Metropass gets a security make-over
TTC introduces upgraded security features to monthly pass
The TTC announced upgraded security features to its monthly Metropass in early June in an effort to fight fraud and reduce lost revenue.
Effective in July, all Metropasses will have a custom-made hologram unique to the TTC and a yellow, credit card-style validation sticker, which must be removed before use. It cannot be reapplied. Similar features will be implemented on both the Weekly and the GTA Weekly Passes as well.
These measures are designed to help prevent counterfeiting and eliminate the illegal practice of “pass renting” (that’s where a used pass is returned for full value). The distinctive hologram will also assist Collectors and Operators in visually distinguishing real passes from fake ones.
TTC Chair Adam Giambrone unveiled the new holographic Metropass during a news conference in early June.
“We did a lot of work over the last couple of months to take action very swiftly to prevent counterfeiting, and we expect that this will prevent most of the fraud of Metropass duplication from occurring,” Giambrone said.
The new security measures will cost $250,000, but the investment will save about $2 million in yearly counterfeit losses. The TTC sells about 260,000 adult Metropasses on a monthly basis, constituting about 45 per cent of the revenue, according to Chief General Manager Gary Webster.
“The new features go a long way to make it a lot harder for the bad guys to counterfeit these passes, and easier for our employees to detect that it’s indeed a valid pass,” Webster said.
About 2,500 fake passes have already been confiscated and nearly 500 people have been arrested with fraud-related offences this year.
The TTC is planning a further redesign of the Metropass to include original artwork.
“Over the next couple of months, we will be issuing a request for an expression of interest to public institutions across Toronto for the inclusion of art on the Metropass,” Giambrone said.
More details will be available in the fall. Metropass art is scheduled to begin in April 2010.