The 88 Terry Fox arriving at the Algonquin College stop. Photo credit: Shane Lamarche-Silmser

OC Transpo’s fare enforcement increase has mixed reaction from Algonquin College students.

During the June 29 Transit Commission meeting, OC Transpo announced it will expand fare inspections to more bus stops along certain routes.

“We have been ramping up fare inspection efforts,” said Paul Treboutat, OC Transpo’s chief safety officer.

“My special constable unit have been training ‘transit fare enforcement officers’ on their duties, with a particular focus on some of the hot spots for fare evasion in our LRT stations.”

Enforcement officers can fine a person up to $150 for fare evasion.

Some students are critical of the decision, feeling like profits are being prioritized over accessibility to public services.

“In an ideal society, we wouldn’t charge people for taking public transit. There’s a lot of successful examples of this, especially in Europe,” said Corey Dillabough, a computer programming student, at Algonquin College.

Other students are supportive of increased inspection.

“People take advantage of the fact that there’s some stops like Blair and Hurdman Station where you can just get on without having to pay the fare,” said Wali Tariq, a business management and entrepreneurship student, at Algonquin College.

To make payment easier, OC Transpo announced it is adding smart-card readers on all buses and trains.

The readers are currently being tested, with an official launch of the system expected in the coming months, according to OC Transpo.

OC Transpo has also begun testing credit card payments on fare readers on buses.

This testing will continue until the system is ready to officially launch across the entire transit system, according to OC Transpo.

Cash fare on OC Transpo is $3.75 for adults and youth. Children under 12 can ride free.

Monthly passes for youth and adults (ages 20 and up) are $125.50. A one-day pass is $11.25.