Crossposted to Transit Toronto.
This coming Monday, the TTC will unveil a new token designed to combat the counterfeits that have flooded the system. According to a TTC press release, the special unveiling ceremony will take place on Monday, November 20 at 2:30 p.m. in Toronto’s City Hall, Committee Room 3.
According to the press release, â€œthe new token is designed with the latest in technology, making it next to impossible to re-produce.â€
That, of course, remains to be seen. The release gives few other details, but hopefully these will be provided on Monday. One key question: will the TTC stop accepting the current subway tokens, some of which have been in circulation for over fifty years. If the tokens we have stocked away in sock drawers are to become obsolete, how long will the TTC accept these before phasing them out, and what program will the commission provide to allow individuals to exchange old tokens for new?
Studies suggest that the TTC has lost approximately $10 million due to the sale of counterfeit tokens. Riders report that the counterfeits have become so pervasive that some have been included with legitimate tokens dispensed by token machines.
The TTC has ordered 20 million new tokens at a cost of $1.7 million.
Worth commenting here is whether this purchase makes sense at this time when the Greater Toronto Transit Authority is working towards implementing a smart card system. Will the GTTA’s smart cards make the new tokens obsolete?
In other news, TTC Chair Howard Moscoe is musing about the possibility of automatic train control, as is currently in place on the Scarborough RT. He notes that it might be expensive to implement, but it could improve system capacity by allowing trains to operate more frequently.