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LRT fare-evading fines could rise

LRT passengers who dare to ride without paying the fare could soon be in for a greater scare.

LRT passengers who dare to ride without paying the fare could soon be in for a greater scare.

Calgary Transit safety co-ordinator Brian Whitelaw said his team plans to bring forward a proposal early next year to bump the penalty for fare evasion up $100 to $250.

In the spring, transit officials surveyed 33,500 customers to determine where people most frequently avoid paying and why. The results indicate evasion levels have remained steady at around 4.5 per cent, but stations nearest to the downtown free-fare zone tend to see more passengers cheating the system.

“Increasing the cost of the fine would likely change some of that thinking around whether to ride for free or not,” Whitelaw said.

Waiting at Banff Trail station, where the greatest number of fare violators were found this year, 19-year-old rider Hannah Macgillivray said it’s only fair in her mind that everyone pays.

“If they up the fine it might make some people more conscientious about it,” she added.

But fellow passenger Blair Schmidt, who often avoids paying, disagreed. He believes the $2.75 per-ride charge is too expensive and hiking the violation fine will serve little purpose.

“When you don’t have the money, what are you going to do?” he said.

 
 
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