ttc fare evasion

TTC rider shamed for demanding free bus ride right after buying McDonald's

Food and water are basic undeniable necessities of life, but if you think you can board a Toronto transit vehicle after spending your last few bucks on fast food with no change left over for TTC fare, you might be on the receiving end of some good ole' fashioned public shame.

Because, the internet.

Twitter user Racquel Garnette attempted to board a TTC 84 Finch bus last Thursday after exiting a McDonald's, and was completely shocked to learn that riding public transit actually costs money.

For some inexplicable reason, the would-be rider complained that they were asked to stand behind the line near the front door (a pretty obvious safety rule) and denied a free ride. Even harder to explain is the complaint's completely out-of-left-field mention of the bus operator's race.

Garnette attempted to explain the baffling complaint to the TTC Customer Service Twitter account, saying, "I was just entering the ticket booth and he asked me to pay for my fare. I told him I don't have any money for the fare. He said you was coming from McDonald's. Yeah so what does that have to do with anything."

Unfortunately for Racquel, the internet seems to agree with the driver's take that having enough money for Mickey D's but not enough to pay a single adult TTC fare of $3.25, is not at all a valid complaint against a largely fare-funded transit service.

Fare evasion is a significant source of revenue loss for the TTC, which lost over $70 million to people who didn't pay in 2019 alone.

Skipping out on a TTC fare might save you a few bucks if you manage to get away with it, but the risk/reward ratio seems off as fines are over 100 times the cost of a fare, running as high as $425.

But aside from the lack of respect for public transit and the TTC's (honestly, pretty reasonable) universal fare structure, it's the entitled nature of the request that has the internet in a collective cringe.

So next time you're down to your last few bucks, and you have to make a tough choice between paying your TTC fare and eating a heavily-processed burger, think of the unfortunate case of Racquel Garnette, who flew too close to the golden arches and ended up facing the wrath of transit nerd Twitter.

Lead photo by

City of Toronto/McDonald's Canada


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