Skip to main content

OC Transpo fare inspectors issue nearly $75,000 worth of tickets last fall


The warning period for fare evasion on OC Transpo is over with fare inspection efforts getting serious.

A new report says fare inspectors issued nearly $75,000 worth of fines during a blitz last fall.

According to the report prepared for the transit commission, fare inspectors handed out 287 tickets for $260 each over 39 days between Oct. 11 and Dec. 12, 2023, or an average of seven tickets per day.

The majority of the tickets, 212, were issued to riders on the Confederation Line LRT. The other 75 tickets were issued to bus riders.

OC Transpo began reintroducing fare inspections last year. Over the spring, fare inspectors focused on warnings, handing out only two tickets in May and 33 in June alongside 129 warnings over those two months.

City staff say that transit ridership stabilizing at around 70 to 75 per cent of pre-pandemic levels is leading to a permanent fare revenue gap for OC Transpo. This, in turn, puts more pressure on the city to crack down on lost revenue from people jumping over fare gates at LRT stations or not paying for a bus ride.

A new initiative was launched earlier this month to get more information on fare evasion patterns in the city.

"Minimizing revenue lost due to unpaid fares has been identified by OC Transpo management and staff, ATU 279 leaders, and members of Council as a priority," the report says. "As a result, a Focused Fare Compliance Initiative was launched on Jan. 5, 2024 to gather information and to confirm the right mix of resources to conduct enforcement of fares and other offences on Ottawa’s multi-modal transit network."

The initiative consists of two fare inspectors who issue tickets while being supported by the presence of two special constables. Staff say the initiative could also help crack down on other issues, such open liquor.

A test run on Dec. 8 led to 11 tickets for fare evasion, nine for alcohol infractions, seven for trespassing, and led to two arrests, including one for a person who was unlawfully at large, the report says.

"The Focused Fare Compliance Initiative will continue until the end of April 2024, at which time the results of the initiative will be reviewed and decisions will be made on the effort and approach going forward to optimize the combination of fare enforcement and public safety/security assurance," staff say. "In addition, this initiative will provide a baseline metric for OC Transpo to determine appropriate measures/approaches to address issues related to fare compliance."

Transit commission meets Feb. 8. Top Stories

Stay Connected