Wednesday, March 2, 2011

TTC Doesn't Collect Fares, and then Blames Riders for Fare Cheating??

You know, the TTC never ceases to amaze me with their ultimate uselessness and constant failure.

Today news came out that TTC Fare Cheating is on the rise (from the Toronto Star), meanwhile, just a few weeks ago, another story came out (from the Toronto Sun) about the TTC dismissing riders who were upset that a TTC Ticket Collection Booth in Wilson Station has Ticket Collectors who leave their post with no replacement to go to the washroom or for a smoke, happily allowing dozens of riders to ride for free without paying.

Are these idiots serious?? And then they want to raise fares and add TTC Transit Cops to each and every TTC vehicle to stop this ridership fare cheating?  How about you start by ensuring that you have more than 1 ticket collector at every station??  TTC Transit Cops on every vehicle...

Man, every single one of these scumbags should be fired, and I'm not just talking about the TTC Union Members, I'm talking about the TTC Management as well.

Firstly, here's the story from the Toronto Sun about the empty TTC Ticket Collection Booth:

Toronto man upset by empty TTC fare booth
Joel Lessam says he’s an honest guy making an honest living so he didn’t feel great about being forced to ride the subway without paying a fare Tuesday.

“There was no attendant at the booth and I couldn’t find a token machine,” Lessam, 43, said, adding he didn’t have exact change. “I had no idea when the attendant would return, so I waited a few minutes and then, like the people ahead of me, I just walked through.”

A sign on the Wilson station booth said the collector would return shortly and requested passengers pay their fare and enter.

It’s a common occurrence when there’s a single collector working at a station, TTC spokesman Danny Nicholson said.

“Obviously, the collector went the washroom, so the booth may be empty for a few minutes,” Nicholson said. “Unfortunately, it’s a staffing issue, it’s simply not cost effective to have two attendants at every station.”

Lessam, a small business owner, doesn’t think it’s a good excuse.

“I understand the call of nature and I don’t blame anyone for that. But to have no one at a busy station during rush hour? How can there not be some sort of backup?” Lessam said. “I have a staff of 30, and we’re able to offer 24/7 support to clients. If the TTC were privately run, this would never happen.”

Lessam saw dozens of riders pass through the turnstiles in the three to four minutes he waited during the morning commute, hoping the ticket collector would return.

“That’s a lot of missed revenue,” he said. “The TTC is an essential service. I have nothing against the employees but there needs to be better management.”

He called the TTC customer service line, asking where he can send a $2.50 cheque to cover his fare but the representative told him sending a cheque was also not “cost effective” and not to worry about it.

The call-taker said most people would have taken advantage of the situation and to consider the free ride a goodwill gesture from the TTC as his needs were not met.

Can you believe that they actually tried to make him feel like an idiot for looking out for the City of Toronto? He understands that the TTC Fares have been going up constantly every year, and the TTC is constantly crying that they don't have the funds they so desperately require. But does a person who is desperate for money turn down that money when it is practically being forced upon them?  Do they decide arbitrarily to not collect fares when they are desperate for money?  And worst of all, do they make the people who are trying to give them the money feel like idiots??

Next, here's the story from the Toronto Star about the TTC Fare Cheaters:
Fare cheating on the rise at TTC
The TTC is trying to figure out why money lost to turnstile jumpers and riders who treat the fare box like a donation box doubled in 2010, costing the system about $22 million, or about 2 per cent of fare revenues.

An unpublished draft report on the latest fare evasion audit shows that — after about five years of losing 1 per cent of revenue — losses to fare evasion jumped in 2010.

Transit officials are at a loss to explain the spike and hope that it’s just an anomaly. But late last year, the TTC launched a new Fare is Fair program, whereby transit enforcement officers are targeting common methods of cheating.

That includes the common practice of passing off invalid transfers by holding a thumb over the date or flashing it too quickly for the driver to notice.

Cheating usually increases when there’s been a fare change, but that wasn’t the case last year, TTC chief general manager Gary Webster said Tuesday.

In fact, the TTC has successfully taken steps to reduce some kinds of cheating, such as adding a hologram feature to Metropasses and eliminating adult tickets.

“We don’t know if it’s a one-off. We think it might be. There’s nothing significantly that’s changed out there,” Webster said. He added: “We can’t afford not to be diligent.”

The next audit, based on enforcement statistics and surveillance, will be conducted in May.

Operators know that at crowded intersections some riders board using a Metropass and then pass it out a rear window to a friend waiting in line to get on, said transit workers union president Bob Kinnear, who believes the TTC significantly underestimates the amount it loses to cheaters.

“Upwards of 10 per cent of people are evading fares,” said Kinnear, recalling his own years as a driver. There’s nothing bus drivers can do to stop the practice, he said.

Many drivers are afraid of being assaulted if they confront riders who drop too little change in the fare box or try to board using expired transfers, said Kinnear, adding that TTC management blames workers for fare disputes.

But mostly, drivers are loath to hold up a bus full of people trying to get home, he said.

“Something the TTC really reinforces with employees is discretion,” Kinnear said.

“Our operators are encouraged to collect our fares — the vast majority of our operators use very good judgment and they get to know when it’s fair to give people a break,” Webster said. “We want them to do their job… (but) we don’t expect them to put themselves at risk.”

I just can't understand how these idiots can keep a straight face half the time when they bring up these issues. All they end up doing is showing how clearly incompetent they are and how badly the TTC is in need of a complete gutting and overhaul.

Help us Super Mayor Rob Ford!! It's time to break the TTC Union and clean house of the existing TTC Management and Brass.


(Image: by Mihnea™ on flickr


james TTC MD said...

I as an opperator at the TTC I try to collct my fares but the management harras and threaten me with dismissal on a dayly event.
This get fusterating I get yelled at by the boss for doing my job, I get threaten and assulted by the public and ho ya not to mention how many other opperators constainly tell me dont worry about it.
But every day I continue to do my job with out any apperation for just how hard it is and how my stres is put on me You come and try being an Operator at the TTC and see how long you last under these condiction. I give yoo 6 months.

Anonymous said...

Is this "james TTC MD" guy serious?

We pay uneducated idiots like this guy a base salary of $50,000? Holy mother of god, I'll be making as much as a quasi-illiterate TTC fare collector when I graduate business school next year! Oh, wow.

TTC is a gigantic clusterfuck of a public service agency. Public transit. Yeah right. It's just a bottomless pit into which Toronto's commuters throw their money.

What a shame.

Andrew said...

There are many,many Degree holding,well educated operators and collectors at the TTC. I have been doing these jobs for 25 years now and have been Assaulted,spit on,threatened,had my Truck Keyed, and verbally abused daily. When you go to the Washroom who does your job,if you have one Jack? And the TTC was built on the honor system and there is no Honor,respect,nor manners at the TTC from "customers". I get disrespected each and every day and you really think I am going to challenge a group of teens or twenty somethings at 130am over a transfer or 3 bucks not paid?? My life may not be important to you or the Union or the TTC management where I am a number to be replaced,but ask my wife or Kids if they want Dad to come home the way he left for work,or get a phone call saying that he is dead from an assault!! give your goddamn head a shake and loosen up that pea brain.

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