With about 7,000 actively using OC Transpo’s PRESTO Card, the smart fare card system is still failing on a regular basis, according to the Ottawa Sun.
When OC Transpo first announced the PRESTO Card it was touted as a multi-use smart card in the city, supporting not only just public transit but also parking, library privileges, and the ability to pay for most any city service. But sadly, this isn’t the case; not at all.
PRESTO Card has suffered several delays due to technical glitches and is reportedly draining the city’s finances. Susan Sherring, a writer for the Ottawa Sun and long time citizen Ottawa, comments on the subject, “What if the city had chosen instead a smart card more like the Octopus?”
Octopus – which began in 1994 as a joint venture among Hong Kong’s five biggest transportation companies for subways, trains, buses and ferries – comprises more than 20 million cards in circulation. And it’s expanded far beyond transit, used for everything from parking meters, to vending machines and corner stores, public gyms and libraries, and even acts as access control in office buildings.
However, the only real question that OC Transpo is likely asking itself right now is, “Will these problems be solved by the drop dead April deadline?” The city has the option to cancel the deal with Metrolinx, the provincial agency responsible for managing the Presto system, if it’s not up and running by then.
Read the full story here.