ttc coronavirus

The TTC is still using fare inspectors despite recommendations for social distancing

Calls for essential social distancing from health and government officials have been communicated to the public loud and clear amidst the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak, yet somehow the TTC's fare inspectors are still on the job. 

Health experts have been warning of the importance of "flattening the curve" of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic for some time now in order to avoid an unmanageable situation like the one in Italy.

But doing so requires significant social distancing — staying home as much as possible and not spreading germs by touching each other or each other's things. 

This is why many Toronto transit users have been shocked and appalled to see fare inspectors going about business as usual. 

"I was just fare-inspected for the 1st time on the TTC. Despite the need for social distancing now & the fact that their @PRESTOcard reader thingy seems to be contactless, the @TTChelps cop still touched my card with his bare hands, and then proceeded to touch everyone else's too," one Toronto resident wrote on Twitter this past weekend.

"If there are fare inspectors at all (there shouldn't be) then they should just direct anyone without POP to the fare machine rather than fining them $425."

"Hey,@TTChelps. Given that you're wiping down vehicles for #CoronaVirusCanada, don't you think it's a real bad idea to have fare inspectors interacting with thousands of people a day? Isn't it bad for your employees to have to interact with thousands of people?" another wrote.

The TTC Customer Service account responded to the previous tweet, stating that "if public health officials think we need to make changes to our practices we will follow their advice."

Writer and activist Desmond Cole also reached out to the TTC via Twitter to confirm that fare inspectors are still working at full capacity despite the pandemic. 

And it turns out they most certainly are. 

But despite the odd decision to continue using fare inspectors in these unprecedented times, the TTC has said they're working with public health officials to make sure they're making the right decisions.

"We're aware of the recommendations from Ontario's chief medical officer regarding social distancing and gatherings of 250 people. Staff from Toronto Public Health and the #TTC are meeting today to determine what that means for our operations. Once we know more, we will say more," TTC spokesperson Stuart Green wrote on Twitter a few days ago. 

"We are not planning reduced service at this time. That would likely make for more crowding. But we need to assess this with public health guidance."

Lead photo by

Chris Tyler

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