Getting slapped a fine in the STM transit network for not having your proof-of-payment ticket goes against Canadian constitutional freedoms.
And yet, the STM is still doling out infractions by the thousands.
Last year, a municipal court judge ruled that the STM, by forcing riders to keep their receipt or ticket to prove they paid to get on the bus or metro, is violating a citizen’s right to be presumed innocent, as outlined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
That court ruling didn’t deter the STM, who handed out fines to nearly 3000 Montrealers between the beginning of the year and the end of August, reports JDM.
It’s happened to oh-so-many Montrealers who toss out their ticket right after paying, not thinking of the potential consequences. But really, there shouldn’t by any.
Acquiring the data through the Access to Information Act, JDM learned that 2982 infraction-fines (costing $150) were handed out, amounting to the lump sum of $447,000.
If the STM keeps on doling out the “no proof of purchase” fines, that number could rise to nearly $2 million by the close of 2017.
For whatever reason, it is the STM’s policy to fine a rider who tossed their ticket after paying the same amount as someone who illegally entered the transit network. An STM employee speaking to JDM even called this policy “abusive.”
Advocates for Montreal’s homeless population are also calling out the ticketing practice, saying that a disproportionate number of fines are forced upon homeless people inside of the metro.
The Superior Court of Québec will be making a decision on the case, as an appeal was made last June. The STM is apparently waiting for the court’s decision on the matter before making a statement or ending the practice of fining folks who don’t have their proof of purchase.