Union Pearson Express | ?m | ?s | Metrolinx | MMM Group Limited

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Just when you though Metrolinx could not screw things up more... If they can't fine those not paying why bother with ticket inspectors etc. It's only 'tax payers money'! See: https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/20...nt-allowed-to-fine-you-for-evading-fares.html

Since the Union Pearson Express opened in 2015, Metrolinx hasn’t fined a single customer on the airport rail link for fare evasion.

That’s not because people who take UP Express are extraordinarily law-abiding. In fact, Metrolinx, the provincial transit agency that operates the service, estimates riders who skip out on paying their fare for the airport train cost it about $400,000 annually in lost revenue.

The dearth of tickets is instead a result of a legal loophole Metrolinx has known about for years but has yet to close: the UP Express has never been covered by the agency’s bylaws, which means the organization has no authority to impose rules specific to the service and fine riders who break them.


Metrolinx hasn’t publicized the loophole, but the agency’s lack of bylaw authority over the UP Express was revealed in internal documents the Star obtained through a freedom of information request.

The documents included a summary of a review conducted in April 2018 that flagged multiple challenges to collecting fares on the UP Express, and warned riders were taking advantage of them.

“One customer stated that he did not purchase, nor did he intend to purchase a fare,” the summary said.
 

Streety McCarface

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Just when you though Metrolinx could not screw things up more... If they can't fine those not paying why bother with ticket inspectors etc. It's only 'tax payers money'! See: https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/20...nt-allowed-to-fine-you-for-evading-fares.html

Since the Union Pearson Express opened in 2015, Metrolinx hasn’t fined a single customer on the airport rail link for fare evasion.

That’s not because people who take UP Express are extraordinarily law-abiding. In fact, Metrolinx, the provincial transit agency that operates the service, estimates riders who skip out on paying their fare for the airport train cost it about $400,000 annually in lost revenue.

The dearth of tickets is instead a result of a legal loophole Metrolinx has known about for years but has yet to close: the UP Express has never been covered by the agency’s bylaws, which means the organization has no authority to impose rules specific to the service and fine riders who break them.


Metrolinx hasn’t publicized the loophole, but the agency’s lack of bylaw authority over the UP Express was revealed in internal documents the Star obtained through a freedom of information request.

The documents included a summary of a review conducted in April 2018 that flagged multiple challenges to collecting fares on the UP Express, and warned riders were taking advantage of them.

“One customer stated that he did not purchase, nor did he intend to purchase a fare,” the summary said.
Every time I've been on the UPX, there have been conductors checking every single person's fare. Also, 400K Annually is a lot, but to put it in perspective, it's about a grand a day, so, one passenger out of like 100 actually fare evades. 1% fare evasion isn't that horrible
 

W. K. Lis

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Every time I've been on the UPX, there have been conductors checking every single person's fare. Also, 400K Annually is a lot, but to put it in perspective, it's about a grand a day, so, one passenger out of like 100 actually fare evades. 1% fare evasion isn't that horrible
May not be fined for fare evasion, but could be arrested for trespassing.
 

mdrejhon

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May not be fined for fare evasion, but could be arrested for trespassing.
First. Up front. I'm a car owner, home owner. But I have something very blunt to say:

I disagree -- sometimes fare evasion isn't intentional. There are many students charged $400 that rightfully SHOULD HAVE NOT BEEN CHARGED MORE THAN A FREAKING PARKING TICKET

Sometimes it is intentional

* Sure, there are car drivers that pull into parking spots and intentionally don't pay
* Sure, there are transit users that board bus / subway and intentionally don't pay

But there's also

Sometimes it is unintentional
* Sure, there's honest drivers who was stuck on the dentist chair too long got a parking fine
* Sure, there's honest transit users who tried to pay (even attempt twice using 2 methods) and got fined for fare evasion

The fining system in Canada is stupendously stupid in its The fining sytsem is very pro-car anti-transit practice where an accidental mistake with TTC transit costs $400 and an accidental mistake with my Hyundai Elantra costs only $18.00 parking fine in Hamilton.

Accidental mistake with TTC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $425.00
Accidental mistake with GO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $100.00
Accidental mistake with car in Toronto . . . . . . . $53.00
Accidental mistake with car in Hamilton . . . . . . $18.00

See the problem? Why do we fine transit mistakes massively bigger than car mistakes?
Even SPEEDING TICKETS (speed kills) are cheaper than many transit fines that exist in GTHA.
Ponder that for a moment.

