Presto is a smartcard-based fare payment system for public transit systems in Ontario. By tapping a preloaded presto card onto a reader on a bus or subway station, the cost of a trip fare is automatically deducted from the money within the card.
Living in Markham, the quickest way for me to travel downtown was taking a YRT (York Region Transit) bus to a TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) station and riding the subway down. Since YRT and TTC are two different public transits, the tickets are not interchangeable. Thus the cheapest total was buying a 10 pack tickets for YRT and tokens for TTC. Even though it is a lot more convenient carrying a monthly GTA pass, it is too expensive considering I will only be using it three days a week.
The presto card was the perfect alternative for me because it was convenient and cheap. The system covers both YRT and TTC, so I don’t need to purchase different tickets for each system. Instead of having to worry about coins and tickets, everything I need for my travels is the presto card. The total cost stays exactly the same because the presto fares are discounted from the regular fares (just like the tokens and 10 packs). I don’t have to waste time buying tokens and tickets at the machines and counters because I can easily load money into my presto card online with a credit card.
Although the presto card is nowhere near (or ever will be) as advanced as the Octopus card I’m used to in Hong Kong, it is none the less an exciting new ‘innovation’ (in Canada anyways) that aids my traveling complications in Toronto.
Being a person who loves to take pictures of just about everything, my three year old Samsung camera have helped me capture the most precious moments I encounter in life. This camera was special because it was given to me on my birthday from my parents. There is a main touchscreen where all the main controls are, three additional control buttons, and an innovative dual screen in the front of the camera. A few months back, the main screen became progressively unresponsive. The left corners of the touchscreen, where some of the controls for essential camera feature, stopped working one day. With those spots dead, I couldn’t record videos or change settings of the camera. I couldn’t get a replacement because I didn’t purchase the store warranty when the camera was first bought, and the one year manufacturer’s warranty expired long before the incident. I was able to cope with the issue until it became more and more of a hassle. Recently, I took the camera to a repair store and got a brand new touchscreen. It was definitely not cheap, but it was expected if the cost justified the durability and longevity of the product.
In less than a week, random black lines appeared across the screen. There was nothing I could do to get rid of them. The lines proliferated within days and the screen went completely black. I was already very aggravated by the fact that a brand new screen can die so quickly, but when I returned to the repair shop, the staff the audacity to suggest I was the one who re-broke it again. It was impossible since I didn’t use the camera much within that week, nor could’ve possibly damaged it physically. While they tried to repair will cost me again, I insisted they replace the broken screen with a new one for free. Though they were reluctant to do so at first, they eventually gave in knowing I would not leave peacefully without what I leaving with what was rightfully mine.