STM turnstile jumpers may be costing the system as much as $25M/year: report

An unscientific Journal de Montréal investigation suggests that turnstile jumpers are costing the system as much as $25M a year, observing as many as 15 jumpers an hour.

"I don't know how they did that calculation," said STM chairman Philippe Schnobb.

Since the OPUS card system arrived in 2008, the STM said that's cut fraud by half, though it didn't give specific numbers. 

Snowdon councillor and ex-vice chairman of the STM Marvin Rotrand said he's been asking for years for numbers on fare fraud to no avail.

"Instead of turning our metro inspectors into a new police force, the STM would be far better off having them so more fare verifications and reducing the amount of fraud," said Rotrand in an interview with CJAD 800.

"If much of their day doesn't deal with actually verifying fares, that's something to look at."

The Journal de Montréal spent 15 hours in the metro system with a hidden camera, catching turnstile jumpers during the week and weekend.

Schnobb said when people cheat the system, everybody pays.

"We take that very seriously so that's why our inspectors are doing spot checks in the metro and in the buses almost every day," Schnobb told CJAD 800.

That's 160 inspectors for the whole network, unchanged for the past decade.

The fine for not paying your fare is just over $220.