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Sometimes I think the invention of the phrase "fare evasion" is discriminatory and classist, where a poor student who had intention to pay (but had a bad Presto card) gets the short stick, while a car driver like me gets fine a paltry $18 fine for overstaying at a parking meter. Stupid pro-car anti-transit distortions in our fining systems here in this country. Sometimes the invention of the phrase "fare evasion" implies a lot; that it's always intentional evasion.

Should we call accidental unpaid parking meters "parking evasion"?
Even though some of them are accidental overays too, rather than intentional parking without paying..
Make the car phrase as loaded as the transit phrase, eh? Perhaps, yes...

Solution:
(1)
Equallize the parking fines with transit fines. Less discriminatory car-vs-transit;
(2) Or tolerate the accidental nonpayments (determining intent can be hard, so always err on not-guilty and just tolerate the extra taxpayer expense while improving the fare-collecting reliablity);

One or the other. It's not healthy for society to have neither.

Even Calgary and Hamilton has some free transit routes (#99 Waterfront bus in Hamilton, and C-Train Downtown Segment in Calgary). THAT cost taxpayers money too. This costs taxpayer money and we tolerate it. If we simply renamed "Fare Evasion" into "Fare Overdue" then it would be less shameful to those people who have tried to pay fare but failed for one reason or another, but got fined anyway. You've heard of free transit in some parts of Europe. But we have some here too! Maybe we cannot afford free transit, but we can at least afford a 1% free transit to cover those accidental non-payments, elderly, students, etc. Why not? It ends up becoming an accepted cost of doing business. Increase fare compliance through other means than stupendously car-generous-anti-transit fines!!! Hire more enforcement jobs, plus other remedies. And don't punish for broken Presto machines. Be fair.
We lose a lot more revenues from parking cheats than transit cheats. Why do we tolerate this more as a taxpayer? Honestly, is this not unfair? Ask your heart.

Phrase stigma: We don't call it "parking evasion" when car drivers are accidentally in an expired parking spot.
Anyway, we don't call parking overdues "Parking Evasion", don't we??? So, I consider the loss revenue a cost of doing business, though we should strive to reduce the number on both ends. Call it "1% partial free transit allowance" for missed fares that includes a generous allowance for fare mistakes. Some fare inspectors are nice and understanding, but not all of them. Likewise, some parking enforcement are nice and understanding, but not all of them. Nonwithstanding it, there's the phrase stigma imbalance of the gentle "parking fine" phrase and the heavier stigma of "fare evasion" phrase. Very discriminatory especially when unintentional! Sometimes the shaming phrase "fare evasion" is like saying a four letter word to a nice honest student who just failed in their 2 attempts to pay the fare. What's going on is sometimes patently unfair from what I've seen happen to my fellow friends. It's such a travesty how the fine system mistreats them. Big headshake.

So, now why do we call it "parking fine" and not "fined for parking evasion"? Such a phrase-loadedness imbalance. We have genuine fare evaders and parking evaders, but we also have much more innocuous situations, ranging from a malfunctioning fare machine that later cascaded into a fare evasion fine.

Yes, the loophole (Metrolinx being unable to enforce on UP) should be fixed. But that's beside the point.....!

For those saying "Arrest?" I will assume they're being sarcastic in jest. You probably were, but others may naively agree we need to arrest lack of fare payment. But that's like demanding to arrest car drivers who just happens to have a car in an expired parking spot. Yes, the real fare evaders may have hardened the fare enforcement, but there's a lot of throw-babies-with-bathwater situations in these things. We have to solve the problem nontheless to increase fare payment compliance through other means than a car-vs-transit fining inbalance such as this. Besides, we lose way more taxpayer money from real parking evaders than from real fare evaders (am I being harsh yet? ;))

And I'm a home owner (4-bedroom detached), car owner (I drive a 2011 Elantra Touring GLS), and I am not a poor student. But I relate to their plight including some personal friends.
 
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TheTigerMaster

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Between this, the Presto AG report, and their mishandling of the Crosstown LRT payouts, this agency has very serious accountability issues. And by that, I mean the agency is totally unaccountable. Metrolinx treats every aspect of their operation as some kind is state secret. This needs to stop. It’s anyone’s guess how much internal rot and incompetence within the organization is yet to be discovered. This needs to change
 

smallspy

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Just when you though Metrolinx could not screw things up more... If they can't fine those not paying why bother with ticket inspectors etc. It's only 'tax payers money'! See: https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/20...nt-allowed-to-fine-you-for-evading-fares.html

Since the Union Pearson Express opened in 2015, Metrolinx hasn’t fined a single customer on the airport rail link for fare evasion.

