring to is still a ways away, even Hong Kong Octopus (the most advanced global transit system) doesn’t have this.

      What *could* work is slipping the card into a cellular phone case, or having a sticker or rubberized case attachment. A quick and easy implementation alongside the app.

      First Presto should be made available for use in Taxis, 7/11, Tims, etc.

    • J-Ro

      Or a barcode system. Each bus gets a scanner and people can scan their phones bar code upon entry. All the technology is there, why make something new and unproven?

    • vonbraun

      I like your passion, but you’ve never worked in either industry and I have. Barcodes take too long and not everyone’s phone can support them.

      Do some reading on Hong Kong’s Octopus system, it is the industry leader. It would be simpler to tape the card to the back of your phone or remove the battery cover and slide the card in there.

    • J-Ro

      That would defeat the purpose of the phone. It would just be a funky case. I know bbm uses a barcode system and scanning a new contact is quick. Barcodes are also never identical and I would assume they could be made to represent an account with funds on it.

    • vonbraun

      Imagine 10,000 people trying to scan barcodes at lunchtime at Yonge and bloor station.

      Again I like your passion but it is not practical.

    • J-Ro

      Now I see what your saying, with the lunch time rushes that build there but it would be a great alternative to the card. The card should be kept and the barcode system could work in conjunction to it.

      We all know it will always be congested in those areas but an alternative like that would be nice for people that only want to travel for lunch with their smartphone or carry to many cards to siff through.

    • thedosbox

      In addition to being slow, barcode’s are too easily duplicated for a secure payment method.

    • J-Ro

      secure isn’t the issue. They just want an alternative method. Spending money they can’t manage on a feature they can’t maintain would be insane. Better something cheap and fast.

    • Roger

      South Korea has NFC payment system on their buses and subways.

    • Ulysses Grant

      Do you think its the union’s fault on why Toronto’s transit system progress so too damn slow?

    • Roger

      There isn’t much money to spend on these ‘nice to have’ infrastructures. They’re struggling to pay themselves first, then the union, then the maintenance work.

    • Ulysses Grant

      Well, that’s true especially if a ticket booth worker gets paid more than 100K then we have a problem with having these nice to have stuff around TTC.

    • J-Ro

      You bring a good point. It’s hard to pay workers new and senior 70k to 100k+ and keep things running smoothly. They are hiring when fare share is declining.

      Lol NFC isn’t gonna stop Union station from flooding when it rains.

    • Dean-Dina Lubaki

      Thank you for the clarification. In Quebec where I used to live, we use OPUS, which is NFC and based on French transit cards.
      I believe it was stupid from Metrolink to go for that technology

      Hello interoperability!

    • mastjaso

      This actually entirely true though. MiFare makes and sells readers that can accept their proprietary protocols and NFC. There’s no reason Presto couldn’t also incorporate NFC payments.

    • vonbraun

      There are plenty of reasons, transmit power on the readers, The interoperability of the software on the readers, regulation to name a couple.

    • mastjaso

      Care to actually explain how these would be issues?

      “transmit power on the readers” – The readers are advertised as being able to read both MiFare and NFC how could this possibly be an issue?

      “The interoperability of the software on the readers” – More legitimate, but it doesn’t make it impossible, it just requires more work/coding on Presto’s part.

      “regulation” – And which regulations would that be? NFC payments are used securely elsewhere, I can’t see why there would be any laws against using them for transit.

  • Dan Mac

    A lot of talk, but all they have is an API (with zero collaboration with developers) and a Twitter account.

    There are constant missed times, and glitches with that API as well!

    They in no way take tech seriously, or they’d have something in the works.

    • vonbraun

      Very good post, it is a bolt-on solution at best.

    • J-Ro

      This is a Toronto, Canada public service. We are lucky they were awake for the interviews.

      If you their their app and social network is lacking, wait until you see the shape of their core business.

  • Dannya Messa

    so no gps app to tell “exactly” how far from my freezing fingers the next bus/streetcar is…no need to check an no live info app that shows you the same info as the webpage

  • Avgvstvs

    My first comment wasn’t approved by MobileSyrup staff.

    1) Get rid of the union altogether
    2) Stop deploying street cars and working on the tracks, use street buses or cable buses, everyone’s happy and those things can also change lanes! Go figure!
    3) Stop focusing so much on larger buses and even short buses. Simple minibuses and converted Mercedes Sprinters are much more reliable, serviceable, cheaper and more nimble to get your “lower route” customers around quick.

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