TTC slams brake on fake passes

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By Fareen Qureishi

With tuition, books, and the everyday cost of student living continually on the rise, a $40 Metropass is certainly appealing ­— even if it is illegal. I

t appears several Ryerson students were caught using faulty passes, claiming they were purchased at the school.

After an investigation, TTC security contacted Ryerson security about the counterfeiting situation.

Sellers are reported to have set up official-looking tables in the basement of Jorgenson Hall the week of September 11th, peddling fake passes to students for a fraction of the regular price.

Another sighting was reported to the SCC desk yesterday.

Security would not confirm or deny these reports.

Now the RSU is taking this alleged scam seriously.

“Only the RSU is authorized to sell student Metropasses on campus,” said Chris Drew, RSU vice president finance and services.

The Toronto Transit Commission has been cracking down on riders carrying fake passes, and Ryerson students who bought illegal passes should be on the look-out.

Transit officials began a crackdown on fake passes, swiping rider’s cards through turnstiles instead of letting pass-holders flash cards to fare collectors.

Owners of fraudulent passes would be faced with a $110 ticket, and possible jail time, said TTC spokesperson Marilyn Bolton.

“Ryerson students are big subway users,” said Bolton. “I wouldn’t be surprised (if Ryerson students were victimized).”

“If they’re found, regardless of their excuse (for using one), they will be charged,” said Adam Giambrone, TTC vice chair.

He also said fake passes were being sold online. Giambrone encourages students to buy passes solely from the RSU.

Bolton believes that it’s possible some victims of the scandal are new to Toronto, using transit for the first time and simply didn’t know better.

“University students are vulnerable,” said Bolton. “They still believe there’s Peter Pan and the good fairy, and that a $50 TTC pass will drop into your lap.”

The discounted student pass is sold for $87 from the RSU at the Student Campus Centre.

Faculty and staff may purchase a regular pass for $99.75 from the TTC.

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