Nov 21, 2006

New TTC token unveiled

A new gold and silver colour TTC token with ridged edges should make it harder for counterfeiter to make copies of the dime-size coin.

The TTC unveiled the new token today, saying “the latest in technology” makes the token “next to impossible to reproduce.”

The transit agency says it has lost about $10 million from the sale of counterfeit tokens over the past two years.

That’s exactly the amount TTC officials estimated a counterfeit token scam had cost the system when a key arrest was made earlier this year. That scam prompted the token re-design.

“(It is a) much more complex token. There are edge markers. It’s textured. It’s got a swirling edge,” said TTC spokesperson Marilyn Bolton.

“We’re not announcing what the metals are.”

Aside from discussing the new colour scheme and texture of the token, Bolton said officials would not disclose other security features.

The TTC has ordered 20 million new tokens at a cost of $1.7 million.

Bolton said another advantage to the new token is it should be more easily picked out in a handful of change.

“It’s distinctive,” she said. “It doesn’t look anything like a dime.”

On average, the transit system loses about $7 million a year through fraud, including gate jumping and the use of fake tokens and metro passes.

That loss represents just under 1 per cent of the system’s total revenue.

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