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Thousands lost in unpaid bus fares in Saskatoon


The price of unpaid transit fares is on the rise, according to the City of Saskatoon.

A report heading to a city council committee shows that about $24,500 was lost in 2021, while in 2022 that number rose to $67,800.

While the lost revenue more than doubled year-to-year, the report notes that the loss represents just 0.3 per cent and 0.6 per cent respectively of the annual budgeted fare revenue.

Issues with fare boxes also resulted in a loss — $165,000 for 2022, the report says.

Fare evasion is tracked by operators using the Mobile Data Terminal (MDT) on the bus, the report says,

“If the fare boxes are operable and a rider boards and rides the bus without payment, the operators are trained to record the fare evasion on the MDT at the time and location the fare evasion occurred.”

Transit operators have been instructed not to confront people who don’t pay their fare, but rather to record it with the MDT, according to the report.

Despite the increase in revenue loss, there are no plans to enforce fare evasion.

“A fare enforcer position has not been considered at Saskatoon Transit. A fare enforcer position would require direction and additional FTE(s) and funding approval from City Council,” the report says. Top Stories

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