The topic of fare evasion and parking fines seems a perpetually controversial one. There's certainly been a lot of talk recently about fare evasion and the TTC has even gone as far as making a campaign in order to reduce the number of fee-skippers squeezing their way through the crowds of paying commuters. But now, some Reddit and Twitter users have started looking into the difference between parking fines and TTC fines for evading payment.
A tweet by Toronto resident James McLeod sparked a huge debate on Reddit on Thursday.
In the tweet, McLeod had highlighted the stark difference in punishment between failing to pay your TTC fare and failing to buy a parking ticket.
The fee for being caught without having paid your TTC fare can climb as high as $425, according to the commission's website. In contrast, the standard fine for not paying for a parking ticket at one of the city's numerous Green P parking lots is just $30.
That leaves a potential difference of nearly $400 for what essentially amounts to the same act, just using a different mode of transport.
Even the lowest possible fine for TTC fare evasion, according to the Communications Advisor for the TTC, is $235. It all depends on the fare inspectors who handle each situation. Some may give out verbal or written warnings depending on the circumstances.
And there are plenty of tickets handed out, too. "The average number of tickets given out each month is about 2,000," according to the TTC Communications Advisor. "This figure is averaged over the last few years."
So, is the significantly higher fine justifiable for TTC riders or do drivers have it easier when it comes to parking fees?
McLeod certainly received a barrage of comments on both Twitter and Reddit. Some suggested parking/driving fees could easily match TTC tickets in the long run.
Others are suggesting some changes to the approach due to the apparent comparative leniency towards drivers over transit passengers.
What's for sure is that it has put Torontonians at odds with one another. Some suggest that the TTC is excessive with the consequences.
The TTC rolled out their ad campaign back in May of this year after "a months-long investigation into fare evasion on the TTC, finding that it cost the TTC more than $60 million in 2018 alone, impacting the TTC's ability to limit fare increases, deliver service and maintain the system," according to a statement.
Some riders agree that this is a growing issue and acknowledge the risk that comes with it.
At the end of the day, it's surely not worth the risk?