Presto Says Sorry with a Single Token After Man is Overcharged

Was there a better solution?

For all of those who are unaware, the Toronto Transit Commission follows an archaic transfer policy, meaning, on the TTC, transfers are only valid for continuous one-way trips, with no stopovers permitted.

Around half of TTC buses and over one third of all TTC subway stations now accept Presto as a method of payment, but according to the TTC, by the end of the year, Presto machines will be available on all buses.

A photo posted by Ivan Lapis (@zeighy) on

A man by the name of Sean Marshall had been a loyal Presto user, accurately keeping track of his transit fare payments and transfers online. Since payment with Presto is not always guaranteed, Marshall always keeps a few tokens or cash in his pocket- just in case.

But on Sunday, September 18th, his Presto stopped working. After visiting the In/Future arts festival at Ontario Place, Marshall boarded a 509 Harbourfront shuttle bus at the Exhibition grounds. According to his blog, Marshall claims the usual streetcar was not running due to maintenance, however, the shuttle bus was had a Presto machine, so he tapped his card like normal. When he went to make a transfer to the subway, about 20 minutes later, his card made a second charge of $2.90.

Through investigating his transaction history the next week, and Marshall caught the mistake, so, naturally, he took to Twitter to have his voice heard. The @TTCHelps account suggested giving the TTC customer service a call, and when he did he was given apology over the phone and promised a refunded token.

Sure enough, five days later, a single token was mailed to Marshall.


Though Marshall does feel like he was compensated fairly, he is strongly urging a better solution. Had he not reviewed balance, and not immediately complained, he may have not noticed at all. This begs the question, how many commuters are being overcharged unknowingly?

What do you think of the TTC’S transfer policy?