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AG report finds fare evaders cost TTC $64M in 2018

Last Updated Feb 21, 2019 at 11:17 pm EST

The City’s Auditor General says fare evaders cost the TTC at least $64-million in 2018, which includes $3.4-million due to faulty Metrolinx equipment.

Auditor General Beverly Romeo-Beehler’s report released Thursday says the figure is likely understated as she was not able to quantify the loss due to the malfunction of the TTC’s subway fare gate equipment and the use of so-called crash gates.

The report claims fare evasion is highest on streetcars which it attributes to the Proof-of-Payment system as well as the multiple-door design of the city’s new streetcars.

Romeo-Beehler issued 27 recommendations which includes expanding its fare inspection program to include buses and subway station entrances, improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the fare inspection program and find new ways to prevent fare evasion on streetcars with multiple doors and Proof-of-Payment policies.

Romeo-Beehler also raised concerns with the Child Presto cards, noting that during the six weeks of the audit no children under the age of 12 were using the cards. The report recommends the cards not be distributed until proper controls are in place to mitigate the risk of fraud.

“There are numerous serious control weaknesses with the issuance and monitoring of these cards,” she said.

Mayor John Tory says fare evasion is “absolutely unacceptable” adding TTC officials are committed to hiring more fare inspectors and transit enforcement officers in 2019.

“I hope they send a clear message to fare evaders very quickly that they will be caught and they will face costly penalties,” he said in a statement.

TTC Chair Jaye Robinson said fare evasion is a critical issue that has gone far too long without being accurately quantified.

“Fare evasion has a significant impact on the TTC’s operating revenue and transit service,” she said in a statement. “The recommendations included in this report will guide our action plan moving forward as we approach full transition to the PRESTO farecard system.”