PC transportation critic Frank Klees has asked Ontario’s auditor general to review Metrolinx’s Presto fare card deal with the TTC after he says his requests for the government to scrutinize the agreement were ignored.

Earlier this week, Ontario’s provincial transportation agency Metrolinx announced that it signed an agreement with the TTC and the City of Toronto to roll out the Presto one-fare card system at all subway stations and on buses and streetcars by 2016.

Klees says the TTC is being “coerced” by Metrolinx and the transportation ministry into the deal which he says costs more than one that the Toronto Transit Commission planned to go with through a public tender. Xerox Corp.’s ACS subsidiary was the winning bid.

“That competing bid had superior technology and would save taxpayers more than $300 million in capital costs and some $50 million in annual capital costs,” Klees said Friday.

Klees says the Metrolinx deal “commits the TTC and City of Toronto to sole source a transit fare card system without the benefit of competitive open tender. That in and of itself contravenes provincial procurement policy.”

One condition of the $8.4 billion in funding from the province for the light-rail transit projects in Toronto was the Presto card system.

Klees warned on Friday that the Presto card could be the next “costly bureaucratic boondoggle.”

He said he had asked the government last year to delay a decision on the deal so that the procurement process could be scrutinized.

When his concerns were ignored he went to the province’s auditor general in April and looks forward to the results of the AG’s review expected in two weeks.

The transportation ministry said Friday that Klee’s proposal for another vendor would delay the implementation of the e-fare card system by years and cost taxpayers.

“The PC plan is to start from scratch with a different fare card system,” press secretary David Salter told CityNews. “We think very clearly that’s not the future of transit in the GTHA [Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area].”

Salter also said the government commissioned two independent reports on Presto, one looking at whether it provided value for money and the other on the procurement process.

The Grant Thornton report issued in December 2011 concluded the capital cost of Presto compared favourably with other fare cards underway around the world, he said.

The report by Justice Coulter Osborne issued on Feb. 7 concluded the procurement was fair and competitive and saw no reason to restart the procurement process, he said.

Presto is a “proven state-of-the-art system” with 400,000 cards in use in nine other transit systems in Ontario and more than 22,000 additional cards being issued every month, Salter added.