Wynne Liberals shouldn’t force Torontonians to pay for its Presto transit mistakes: NDP

During Question Period today, NDP transportation critic, Wayne Gates, demanded the Liberal government assure Torontonians that it won’t force them to pay for its transit mistakes, following reports that Metrolinx has asked Ottawa’s OC Transpo to pay 10 per cent of its fare revenue for the use of Presto, five times more than what it currently pays. 

“Negotiations with Metrolinx are always one-sided. Metrolinx and the government can force transit agencies to take whatever deal they want,” Gates said.  “Metrolinx currently charges the TTC five per cent of fare revenue for Presto.  When that agreement runs out, will Metrolinx also demand 10 per cent of the TTC’s fare revenue?” 

Gates said that in 2010, Premier Wynne, who was then the Minister of Transportation, told the TTC to stop shopping around for a better smart card, and stick with Presto. 

“She said the TTC had better take Presto, or else she would cancel funding for Transit City.  She eventually killed Transit City anyway, but only after the TTC had bent to her will and agreed to take Presto,” Gates said.  “This was in spite of problems, cost over-runs and a warning by the Auditor General who said, ‘By the time it is fully developed, Presto will be among the more expensive fare-card systems in the world.’”