Toronto is continuing to implement new strategies to combat the COVID-19 outbreak. The city’s transit authority announced on Wednesday that TTC fare inspectors will not be fining people during the state of emergency. Instead, they will start using alternative methods to deal with fare evaders. 

Effective immediately, enforcement officers will no longer be checking riders for proof of payment as they practice social distancing. Instead, they will be focusing on educating people on the harms of evasion during these times.

“As most people can appreciate, these are extraordinary times. We continue to offer regular service, and the expectation is that customers pay for that service," TTC spokesperson, Stuart Green told Narcity.

"While transit trips are down due to various closures and work-from-home policies, TTC Fare Inspectors will continue their important work, focusing on education and customer service while respecting the importance of social distancing.” 

“For the time being, there will be no manual period of payment checks or handheld taps. Fare inspectors will be positioned near card readers to observe customers tapping for proof of payment. Where there is no tap, they will assess and educate about proper fare payment,” he added.

It was also announced that fare inspectors also won’t be riding on crowded TTC vehicles as the outbreak continues.

Once a vehicle has more than 50 people onboard, inspectors will be leaving in order to maintain social distancing. 

“For on-board trips, they will leave vehicles once there are 50 people on it and board another vehicle in order to maintain social distancing. You may also see fare inspectors randomly posted at busy intersections to observe, educate, and provide customer service,” Green concluded.

Back in February, the TTC announced that it would be implementing several new measures to combat the growing issue of fare evasion.

One of the moves saw the transit agency increase the amount of plain-clothed fare inspectors it deploys on its vehicle.

A controversial ad campaign was also launched by the TTC, which including slogans such as “there’s no reason not to pay your fare,” and “probably won’t get caught.”

Many transit riders flooded to social media to criticize the slogans, which some labelled “aggressive.”

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