There are now calls for the TTC to reinstate fare collectors at all subway stations
The TTC released a report days ago that revealed the transit agency lost more than $70 million due to fare evasion last year, but a new statement from the TTC workers' union indicates that many are not on board with the approach being taken to solve the problem.
TTC workers' union issues statement on fare evasion report, says TTC's approach of pointing finger at riders is "wrongheaded" and urges agency to "advocate for fair government funding to lower fares." pic.twitter.com/VTw2nRlR8T— Ben Spurr (@BenSpurr) February 10, 2020
"The TTC's Fare Evasion Study makes evident the Commission’s wrongheaded approach to addressing its increasing lost revenues, which cost Toronto's public transit system and its riders an estimated $73.5 million a year," reads the statement from President of Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 113 Carlos Santos.
"Despite the study footing the blame squarely on the 'cumulative impact of significant changes implemented by the TTC', its recommendations target riders who try their best to pay despite chronic overcrowding and faulty Presto technology brought to us by Metrolinx."
The TTC's report includes a list of measures to be taken to combat fare evasion, including a new crop of transit cops that are expected to start working by the end of the year, more customer awareness campaigns and the controversial introduction of plainclothes inspectors.
Perhaps even more notable is the report's emphasis on "building a fare compliant culture," though Santos says this places unfair blame on transit users.
"Riders experience the consequences of an underfunded system on their commutes daily, and do not need more punitive measures like increased plain clothed inspections that do nothing to improve the public transit system," he said.
Instead, Santos recommends that the TTC fight for government funding to lower fares, improve and increase service and maintenance, "and rethink its disastrous 'station modernization' policies that contribute directly to lost revenues."
Above all else, the union's statement maintains that the TTC must reinstate collectors at all TTC subway stations "as the cash-starved Commission continues to grapple with the consequences of increasing lost revenues."
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