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Smart payment systems, digital divide and transit inequity: a study of the Toronto Transit Commission's implementation of the Presto System

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thesis
posted on 24.05.2022, 14:07 by Masooma Ali
Toronto is city divided. The city’s public transportation system is not an exception to this pattern. A move away from tokens, tickets, passes and cash and towards smart technology and modernization is excluding a large population of Torontonians who rely on public transportation but lack resources, face limited connectivity and rely on fare subsidy programs and traditional methods of fare payment. This paper aims to answer the question: How has the implementation of PRESTO on the Toronto Transit Commission furthered transit inequity in the City of Toronto? Through secondary data analysis and spatial analysis, this paper intends to explore the connection between the existing and worsening digital divide and the lack of access to physical PRESTO
infrastructure outside of the downtown core, specifically in the inner suburbs and fringes of the city, areas where concentrations of low income and racial and ethnic minorities
are higher.

Key words: smart cards, transit fare payment, PRESTO, TTC, Toronto, transit equity, digital divide, digital literacy

History

Language

English

Degree

Master of Planning

Program

Urban Development

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type

MRP

Thesis Advisor

Pamela Robertson