TTC Fare Evasion

As a regular transit user, I know how frustrating fare evasion is for the residents of Toronto who consistently pay to travel on the TTC. Every dollar lost through fare evasion is one less dollar available for much-needed service improvements.  
In February, the City's Auditor General released a comprehensive report assessing the cost of TTC fare evasion. Based on an extensive investigation, the Auditor General estimates that the current fare evasion rate is about 5.4%, meaning that the TTC lost close to $64.1 million in passenger revenue in 2018. The highest rate of fare evasion was identified on the streetcar network, where it is estimated that 1/10 passengers do not pay their fares.
The recommendations included in the report will guide the TTC's action plan moving forward as we approach full transition to the PRESTO farecard system. This year, the TTC is planning to further enhance the existing fare inspection.Currently, the TTC is in the process of rolling out new technologies to discourage fare evasion across the network.
Despite the difficult transition to the new system, PRESTO will provide the TTC with an opportunity to track fare evasion more consistently and accurately than ever before. For the first time, the TTC will have the ability to cross-reference PRESTO ridership data with the number of "boardings" registered by automatic passenger count technologies on buses and streetcars. As I always say, you cannot manage what you cannot measure. This valuable data will give us a better picture of ridership and allow us to identify priority routes. 
I hear from residents across Toronto concerned about PRESTO equipment that seems to always be malfunctioning or out of service. At the February TTC Board Meeting, I moved a motion reaffirming the Board's commitment to ensuring that Metrolinx delivers the agreed-upon service levels for fare collection equipment.
Throughout her review, the Auditor General observed fraudulent usage and distribution of the Child PRESTO cards. In response to these findings, I moved motions to request that Metrolinx implement visible or audible differentiators for all discounted fare categories. I was very concerned by the high instance of fraud and will be investigating this issue closely in the coming months.

As the new TTC Chair, I look forward to implementing vital revenue protection initiatives and continuing the Auditor General's important work to identify gaps in the TTC's fare collection system.