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Reliability issues force TTC to suspend further installation of PRESTO fare gates

BT Toronto | posted Friday, Mar 16th, 2018

The Toronto Transit Commission is suspending the installation of the remaining PRESTO fare gates in order to correct several reliability issues.

The TTC says it needs to replace approximately 2,000 motors due to what it calls “significant reliability issues” which have occurred with the new fare gates.

Fare gate contractor, Scheidt & Bachmann, will be replacing the motors which control the paddle mechanism associated with each gate. As well, there are issues with the software and operating systems which control the internal mechanism of the gates.

TTC spokesperson Stuart Green says so far, 800 gates have been installed and are in service across the system. Another 100 have been installed but have yet to be put into service while another 100 have yet to be installed.

Green says in any given month, only about five per cent of the gates are down but when they go down, they go down for significant periods of time.

“We have so many gates at one station and to have one or two of them down for any length of time is a real inconvenience.”

Green says it’s uncertain how the delays and fixes will impact the final roll out of the PRESTO fare gates. The TTC started installing gates in 2016 and had hoped to have construction completed at all stations, including Union, by June 2018.

Green stresses the TTC will not be on the hook for any of the costs as it’s all part of their service contract.

While the problem with the gates is not directly related to the PRESTO tap fare system, it’s all part of the gate function mechanism.

“All of the ways that PRESTO integrates with the gates – the mechanism of the gates, the software that controls the gates – all of those need to be looked at and wherever those deficiencies exist need to be addressed,” said Green.

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