TTC tokens become available again!
Now that the Toronto Transit Commission price increase has taken effect, commuters can actually buy tokens again. The price has increased to $2.25, but this is a bargain compared to the $2.75 cash fare many riders were forced to pay because of the recent token rationing policy. Those fancy tokens must be made of gold and platinum for the TTC to be so anal about them!
"Tokens are expensive to produce … we simply don't have enough if everyone stored 100 at home." - TTC chair Adam GiambroneI am sure that some riders stockpile tokens at the old price. But Giambrone is delusional if he thinks that we all have a few hundred extra dollars lying around to invest in subway tokens. People buy tokens for two main reasons: they can save a bit of money compared to regular cash fare, and they can enter a station via turnstile. (That second feature is really handy when there's a lineup of 50 people trying to buy a Metropass at the beginning of the month -- or when one of the fare booth workers is on break.)
What an interesting approach to running a business: assume your customers are always trying to fuck you over.
I understand that the TTC and the city are in a financial bind. I don't understand why the TTC adopts a backward, indifferent, and hostile plan of business in an era when society would be best served by trying to entice -- not discourage -- people to use public transit.
In Berlin, you can pay your fare at an automated machine that couldn't be simpler to use -- in one of several languages. In Toronto, it's rare to find a token vending machine that's in service. Need a receipt? Visit the fare booth, where you're likely to wait in a long line, while people with transfers and exact change push past you. The fare collector will write you a receipt by hand. Isn't that nifty? Just like 1950!
Confession: I had three leftover tokens, purchased last week. I can assure you it was an inadvertent hoard -- I walked to/from work more than usual, because of the nice weather. I owe the TTC 45¢ -- please don't call the Stasi on me.