62 arrested in fake TTC Metropass sweep
More than 60 people have been arrested following a five-month investigation into counterfeit TTC passes.
The arrests took place across the city — both on vehicles and at subway stations including Dufferin and Scarborough Town Centre — leading to almost 200 criminal charges, the TTC and Toronto Police Service said today.
"The TTC takes fare evasion very seriously," said TTC spokesman Brad Ross at a news conference this afternoon.
"Anyone using counterfeit Metropasses should beware — you will be caught."
Fake passes and tokens combined cost the TTC an estimated $5 million per year, said Ross.
The fake passes on display this afternoon were being sold at half the normal price, among friends and by word of mouth.
They are glossy on both sides — unlike proper Metropasses, which have a matte finish on the back — and do not work in turnstiles.
The investigation was aided by fare collectors who noticed subway riders who avoided going through the turnstiles.
"The blue passes for December was our largest seizure," said Const. Bob Moynagh of the TPS Transit Patrol.
"That was from a person who … upon being searched was found to be in possession of 56 counterfeit Metropasses."
The TTC redesigned its passes in 2009, introducing features including a hologram in hope of thwarting counterfeiters.
But fake passes were on the rise again by 2011 as counterfeiters managed to make their own holograms.
The TTC plans to overhaul its passes again in a few years, when the all-electronic Presto system is expected to eliminate all counterfeiting.
The accused face charges of fraud, forgery and possession of property obtained by crime. The investigation continues.
With files from the CBC's Ivy Cuervo