I Paid $126 to Ride the TCC for 5 Days

Where is it? It has to be in my pocket. How is it not in my jacket pocket? Maybe it’s in my purse. Check the front pocket first. Nope, not there. The other front pocket? Nope. Oh, maybe the two side pockets. Ugh, no. Maybe I put it in my wallet. I don’t see it… Is it in the coin purse? No. What about behind my driver’s license? Nope, not there either.

WTF! Where did I put it?

I know! It must be at the bottom of my purse. Under my wallet, umbrella, power adapter… If I can just see a glimmer of orange, I’ll feel better. Just a corner. Or the letter “N”. Come on! It has to be in here! And seriously, how is it not in my jacket pocket? I just used it to get on this stupid streetcar!

This is what was going through my head on Tuesday evening, when I realized I couldn’t find my November Metropass. The pass I had bought just 5 days before was now gone. $126… just… gone.

After I got home, dumped the contents of my purse onto the dining room table, and realized it was gone, I got mad. I got mad at myself for not trusting the gut feeling I had when I went to purchase my very first monthly pass. I didn’t want to get one. It was so expensive! And I hated the idea of carrying it with me at all times.

But I bought it anyway. I did the math and knew it was cheaper to buy a pass than to use tokens everyday. And then the one thing I was worried would happen did happen. Did someone take it from my pocket? Maybe. Did I drop it? Probably. But that didn’t stop me from checking the floor under my seat and asking the driver if anyone had turned it in. It wasn’t there and no one had.

And then I panicked. I stretched myself pretty thin this pay period and I knew how little there was in my chequing account. Until my next payday (the 15th), I had just enough for groceries and maybe a Starbucks or two. And now I had to come up with money for tokens?

Flashbacks of being maxed out crept up on me. I nearly choked back tears at the thought of being strapped for cash and possibly because of my own stupidity. All I can say is thank goodness for savings. Stretching myself this thin was foolish… but if taking back $25 or $30 of what I saved last week is what I need to get through to next week with no stress, so be it.

Is the lesson here that no one should ever buy a monthly bus pass? Obviously not. But whenever you have a gut feeling about something, you should listen to it. Maybe if I had listened to the other gut feelings that told me to always keep it in one spot, or buy a small card holder wallet specifically for it, I’d still have it today.

I paid $126 to ride Toronto transit for 5 days. Good grief.

Have you ever lost a bus pass at the beginning of the month?

  • Sorry to hear about your loss, must be a real pain after such a short time too.

    I’m really surprised there isn’t a system to guard against this. Like linking your pass to your debit card so you can get a replacement, after all: you paid for it. Not even a receipt you can use to get a replacement?

    Do you get a new physical pass each month too? That seems like a waste of materials.

    Didn’t realise I had so many questions when I started typing, only meant to lend my support!

    • Haha, great questions. As far as I’ve found, Toronto’s system is fairly archaic, in that it can’t do any of the things you just suggested! Sigh. Lesson learned.

  • Ugh that sucks! I’ve never lost a bus pass, but (back when I used to buy them) I remember compulsively checking my pocket 18 times per bus ride to make sure it was still there. Like you said though, thank godness for savings!

    • Whenever I buy my next one (not until the new year), I will definitely be coming up with a system to keep it one spot, so this hopefully never happens again!

  • Aww I know how much this sucks! I was visiting Leslie is NYC in August, and she lent me her monthly pass for the weekend. The same thing happened to me — are you kidding me, I LOST SOMEONE ELSE’S MONTHLY PASS like two days into the month?! I paid her for it, of course, and then we discovered that you can report the card lost or stolen if you paid with debit/credit, and they would prorate it and you would get a partial refund. So I ended up being out $25 instead of $125 or whatever, which was much better. Does TTC have any options like that? Worth checking into.

    • It does not… because whoever found my pass can use it! There’s no way to trace it/cancel it. Good for them. Sucky for me!

  • Cait, I’m really sorry to read about your misfortune. I once found a monthly TTC Metropass (that someone had dropped on the ground). I would gladly have returned it to it’s rightful owner if I had known who that person was but no one was around at the time. So, based on that experience, since then here is what I have done with my Metropass – sign the back of it (there is a signature location) AND place one of those small self-adhesive address stickers that has my name and address on it (I get tons of them free in my charity requesting snail mail). At least that way you still have a chance that some honest person (who might find it if it ever got lost) will then contact you and return it. Just a suggestion…

    Repeating another previous suggestion and save $10 each month on your monthly TTC Metropass – get on the monthly Metropass Discount plan – check this link:

    • Great suggestions, Rob. I’ll definitely be coming up with a system for my next pass (won’t need one until January). And thanks for the link (again)!

  • So sorry to hear this! I live in Toronto and I bought a Metropass for years. I was extremely lucky to have only lossed mine once and it was 2 days before the end of the month. So, unfortunately, I don’t know if they can be replaced or not. But I do also recommend the discount plan. Its cheaper and no waiting in line.

    My recommendation is to buy one of those metal clips and punch a hole in the side of the pass (just not where the stripe is, obv) you can then clip it to the side of your purse. You can even buy one of those ones with the string so you can pull it to show/swipe it and it would never come off the clip.

    But I would talk to them about a replacement pass. The Metropass office is at Davisville station. Good luck!

    • I’m definitely going to buy something to create a better system for my next pass. And I’ll look into the discounted option. Thanks, Morgaine!

  • So sorry Hi-C! That really sucks. I am always terrified I’ll lose my bus pass. It’s $100 but my work does reimburse me tax-free somehow. It’s like my future self is paying it or something. I don’t know how it works.

