Mar 7, 2009

It's not fare

After the TTC changed it's tokens and eliminated adult tickets, counterfeiting is still alive and well at the farebox. The TTC is losing $22,050 per week because of counterfeit tokens. Some of these frauds are so well duplicated they are able to fool the sensors in turnstiles at subway stations.

Fare evasion is not just limited to the TTC . Durham Region Transit also suffers from improper fares but I always found, the vast majority of passengers using DRT or any transit are honest and paying full fare. The best fare system I worked with was the Ajax Transit smart card. Even though it's not foolproof, it was still a good tool for bus drivers. It worked well in Ajax and it will work well again when Metrolinx and DRT start updating the fare collecting system with Presto Card in the winter 2011.

Transit authorities that have upgraded have notice a increase in cash revenue. Anaheim  (Calif.) Transit Network (ATN) claimed a twenty fold increase. Using vending machines, Presto Cards will be available in more locations that the present point of sale now used for DRT tickets and passes. Smart cards also will eliminate paper waste. This can be accomplished by the none use of tickets and transfers. We should also see less fare disputes like ones reported by Simon Tonekham on his blog.

Related Link: TTC taken for a ride

2 comments:

simontonekham said...

Thanks for the honorable mention on my story, Andy.

I would love to see greater fare control even after Presto is being implemented.

David Cavlovic said...

A few years ago, while riding the OC Transpo's 176 FALLOWFIELD-TUNNEY'S PASTURE run, a couple of guys who had seen better days got on the bus and deposited their fare. The driver looked at the orange tickets (the colour at the time), and started to chuckle. I asked him "what so funny?" He told me to look at the fare box. The "tickets" were photocopies, and only one side at that! As the driver said, "what can you do?"

Really, the onus of fare-collection has to be taken off the driver and have in place far more fare inspectors. Easier to do with smart cards, I know.
One way the TTC could really help eliminate fare abuse is to allow transfers to be good for stopovers for a limited time period (I know they have been trying this out on 512 ST. CLAIR). This would also eliminate the hassle of patrons who don't understand you can't use the transfers from a particular subway station on buses that service that station.