How much is STM fare evasion fraud costing us? Opposition wants auditor general to find out

The opposition at Montreal city hall is calling on the auditor general to look into STM fare fraud and how much it's costing us.

A motion to be tabled at Monday's city council meeting by Snowdon councillor Marvin Rotrand and St. Laurent borough mayor Alan DeSousa is asking that the auditor general investigate the matter. It also calls for greater uniform presence at metros where camera suveillance shows a lot of fraud as well as high-tech solutions such as bus pass readers at the back of buses where rear-entry boarding is allowed.

 "We're also asking that the fare inspectors who were created to verify fares and provide customer service but whom Phlippe Schnobb seems to want to turn into a private police force do more fare verification. Every percentage point of additional verification saves millions of dollars in lost revenue to the STM," said Rotrand in an interview with CJAD 800.

The STM adopted a motion last month saying it wants its inspectors to become special constables with police-like powers.

The motion takes its inspiration from Toronto, whose auditor general discovered $60M a year in fare fraud within its transit system, a 15% fraud rate alone on buses where entry at the back is permitted.

"In New York recently, a study revealed that New York is losing hundreds of millions of dollars a year and that there's massive fraud on its bus system. I don't believe the situation is the same here but however, every dollar that we lose through fare evasion is a dollar that does not improve services, is a dollar that can't be used to  attenuate fare hikes," said Rotrand, who sat on the STM for over 15 years.

Their motion also calls on the STM to have its inspectors spend more time fare checking and going after fare evaders.