TTC cracking down on fare evasion with new ad campaign
Kayla Goodfield, CP24.com
Published Wednesday, May 22, 2019 4:52PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, May 22, 2019 6:02PM EDT
After more than 4,000 tickets were issued in the past two months, the TTC said it is cracking down on fare evasion with a new advertising campaign.
The campaign, which officially launched last week, shows transit users the consequences of not paying for the service – a fine of up to $425.
The campaign includes a series of videos showing surveillance camera footage depicting transit users evading their fare before bolded text reading “Smile! You’re on fare evader camera” appears in all capitals.
The campaign was launched after the Toronto Auditor General’s report showed the transit agency had lost at least $64 million to fare evasion and faulty Metrolinx equipment in 2018. The report indicated that approximately five per cent of passengers evaded their fares in 2018.
According to the report, streetcars were the biggest target of fare evasion at about 15 per cent of passengers, while buses saw five per cent of passengers evade their fare and 3.7 per cent of subway passengers.
Since the report came out in February, the TTC said the following two months saw 4,549 tickets issued to people who were caught not paying for the service.
TTC Chair Jaye Robinson said this high number has prompted the transit agency to better inform their customers.
“I hear from residents daily who are frustrated by the cost of fare evasion for the TTC,” Robinson said. “Riders who choose not to pay their fares are impacting our ability to deliver transit service to the entire city.”
The new advertisements will appear inside TTC vehicles and stations with videos being displayed on screens in stations and on platforms.
In the report, recommendations were made to curtail future fare evasion.
Since the report was released, the TTC said it has implemented a “number of actions,” including hiring 11 fare inspectors in March 2019 and analyzing data to determine high-risk entrances. The TTC said it also plans to hire 15 additional fare inspectors and 21 transit enforcement officers by September.