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Fare evasion: we can no longer afford to starve our public transit system of cash

Sisters and Brothers,

When NEWSTALK 1010 approached me to participate on its Toronto Talks Transit program, I decided to join the panel because I knew it was important for our members to have a voice at the table.

For far too long, our members have been blamed for the TTC’s problems, when in reality these growing issues are a result of underfunding, overcrowding and bad management policies.

On the NEWSTALK 1010 program, I was happy to raise the point that TTC workers should be responsible for fixing broken Presto machines – not Metrolinx’s contract workers. Even Deputy Mayor Denzil Minnan-Wong said the TTC Board should look into this. I was also happy to defend our membership against the TTC’s discriminatory random drug and alcohol testing, which fails to protect the public and does not actually indicate impairment on the job.

What I was unhappy about were questions that seemed to blame our members, including fare collectors, for the TTC’s major fare evasion problem. The truth is I have not received any complaints about our members being responsible, as I stated on the program. That is because our members are not responsible – TTC policy states that fare collectors are to report, not enforce fares.

Our members are also not responsible for the growing problems that lead to fare evasion:

  • Malfunctioning Presto machines
  • Misuse of children’s Presto cards
  • Not having enough frontline workers at stations
  • Overcrowding that makes it easier to evade fares

My views on fare evasion are clear. Here is my deputation to the TTC Board on February 27, 2019. Watch it here:

Deputation to the TTC Board on February 27, 2019

President Carlos Santos delivers a deputation to the TTC Board on February 27, 2019.

Posted by ATU Local 113 on Wednesday, March 6, 2019

As I have said before – and I’ll say again: The TTC needs to act now to fix fare evasion. We can no longer afford to starve our public transit system of much-needed cash.

In solidarity,

Carlos Santos

President, ATU Local 113