ttc toronto

Data shows Toronto's residents of colour have way more run-ins with TTC fare inspectors

The TTC has been making an effort to be more diverse and inclusive, which has included examining the ways in which systemic racism plays into its day-to-day operations

And, unfortunately, new data from a third-party review into enforcement on public transit in Toronto has found that there has indeed been severe racial inequity, especially when looking at who is being stopped by fare inspectors.

According to a new report for which U of T researchers examined customer data over 10 years, Black and Indigenous riders were "over-represented in enforcement incidents," being cautioned and charged more often than other commuters, when it comes to both checking fares and other safety and security concerns.

They had respective incidence rates of 11,164 and 9,963 per 100,000 people, compared to just 3,678 per 100,000 white transitgoers, making for rates that were 3.1 times higher for Indigenous individuals and 1.95 times higher for Black individuals than white.

This is all while these residents of colour altogether comprise less than 10 per cent of the city's population, though data on their representation among ridership is unavailable.

"The findings further support the critical need for the TTC's ongoing work to identify, prevent and address racism, anti-Black racism and anti-Indigenous racism, in the workplace and in the delivery of services, and to build trust with Black, Indigenous and racialized communities," the report reads, adding that the comission has taken this information to heart.

Based on these stats, the TTC plans to work on "culture change" within its departments, to rewrite certain policies and procedures, and change the way it trains its staff, among other things.

But many are already fearing this won't be enough to enact real change as the TTC Board prepares to address the report next week.

Earlier in the health crisis, the transit body briefly pivoted its enforcement program to focus on simply educating the public rather than punishing fare evaders, but resumed its regular ticketing protocols shortly after, to much criticism.

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez

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