If you happen to forget to tap your Presto card while riding the TTC this fall, you could be in for a hefty fine.
TTC spokesperson Stuart Green told Narcity that "full inspection and ticketing activities" will be phased in this fall 2022 with an emphasis on streetcars in the downtown core in high employment areas.
So, if you're a downtown resident that uses the TTC, you may want to double-check your Presto pass is locked and loaded.
Green says the TTC expects that "everyone pays their full fare when riding," and while most customers do, those that don't have a big impact.
"We know that 97 percent of our customers do just that and we thank them. But evasion — which is a challenge for all transit agencies — is costing us tens of millions of dollars a year," said Green.
Streetcars have slightly higher rates of fare evasion at about 5%, according to Green. Fare evasion is especially hard on the TTC since 65% of its funding comes from rider fares.
Earlier in the COVID-19 pandemic, the TTC stopped "traditional fare inspection activities on streetcars" as Transit Fare inspectors (TFIs) handed out masks and took on more customer service roles.
Later in 2020, TFIs returned to streetcars, "issuing courtesy reminders and educating customers on paying the proper fare when they ride."
The TTC found Black and Indigenous people were overrepresented in TTC charges and warnings in a Racial Equity Impact Assessment released in 2021, which analyzed data from 2008 to 2018.
Green says in the past two years, the TTC has been working on "developing new fare inspection protocols for training, ticketing and cautions, ensuring the practice is equitable for all customers."
These new protocols are nearly ready, according to Green, and will be rolled out this fall.
This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.