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TTC driver refuses passenger over broken Presto card readers

CityNews | posted Friday, Jan 27th, 2017

presto-jan25

A Mississauga man says he feels humiliated after he was kicked off a TTC bus when he was unable to pay his fare due to malfunctioning Presto card readers.

John Malek says when he boarded the 74A Mt Pleasant bus on Sunday, he found both readers were out of service.

When he complained to the driver about the machines being broken for the second day in a row, the conversation grew heated.

A cellphone video capturing the last minute of a five-minute conversation shows an angry and confrontational Malek being kicked off the bus.

“It made me feel guilty,” Malek said. “(The driver) humiliated me in front of the other passengers, made it look like I’m trying to get a free ride, and that’s not the case at all.”

The TTC confirmed on Wednesday the driver was not following protocol when he kicked Malek off the bus.

As of Jan. 1, the TTC dropped its policy requiring users to have an alternative fare on hand in case its Presto machines aren’t working.

“If both card readers are down on the buses, it’s not the customer’s fault,” said TTC spokeswoman Heather Brown.

“They absolutely should be allowed to board and told to either tap at their transfer point or at the station destination.”

Brown said the TTC is currently experiencing a five-per-cent failure rate with Presto card readers.

The Presto rollout is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

On Thursday morning, the card reader was down on at least two streetcars: a 510 Spadina car and a 509 Queen’s Quay car (photo below)

A Presto card reader is out of service on Jan. 26, 2017. 680 NEWS/Diana Pereira

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