fare evasion toronto

Viral video shows mass fare evasion at Toronto subway station

Viral footage of what appears to be dozens of young people running onto a Toronto subway train without paying is attracting praise from Chile, of all places, as a mass fare evasion protest takes place across the South American country.

Re-posted from Snapchat to 6ixbuzzTV on Thursday, the video shows at least 50 frenzied youth moving through Toronto's Runnymede Station in a hurry.

"Yo! Get the Prestos! Prestos! Ahhh!" one teen can be heard shouting as others squeal and laugh. "Cops coming!"

Comments on the clip, which has been viewed more than half a million times on 6ixbuzz's Instagram account alone, suggest that most of the people were high school students and that they were fleeing from the scene of a fight.

Other comments say the group "rushed the station to get on for free."

Whatever happened, people in support of the mass fare-dodging protests taking place across Chile in recent weeks are holding it up as a brave act of political dissidence.

"October of Chilean students liberación spreads [to] TO Canada," wrote one supporter in response to a copy of the video shared on Twitter.  "Welcome brothers!"

"Cheers from Chile!" wrote several other users of the social media platform.

"Youth led mass evasion spreads to Toronto," wrote a New York-based #EvasionMasiva account called Ride Free NYC.

"Evasion is the stuff of life, an undercurrent of subversive care. The tide is rollin in, catch a wave."

This is not the first time Toronto has been brought into the Chilean evasion movement, which was sparked by a 4 per cent metro fare hike in Santiago on October 18.

Signs that read "From Chile to Toronto... Power to the fare evaders!" have been spotted on street furnishings around the city in recent weeks, all of them bearing the unofficial Chilean protest emblem, as well as an illustration of a burning Presto card.

"Elected politicians are the real fare evaders," reads a similar poster seen on the streets of Toronto recently. "Fund the TTC!"

Fare evasion has become a widespread and costly problem for the Toronto Transit Commission in recent years, amounting to some $61 million per year in lost revenue, by some estimations.

The TTC has ramped up its fare inspection efforts as a result in an attempt to secure more desperately-needed fare funds for service and maintenance, but conscious fare evasion is only one part of the problem.

The slow and glitchy rollout of Presto is another, with broken fare gates regularly allowing hundreds of people to walk straight through into the subway system without paying — a problem that is said to be costing the TTC millions each year.

Lead photo by

6ixbuzzTV


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