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Metrolinx explains why TTC riders have to wait 8 months for 2-hour time-based transfers

Click to play video: 'Metrolinx explains long wait for 2-hour time-based transfer system on TTC' Metrolinx explains long wait for 2-hour time-based transfer system on TTC
WATCH ABOVE: It’s going to be more than eight months before TTC will be able to reap the benefits of the new transfer policy. Erica Vella reports – Nov 29, 2017

TTC riders are celebrating the fact that they will soon be able to hop on and off TTC vehicles within a two-hour period — without having to pay an extra fare each time they do.

The TTC board on Tuesday approved two-hour time-based transfers for PRESTO users. The new policy will begin in August.

But while the wheels are in motion to get the transfer system up and running, many riders have posted on social media wondering why it will take so long to be implemented.

READ MORE: TTC board approves 2-hour timed-based transfers for PRESTO card users

Metrolinx spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins said the long wait has to do with updating all of the TTC’s PRESTO technology.

“The TTC originally asked us to set up a directional based transfer as opposed to the two hour transfer,” Aikins said.

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“Once a decision is made to change a system and change the customization, you have to go into the central system — which is the brains of the system itself and then there are subsystems.”

READ MORE: Mayor Tory, city councillors urge TTC to adopt time-based transfers

Aikins added that each PRESTO machine must be updated with the new system, which in some cases, requires a technician.

“You can send software updates to machines without actually having to go to the machine, but some changes need to be reprogrammed into machines. There are thousands of machines across the TTC when you think about all the places that you tap, whether it’s on vehicles, streetcars and subway stations.”

Aikins said there is a chance for the implementation to happen sooner than August 2018.

“We are going to work as hard as we can to get it out as fast as we can,” she said.

“But we want to make sure that it’s done right, tested and that we are absolutely sure it is going to work perfectly for the millions of people who are going to use it.”

With files from Jessica Patton

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