Value for Money
Metrolinx engaged Grant Thornton, a risk management, business advisory and accounting firm to evaluate whether PRESTO achieved the greatest benefit to taxpayers for the money invested to date, with respect to the objectives in the Regional Transportation Plan and compared to other global e-fare systems.
Grant Thornton undertook both qualitative and financial analyses and reviewed three specific decisions:
- Adopting an integrated e-fare system across Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) versus individual e-fare systems for multiple GTHA municipal transit systems or no e-fare system within the GTHA
- Investing to expand the “Original” PRESTO technology platform to PRESTO “Next Generation”
- Investing in further enhancing the PRESTO technology platform to support the needs of the TTC, one of North America’s largest transit systems
The complexity of designing, building and deploying a system such as PRESTO was demanding because the sophistication of the system is comparable to only 10-15 e-fare systems in the world. In addition, when PRESTO was initiated there had not been investment in transit technology in Ontario for several years, and there was no existing e-fare technology or enabling infrastructure – unlike most international e-fare deployments.
Grant Thornton concluded Metrolinx made the appropriate assessments, consistent with the objectives of the Regional Transportation Plan, the needs of Ontario transit agencies, and understanding the evolution of technology, to provide the strongest return to taxpayers, minimize future large-scale investment and enable the possibility of private and public partnerships in the long term.
As part of their evaluation model, Grant Thornton also undertook a detailed bench marking of selected comparable global e-fare systems based on scale, location, technology requirements and client deployment needs.
Based upon Metrolinx’s research a summary of comparable information can be found in the following chart: (view PDF).
View the complete report
View the Executive Summary
View Appendix A – Value for Money of Original PRESTO
View Appendix B – Value for Money of PRESTO Next Generation
Accenture Contract Review
Former Ontario Supreme Court Justice the Hon. Coulter A. Osborne was commissioned to review Metrolinx’s contract with Accenture, a management consultancy and technology services company, for the expansion of the PRESTO e-fare system.
The report by Justice Osborne concluded that “changes in the Presto project presented no fairness related procurement problems. This conclusion was generally based on the fact that the Presto RFP and the Accenture contract both contemplated expansion of the Presto project.”
On the issue of value for money, Justice Osborne’s initial assessment stated that “In my view, if the independent value for money review is positive in the sense that it concludes value for money in all of the current circumstances has been achieved, I see no compelling reason to re-start the procurement process, likely with another RFP, followed by another RFP...”
Hon. Coulter Osborne has recently reviewed Grant Thornton’s value for money report and has accepted Grant Thornton’s finding and conclusions.
View the February 7, 2012 letter
View the December 7, 2012 letter