    I do keep it in the same place in my wallet, and I put my name & phone number on it. Hopefully if I do ever lose it someone will call me. I *did* leave my iPhone (first gen) on the bus once, and it was not passlocked or whatever, and the girl who found it called J (he is labeled “husband” in my phone) and she even charged it for me because it was almost dead. So there ARE good people out there in the world! Unfortunately the guy who found your pass wasn’t one of them :[

    • Aww, I miss hearing “Hi-C”! You owe me an email soon, lady ;)

      You actually reminded me of something. A few years ago, I lost my entire purse at a bar. The whole thing. Cell phone, wallet, keys… gone. The next morning, the person who found it called my parents. He had looked through my iPhone and found “Family”. He returned the whole thing. So, yes, there are good people. I’ll write my name on my next pass. Thanks, A! xo

  • That happened in the summer to one of the kids we know who lost their transit pass for the city. They were basically told that once you get a monthly pass it’s like carrying cold hard cash around. You lose it, oh well, have to buy another one. It’s too bad they couldn’t track them down much easier or replace them, then again we’ll just see another price hike for “convenience” they will say. Sorry to hear you lost your pass… will you ever buy another? How will you better protect it if you do? Mr.CBB

    • I think I’ll look into the discounted pass option for January. I don’t need a pass in December because I’m going home for Christmas on the 20th. But I’ll have to come up with a system for my next pass, that’s for sure…

  • This is how I felt when I lost my sunglasses. I paid nearly $100 for sunglasses, and I left them on the back of my truck prior to going into a car wash. It is a sickening feeling after you realize what has occurred, but eventually you realize that at least you have your health, life, job, and friends and family around. A bus pass, a wallet, and a pair of sunglasses can always be replaced.

  • Aww hun, I can picture the frustration you were going through *hug*. Isn’t it nice to be at a point now though that you can deal with smaller emergencies like these? Ones that you wouldn’t be able to deal with when you were maxed out?

    • Yep. Although I still hated having to pull from my savings… oh well. That’s what it’s there for, I guess. Thanks for the hug :)

  • Your description was spot on — I do this every single time I misplace something. The terror is real, and there are just no words (except NSFW words!) to express how frustrating that is.

    That just sucks. But your writing is fantastic. So, there’s that.

  • Ugh so done this before. It hurts like hell because all you can think about is all the things $126 COULD have bought instead like new shoes or 4 dinners out.


    sucks, girl.

    • Well, my first thought was just that it could’ve gone towards debt, haha… but yea, it’s hard to stomach throwing away $126.

  • Ugh that sucks so much! Fortunately I’ve only lost a bus pass once, and it was during finals week in college, so there were only a few days left (it was a semester pass) and I was only out a few bucks.

    Here, we have the option of having a reloadable card with our name/picture on it. Actually, to get a student discount, you HAVE to do the reloadable name/pic card instead of the monthly or pre-set value cards. The good thing is that if you lose it, you can put a hold on your account and get a new card if yours doesn’t turn up in lost and found. They charge you like $5 for the replacement, but they transfer your balance for you. I haven’t lost mine (knock on wood) but Ryan said they were pretty rude to him when he lost his. But… he wasn’t out $50, so dealing with a little rudeness isn’t such a big deal!

  • That sucks!! I know that exact feeling….standing there digging in your purse, getting panicky. I now have a separate pouch that houses my bus passes and I put it in the same place in my purse. Don’t beat yourself up over it, it happens to the best of us!

    • Separate pouch. That’s not a bad idea. I keep seeing people with mini cardholder style wallets that have a plastic slip for their bus passes… hmm…

  • I can totally sympathize! When I started uni my parents bought me an annual pass figuring they were helping me out, but obviously I would lose it! SO much money lost! Anyways I think the reason they don’t let you get another is because they can’t prove you *actually* lost it, so dishonest people would be getting new passes and selling/giving away their old ones… Now though I believe Calgary has a digital pass- which could solve that problem… One thing for sure, I do NOT miss public transit!

    • It’d be great if the passes were more like credit cards, so you could load/reload/cancel them as needed. Maybe one day… :P

  • Cait, did you buy it with your credit card, I buy things like this on my CC because it has the insurance on it, i.e. if you lose, break etc. the item you bought within a certain time period, the CC company will give you back the money. Some CC companies have long insurance periods of up to a year, but most are around 90 days. I thought it might be worth mentioning, even for next time!

    • I didn’t! But I will probably use the discounted pass option in 2013, so I’ll be paying w/ my credit card next time. Thanks for the tip!

  • Its very weird, its such a coincidence, I lost mine on 7th and I got it on the 2nd. I lost it 5 days later. But the thing is, the people here is the problem. On the bus, it fell out my pocket when I took out my phone and no one saw that? And, this guy right next to me, took it up and left, and I realized too late after that it was mine. Btw, i didnt realize when it feel out. Is people blind in this city or something or just plain ignorant and unkind. For the milk of human kindness sake, its a nasty city, the people is awful. In other places people would definately see it fall and say something or stop the guy. Its not my first bad experience with people living here.

  • Cait, what happened to you really sucked.
    I had a really bad experience as well, mine was stolen by a lady sitting beside me. It fell out of my pocket, after some time a man picked it up and asked if it was anyone’s pass. I immediately thought mine must have fallen out of my pocket and took it from him but the lady beside me claimed it to be hers. She kept on yelling how she would call the police if I didn’t hand it over. I thought maybe mines in my backpack so I handed it to her. I searched my whole backpack and couldn’t find it anywhere. Then I realized how my pass has post-secondary written over it and $106 over it. She kept on saying how she spent $128 on it and WOULDNOT show me the card! I had no idea what to do. Everyone on the train supported me and told the lady to hand me my card. She screamed how we were “harassing” her and ran out of the train. ughh there goes my 100 bucks

Comments are closed.