The TTC will be adding 15 to 20 new fare inspectors this year.
The new additional staff was voted on during the TTC Board meeting on Wednesday, after the discussion of the “Revenue Protection Initiatives Update.”
According to the TTC, there are currently 69 fare inspectors, and close to $2 million is budgeted for the new staff.
“Fare evasion, cheating a public agency like the TTC, is simply wrong and degrades our public transit system,” tweeted Coun. Joe Mihevc, who put forward the motion at the Board meeting.
The new fare inspectors would be placed for added revenue protection during the transition from legacy fare to PRESTO.
Mihevc also wants TTC staff to undertake a public campaign about how “fare evasion hurts us all”
— Joe Mihevc (@joemihevc) April 11, 2018
In response to the motion on Wednesday, the Jane Finch Action Against Poverty (JFAAP) group submitted a letter to the TTC Board asserting anti-Black racism among fare inspectors.
Earlier this year, a 19-year-old black man was filmed being pinned down by TTC fare inspectors and police officers. The teenager is now suing the TTC, claiming that he was lawfully travelling on the streetcar and was preparing to exit when he was grabbed without warning, “causing him great shock and mental distress.”
In their letter to the Board, the JFAAP demanded the immediate suspension of all the fare inspectors and police officers that “violated the fundamental human rights of the young black boy who was a victim of their racist and cruel act.”
The group called for a public apology from the TTC, the Police Service, and Mayor John Tory.
“The City must stop criminalizing the TTC riders immediately, especially its discriminatory practices of targeting young and racialized community members,” said the JFAAP. “Instead, we need a fair and just TTC system where people can easily access public transit system and afford fares.”
Financial stability is one of the TTC’s main Strategic Objectives.
“We must develop compelling arguments for sustained funding that will enable better, more efficient long-term planning,” states the TTC. “Our strategy also addresses the need for a greater focus on fare evasion and protection of primary revenue.”