That’s not because people who take UP Express are extraordinarily law-abiding. In fact, Metrolinx, the provincial transit agency that operates the service, estimates riders who skip out on paying their fare for the airport train cost it about $400,000 annually in lost revenue.

The dearth of tickets is instead a result of a legal loophole Metrolinx has known about for years but has yet to close: the UP Express has never been covered by the agency’s bylaws, which means the organization has no authority to impose rules specific to the service and fine riders who break them.


Metrolinx hasn’t publicized the loophole, but the agency’s lack of bylaw authority over the UP Express was revealed in internal documents the Star obtained through a freedom of information request.

The documents included a summary of a review conducted in April 2018 that flagged multiple challenges to collecting fares on the UP Express, and warned riders were taking advantage of them.

“One customer stated that he did not purchase, nor did he intend to purchase a fare,” the summary said.
As much as it pains me to defend Metrolinx.....

In this case, what they have been doing is charging the offenders with tresspassing, rather than riding without a fare. I believe that the penalty is lower.

And it happens on a daily basis.

Dan
 

TheTigerMaster

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As much as it pains me to defend Metrolinx.....

In this case, what they have been doing is charging the offenders with tresspassing, rather than riding without a fare. I believe that the penalty is lower.

And it happens on a daily basis.

Dan
This trespassing charge is the Criminal Code violation, right? I’m surprised that would be a lower penalty than a simple administrative fine.
 

vic

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When you get "caught" not paying a fare on UP Express, you have the chance to buy a ticket at a somewhat inflated price from the on-board staff - "Tickets purchased on-board are subject to an additional on-board payment fee of $2.(credit card only)". It's not like you get fined right away. I wonder how much this works in to the stats.
 

jcam

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Having recently done a jurisdictional scan on fare evasion rates, 2% is roughly the common target for metro-mode transit, and that's usually at properties that have station gates. 2% for a non-gate rail agency is pretty good.
 

mdrejhon

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Having recently done a jurisdictional scan on fare evasion rates, 2% is roughly the common target for metro-mode transit, and that's usually at properties that have station gates. 2% for a non-gate rail agency is pretty good.
Is this fare evasion only, or all situations of fare non payments / missed payments / failed payments (machines) / etc?

(The distinction is important to me)
 

jcam

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Is this fare evasion only, or all situations of fare non payments / missed payments / failed payments (machines) / etc?

(The distinction is important to me)
Would include non-payments, missed payments, failed payments...based on having a passenger that can't show they've paid. Just to be clear, 2% is the common target, not what people are actually achieving.
 

Admiral Beez

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Fair enough. And I want that public service to be sufficiently expensive to keep you off it, unless you’re going to/from the airport, as it was intended.
Looks like a higher rate to keep the commuters off was considered.

 

crs1026

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Once RER starts running to Bramalea on 15 minute intervals, there is no need to have local customers on UP. At that point a more focussed airport service with commensurate fare increase might make sense. Move the Weston stop to MT Dennis to connect with the Crosstown. Retain a separate brand, but without all the foolish grandiose frills that the service started with.

Personally I don’t favour 100% cost recovery, but the subsidy should be in line with GO.

- Paul
 

Northern Light

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Once RER starts running to Bramalea on 15 minute intervals, there is no need to have local customers on UP. At that point a more focussed airport service with commensurate fare increase might make sense. Move the Weston stop to MT Dennis to connect with the Crosstown. Retain a separate brand, but without all the foolish grandiose frills that the service started with.

Personally I don’t favour 100% cost recovery, but the subsidy should be in line with GO.

- Paul
I would oppose a substantial hike; the airport/GTAA is a huge employer, both directly and through the airlines/vendors.

I personally know 2 people who work at the airport, and one who had the most forsaken comment ever is now able to use UPExpress to have a significantly better/reduced commute time.

His pay is not commensurate with a premium-fare service.

The other person I know (working at the airport) comes from the north-central part of York Region so this doesn't apply to her, but she certainly wishes it did.

Which does make me wonder, in theory, about running a service across the York Sub and down to the airport........one day.
 
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