I don’t agree with Darth Fare Evader the scofflaw in terms of breaking the law in cheating the TTC but I do agree with a lot of what he said is behind his actions.
There are many good reasons for ‘free fares’ on the TTC (and maybe eventually on GO Transit) and as he pointed out, other cities are providing some free fare routes or special times for free fares as does the TTC on New Years Eve – to save lives!
The present fare systems including the new Presto actually serve as a barrier to people’s use of transit. The poorest among us are the hardest hit as Darth said. And the rollout of Presto is costing us all $millions. How will the easily breached Presto gates even be monitored when there is no-one in the ticket-booth?
Unfortunately according to the latest released Metrolinx $30 billion Draft 2041 Regional Transportation Plan, there is almost no anticipated auto traffic decline in the GTHA by 2041 because it will still be possible for drivers to beat transit times to and from work.
The only solution is to either make driving prohibitively expensive which is politically unpalatable or make transit so cheap – ‘free fares’ – that people will flock to it. ‘Free fares’ does necessitate paying for transit out of general tax revenues but there would be a big saving when Presto or ticket-takers are no longer needed. Why not ‘free fares’?