Some background: the argument began when Toronto journalist Norm Wilner tweeted that the TTC giving out transit tickets is a "bad idea." In response, Twitter user @sam_chater speculated that the transit company was "looking to cash in on those insane fines to make up for revenue," and also tagged the official account @TTChelps.
In the ensuing back-and-forth, the TTC customer service representative gave a snippy reply complaining about Chater's "derogatory rhetoric."
Soon after, PUP got involved, tweeting, "What an embarrassing and immature way to speak to Torontonians. Goodness gracious."
Evidently being called out by a beloved local pop-punk band (along with dozens of other local residents) was more than the TTC could bear, since the customer service rep apologized and promised to "be doing better going forward."
See the tweets below.
Now that PUP has got the TTC to start backpedaling, maybe now could be the perfect time to pressure the company to reduce its exorbitant fare evasion fines. Under the current rules, neglecting to pay the $3.25 fare can result in an astronomical fine of up to $425 — something that's particularly harsh in light of the difficult economic times many transit riders find themselves in during a pandemic.
This is a bad idea, right? https://t.co/dHxWMLNTWg— Norm Wilner (@normwilner) June 3, 2020
Also aren't fares down a thousand percent? Is it even worth the salary of an inspector to get the three bucks? Or are they just looking to cash in on those insane fines to make up for revenue? Shame @TTChelps— Samantha Chater (@sam_chater) June 4, 2020
So you can confirm they are not charging people with fines for non-payment?— Samantha Chater (@sam_chater) June 4, 2020
I was referring to your derogatory rhetoric. I provided this information to you in my previous tweet. ^DM— TTC Customer Service (@TTChelps) June 4, 2020
Hello, I understand but "are they just looking to cash in on those insane fines to make up for revenue? Shame" is not an appropriate way to ask about the role of our Transit Fare Inspectors who help ensure safety on our system. ^DM— TTC Customer Service (@TTChelps) June 4, 2020
What an embarrassing and immature way to speak to Torontonians. Goodness gracious.— PUP (@puptheband) June 5, 2020
Hi Pup, you're right. This was not an appropriate response and I deserve the feedback I am getting from my fellow Torontonians. I do genuinely apologize and will be doing better going forward. ^DM— TTC Customer Service (@TTChelps) June 5, 2020