January 24, 2008
Media Release

Viva proof-of-payment fare system works

Reports show system is effective; YRT/Viva Fare Enforcement team positioned to grow 
NEWMARKET York Regional Council today received two reports showing the positive performance of the Viva Proof-of-Payment (POP) system and YRT/Viva Fare Enforcement staff.  Audit results show that ticket and validation equipment are working well to keep transit riders moving, and the Fare Enforcement team is providing valuable support to the system and preparing to grow as ridership increases.
"York Region Transit and Viva offer one of the most modern and technologically-forward transit services in North America," said York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch.  "Our ridership continues to grow as technology makes transit more accessible.  From real-time schedules at stops, to pre-paid proof-of-payment fares, we're providing the modern tools that make transit a viable option for residents."
Viva rapid transit service operates on an honour fare payment system called Proof-of-Payment (POP). This system requires passengers to pre-purchase fares before boarding, validate tickets if applicable and retain fares as POP in the event of a random fare enforcement inspection.  This increases the speed of service as customers can board at multiple doors, without any interaction with the bus driver.
A recent audit of Viva fare equipment revealed that ticket machines and validators, despite high traffic use and complex design, were working effectively more than 99 per cent of the time during Viva operations.  Equipment difficulties encountered by such things as coin and ticket jams, coins being inserted in credit card slots, tickets being pulled while still printing or vandalism are quickly attended to and repaired by maintenance staff.
"I'm pleased to see all aspects of Viva working together to provide an exceptional service," said City of Vaughan Regional Councillor Joyce Frustaglio, Chair of the Region's Transit Committee.  "Additional fare enforcement staff will help us improve on an already successful transit service."
An audit of the YRT/Viva Fare Enforcement team shows that current strategies and practices are effective. The staff of 17 provide service coverage seven-days-a-week, 20-hours-a-day.  Additional growth over the next few years will help maintain a high level of customer service as Viva ridership increases.  Pending budget approval, four additional fare enforcement staff will be hired in 2008 to assist in minimizing fare evasion and enhancing security and safety.
Passengers who fail to provide a valid fare upon inspection can receive a fine of $150 or a criminal charge.  Repeat offenders are now subject to fines up to $5,000.  Ongoing York Region Transit/Viva communication campaigns in 2008 will reinforce public knowledge of the POP system and Fare Enforcement.  YRT/Viva Fare Enforcement blitzes are planned to improve areas of increased fare evasion.
For more information about YRT/Viva services, please visit the YRT/Viva website at www.yrt.ca, or call the Customer Service Centre at 1-866-MOVE-YRT (668-3978). 
For more information on The Regional Municipality of York, please visit www.york.ca
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Media Contact: Kim Sinclair, Communications Specialist, York Region
 Phone:  905 830-4444, ext. 1209 or Cell: 905 251-6412
 Email:  Kim.Sinclair@york.ca

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