To whom it may concern at the Toronto Transit Commission:
I’ve been living in Toronto for almost two years, and I’ve got to say that I have enjoyed being able to get around the city using the TTC. Not needing to have the expense of a car in the city has been amazing, and I enjoy being able to just sit back and enjoy the sites of downtown instead of having to deal with driving downtown. Especially during rush hour. I know you know how I feel!
However, this weekend, I had my first bad experience whilst using the TTC. I know, it’s a miracle it took almost two years to happen, but it happened, and now I’m left feeling completely amazed at the lack of common sense used for the TTC system when combined with tokens and transfers.
Let me set the scene for you: I’m leaving church on Sunday and getting on the bus on my way home. Thankfully, I only have to take one bus on the way home, and it only takes me around 15-20 minutes depending on how many stops the bus has to make. I pay with a token and request a transfer because I knew I needed to make a stop on my way home. I ride for about 15 minutes, get off and pick up a few things at a store on the route and then proceed to go back to the bus stop where I got off to get back on and continue on my merry way.
I have done this so many times! Usually with a monthly pass so I didn’t have to worry about tokens and transfers and the like. But with the recent postal strike, my employer has stopped supplying that pass and I don’t use the TTC enough to actually purchase one for myself. Tokens were a great option for me.
I get back on the bus, show my transfer and start to make my way to a seat. For the first time in my life, the bus driver stopped me! He told me my transfer wasn’t valid. Now, when I switched from the monthly pass to the tokens, I made sure to ask a driver one time how long the transfers were good for. He said two hours. I showed the driver of this bus my transfers and said, “I just got it 20 minutes ago, it’s still valid.” I was confused why he was stopping me. “It doesn’t allow stopovers, you need to pay again.”
I. Was. Shocked.
What kind of system doesn’t allow stopovers?! I pulled out my wallet and threw in another token, my second in twenty minutes, and made my way to a seat on the bus to continue the last 5-minutes of my journey to my house. Once there, I called your customer service line and was told the exact same thing:
Transfers don’t allow you to make stopovers.
Not even if I get off the bus, do shopping, and then want to return on a bus going in the opposite direction. I was instructed to purchase a Presto card to avoid this in the future since the cards were just updated to allow stopovers. Just updated to allow stopovers?!
Apparently, I have been extremely lucky because I’ve never been forced to pay twice before for the same trip. Yet, I still have to say that this is the most idiotic set up I’ve ever encountered. The lady from your customer service line’s reasoning for this was “it’s always been that way.” That doesn’t make it any less stupid.
Why on earth would you expect people to pay multiple times for going in one direction when they need to make stops along the way? This is literally the only transit system I’ve encountered to work things this way, and I’ve been on quite a few, even ones in different countries.
I’ve got to say TTC, I’m really disappointed in you. I can handle your delays and random line closures, and buses that are supposed to come on time but don’t, or buses that Triplinx shows will be making a stop where I need them too but are Express buses instead and I have to wait for another 10 minutes in the rain for the next regular bus, or the 4 Express buses in a row that pass a stop before a regular one arrives. That’s just all expected when dealing with a transit system. But not allowing transfers to let you get off and back on a bus?
That is pure lunacy. I’m surprised you operate on such a scam within your system.
A Flabbergasted Citizen