Toronto's fare evasion fines far exceed every other city in Canada
Transit fare inspectors are notoriously unpopular in cities across Canada, but it seems Toronto in particular issues fare evasion fines that are drastically higher than all the rest.
But beyond Toronto residents' frustration with pushy ad campaigns and aggressive transit officers, many are questioning why fines for fare evasion in Toronto are so exorbitant compared to other infractions and other cities.
I got a ticket for fare evasion on the ttc today that was higher than any parking or speeding ticket I've ever received, and that includes a speeding ticket that took 2 points off my license.— norm powell's sister wives (@internetlauren) February 19, 2020
According to one researcher, Toronto's fines for fare evasion are the most expensive in the country and more than most big cities in the U.S.
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
Fare evasion fines in Toronto range between $235 and $425, while other major Canadian cities charge commuters way less for not paying a fare worth several dollars.
So interesting!— Uncle Lou (@toastywaffle) February 20, 2020
The fine for "attempting to pay" a fare on the TTC but doing so fraudulently (using a child presto, fake token, fake youth ID) or refusing to show proof of payment have a total fine of $425.
Getting caught simply not giving a hoot and refusing to pay: $235.
According to the CBC, the fine for fare evasion is $150 at OC Transpo in Ottawa, $173 at TransLink in Greater Vancouver, $150 to $500 at STM in Montreal and $250 at Edmonton Transit Service.
And in New York City, the fine for fare evasion is just $100.
In a video posted to Twitter by CityNews reporter Tina Yazdani, TTC CEO Rick Leary said the fines are that high so people know they can't commit the same offence time after time.
"You want to make sure that people know right away there's a significant ticket coming," he said. "It's important."
Fare evasion fine in NYC: $100— Tina Yazdani (@TinaYazdani) February 18, 2020
Fare evasion fine in Toronto: $425
We asked TTC CEO Rick Leary why the fines are so high: “when they get away with it 50, 60, 70 times... you want to make sure people know right away there’s a significant ticket coming. It’s important.“ Clip: pic.twitter.com/OLib4rNG6r
TTC spokesperson Stuart Green told the CBC fines have to be that high because fares account for the majority of the system's budget.
He said the TTC is perhaps hit harder by fare evasion than other cities, and the money collected from fines goes to the city and not the TTC itself.
Still, many Toronto residents are speaking out against the fines and saying they're disporportionately issued to poor riders who could never pay such a high price in the first place.
Just saw the new #TTC fare evasion print ad campaign on subway. Although targeted at willfully negligent fare evaders, ultimately will adversely affect poor and disenfranchised who wouldn't be able to begin to pay a $425 fine. What's the plan to differentiate? Cc @TTChelps— Kat A (@caffekat) February 19, 2020
And others are pointing out how ridiculous it is that infractions that actually pose a threat to the safety of others — such as running a red light or a stop sign — merit lower fines than not paying a $3.25 fare.
You wanna hear what's fucking garbage?— pat (@powerkranz) February 18, 2020
Running a red light will incur a $325 fine
Running a stop sign will incur a $110 fine
Not paying poor TTC their $3.20 to be late for work will incur a $425 fine
Some are even saying if the TTC can issue such unreasonably high fines, riders should be compensated for all the money they've lost on days when transit service was down.
"How is it that the TTC can fine someone $400 for not paying their fare yet we have no recourse as customers receiving horrible service," one Twitter user wrote.
"Would love to send the #TTC a bill for all of the Ubers/cabs I've had to waste my hard earned money on. Not to mention the stress."
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