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Goodbye militarized TTC inspectors, hello undercover TTC inspectors!


Staff member
The TTC recently said it would be phasing out those militarized fare inspectors - you know the ones dressed in black with black cargo pants, batons, handcuffs and bulletproof vests. Now it seems they are going to deploy undercover fare inspectors.

Perhaps if the service was better more people would gladly pay - in advance even!

TTC board approves undercover fare inspectors at year-end meeting
Fare evasion costs the transit commission about $20M every year, TTC board chair says
By Solomon Israel, CBC News Posted: Dec 20, 2016 7:39 PM ET Last Updated: Dec 20, 2016 7:39 PM ET


Undercover inspectors could soon be catching fare evaders on Toronto buses and streetcars once the TTC gets approval from other agencies. (CBC)

The TTC board approved a recommendation to use undercover fare inspectors on streetcars and buses at its last meeting of the year, as the transit commission moves to clamp down on fare evaders.

Those free rides cost the TTC about $20 million in lost revenue per year, according to the board.

"And what we're finding is, a lot of folks are waiting to see if they see a fare inspector, and then they're tapping their Presto cards," TTC Chief Special Constable Mark Cousins said. "We just want to put people out on the system that are in an undercover capacity for observation only."

Those undercover inspectors could then notify uniformed fare inspectors about passengers who haven't paid.

Special constables wearing plain clothes have been tried before, TTC spokesman Brad Ross confirmed, but only as a temporary measure during certain hours on the Queen streetcar line.

Now, with all streetcar lines operating on a proof-of-payment model, Ross said the transit agency needs inspectors "that we can spread out across the entire network."

New traffic powers for TTC special constables
The TTC is also seeking to give its special constables the ability to tag and tow vehicles that are blocking buses and streetcars, and perform traffic direction duties when roads are blocked.

Vehicles blocking transit traffic are a major issue for the TTC, Cousins said.


TTC Chief Special Constable Mark Cousins wants his officers to have the power to ticket and tow cars, and to direct traffic. (CBC)

"It's especially significant during both planned and unplanned closures," explained Cousins, and has a particularly negative impact on shuttle bus services.

The move would have to be approved by the Toronto Police Services Board and the Ministry of Community Safety, Cousins said. He thinks that could happen by next spring good timing because renewed construction tends to lead to more subway closures, he said.

Presto problems

TTC CEO Andy Byford also commented on the problematic rollout of the Presto payment system.

"Just as we promised, by the end of this year, all TTC vehicles and at least one station entrance will be fitted with Presto equipment by the end of December," Byford said.

"It's kind of frustrating for me that the TTC gets the blame for Presto when, actually, we're reliant on our suppliers to give us that equipment, but we're not going to hide behind that," Byford said. "We've just got to suck it up. Our customers contract is with us, as the transit provider it's for us to manage our suppliers and we're doing exactly that."

With files from Makda Ghebreslassie

TTC board approves undercover fare inspectors at year-end meeting
Alex D. from TRIBE on Utility Room


TRIBE Member
Here's a progressive thought: make surface routes free and subway paid. No transfers in between. Solves for poor people, no need to pay fare inspectors, and could encourage neighbourhood economics.