The TTC might be disproportionately fining Black people in Toronto
TTC ticketing data seems to show that Black people in Toronto are being fined at a disproportionately-high rate for alleged offences such as fare evasion and trespassing, according to the Toronto Star.
From 2008 to 2018, of the approximately 47,000 tickets that were given out by the TTC that recorded the race of the transit user, 18.5 per cent of those ticketed were identified as Black.
Of roughly 47,000 tickets TTC officers issued that recorded the race of the subject, 18.5 per cent listed the rider as Black. Black people make up about 10.7 per cent of people who commute by public transit in Toronto, according to the most recent census.— Ben Spurr (@BenSpurr) July 2, 2019
About 8.9 per cent of Toronto’s population is Black and 10.7 per cent of public transit users are Black, according to 2016 census data.
The TTC denies that its employees are racist and said that its transit officials receive diversity and human rights training.
They claim that the Star’s statistics are false because they neglect more than 33,000 of the 80,000 tickets issued in the decade-long time span of data collected, because the race of individuals was not recorded.
This is a very weak response on the part of the TTC, especially since the reason they're citing for the data's unreliability makes it just as likely that these numbers are underreported. pic.twitter.com/BIZQdJ7Oz9— Chantal Braganza (@chantalbraganza) July 2, 2019
Critics wonder why the TTC would not record accurate data on the demographics of all ticketed riders.
The co-founder of Black Lives Matter Toronto said that transit officers disproportionately target the Black community and the TTC’s claims are an evasion.
The Star also found that white and Indigenous people were ticketed at an exceedingly high rate; 56 per cent of people ticketed were white of the 43 per cent that commute and about 4 per cent of the 1 per cent of Indigenous Torontonians received TTC tickets.
The number of Asian commuters ticketed was in the single digits each year distinctively from 2008 to 2014. By 2016, this number jumped to 24.7 per cent.
After the honour-based proof-of-payment system was introduced on streetcars in 2015, the overall number of tickets rose and the data became more representative of Toronto’s population.
I think there's a fundamental tension in the TTC asserting it doesn't discriminate, but also saying there is no reliable data on this subject. Since the Star began publishing stories on this issue the agency has launched a review of how it collects and tracks riders' info.— Ben Spurr (@BenSpurr) July 2, 2019
However, the number of ticketed Black transit users was still disproportionately high — 15.2 per cent of Black commuters were ticketed last year of the 10.7 per cent of Black people that take public transit in Toronto.
In March, the TTC issued a review of its ticketing practices and stopped recording the race of commuters after a Star investigation found that enforcement officials were allegedly using special forms to collect sensitive information about riders who were not charged for any offence.
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