With a new TTC fare hike just days away, riders continue to voice their concerns over the exorbitant fines that are in place when a passenger doesn’t pay for their ride.
The transit agency claims it lost $70.3 million due to fare evasion in 2019, which the agency largely attributes to riders deliberately skipping out on fares.
Penalties for fare evasion on the TTC currently range from $235 to $425, which is the highest range among major Canadian cities. In Vancouver, you can face a $173 fine for being caught not paying a TransLink fare, while in Montreal, not paying for the STM will cost you $150.
But even worse, some researchers say the TTC’s fines are among the highest than any city in North America. In New York, not paying your Metro fare will cost you just $100.
Alright so I’m sure probably at least a few people have pointed this one out. Technically I guess with the TTC if you refuse to pay the fare its $235 CDN but if you walk into or leave the subway from a non-designated entrance its $425. Anyways, so that means new graphs. pic.twitter.com/F9DOPaKUj6
— Keith Marshall (@NeverKieth) February 17, 2020
Many commuters have voiced their concerns over the costs associated with fare evasion, with one rider saying a recent ticket they received for not paying their fare was higher than any parking or speeding ticket they had ever received, including a speeding ticket that took two points off their licence.
To get a better understanding of how costly the TTC’a fines are, a recent report from the Toronto Star compared various TTC fines with maximum penalties to other city bylaw and transit-related infractions.
Failing to surrender your fare or identification card to a TTC inspector will cost you $425. Urinating or defecating on TTC property? Well now, that’ll only cost you $125 to be on your way (though the likelihood of being ticketed and/or charged by the police is also very high).
Refusing to pay your fare comes with a $235 ticket. Failing to stop your motor vehicle at a red light is $260. One of these seems ever so slightly more dangerous than the other, no?
In 2019, the total number of tickets issued for TTC infractions was 19,871, according to the Star. The TTC has said it will be hiring new fare inspectors this year to help cut down on fare evasion, meaning ticket numbers are likely continue to increase.
But given the ridiculousness of these fines, we’re left wondering who gives a shit anyway…
Toronto Storeys reached out to the TTC for comment but had not heard back at the time of publication.