The TTC is hiring tons of new transit inspectors to combat fare evasion
It takes money to make money—or rather, in the case of Toronto's public transit system, it takes money to stop people from stealing free rides all the time.
The TTC just unveiled its proposed 2019 Operating budget ahead of a meeting next Thursday in which the organization's board will either approve or deny a $25.3 million increase in city funding over what was allotted in 2018.
A 39-page-report authored by TTC CFO Dan Wright outlines exactly how roughly $760 million will be spent across both the system's conventional operating budget and Wheel-Trans, if approved, touching on everything from diesel fuel prices and bus fleet renewal to PRESTO transition costs.
Our quick take: The proposed #TTC budget includes 10-cent fare hikes on regular, student, and senior fares AND a 5-cent increase for Fair Pass recipients. Transit riders already pay our fair share, to the tune of 63% of the TTC operating costs. #FundOurRide pic.twitter.com/cKWhxAJ3cE— TTCriders (@ttcriders) January 18, 2019
It's a lot to digest, but highlights include a 10 cent fare hike for passengers, slashing $24 million in corporate costs and the addition of hundreds of employees to its already 15,805-people-strong workforce.
A total of 271 new operational positions are requested to accommodate 2019 service initiatives, 70 of which will be involved in transit inspection and enforcement.
"To protect passenger revenue, a Revenue Protection Initiative is included in the budget to support fare inspection," reads the report.
"Currently fare inspections are focused on proof-of-payment streetcar routes," it continues. "With automated fare collection now occurring across all modes, TTC will review and strengthen its inspection activities using a risk based approach to provide a consistent and more visible deterrent to fare evasion."
The agency wants to add 45 Fare Inspectors, 22 Transit Enforcement Officers and three administrative support officers into the mix.
"The cost for these roles will be offset by incremental passenger revenue," Wright explains. "In addition to protecting TTC passenger revenue, the presence of these personnel in the system will enhance system security."
Will these dedicated workers help alleviate Toronto's rampant fare evasion problem? It's worth a shot, I suppose. Something's got to.
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