A Toronto commuter, Jasmine Z., was riding the subway on the afternoon of Sunday, Sept. 6 when she spotted two TTC fare inspectors wearing their masks on their chin with their faces completely exposed.
She said the TTC employees remained maskless throughout the majority of the trip from Union to Bloor station, though one inspector did pull the mask over her mouth at one point but left her nose exposed.
"So effectively useless," Jasmine told blogTO.
TTC fare inspectors stopped handing out fines in mid-March as a result of the pandemic, but the transit agency announced in June that they would slowly be resuming enforcement activities in mid-July and August.
Now, as cases continue to rise in Ontario, many are wondering why fare inspectors are out in full force, often not respecting health and safety protocols, while there's no one to ensure COVID-19 measures are being followed by riders.
two fare inspectors on my Line 2 train even as morning transit is getting more crowded. we’re still in a pandemic and this city is still policing instead of taking care of its citizens. #TTC— julia (@juliaesea) September 1, 2020
And in this case, as Jasmine pointed out, the presence of the fare inspectors actually created an added danger for riders due to their failure to wear their masks properly.
"What infuriates me is that fare inspectors are out at all while everyone is struggling during this pandemic," she said. "How is this at all a priority? Here they're just blatantly putting everyone in danger. Gross on a number of levels."
Other Toronto residents have expressed similar concerns on Twitter in recent days.
The TTC really has fare inspectors arching over ppl to catch, chastise and fine fare evaders, but won't hire ppl to make sure dimwits with no masks on/have their noses exposed are wearing their masks on properly indoors at all times. CHOICES!— new folder (@freskaesque) September 11, 2020
As of yesterday, all TTC employees are required to wear masks at all times while on the job, regardless of their location or position. Prior to the new rule, there was no mask mandate for bus drivers or staff behind plexiglass barriers.
But even those that have been required to wear them from the start weren't always following the rules. In fact, according to an internal audit, a quarter of employees were "not respecting physical distancing guidelines" and gathering in large groups to chat.
When asked about the fare inspector incident by blogTO, TTC spokesperson Stuart Green sent the following statement:
"I can say it is our expectation that as of yesterday all employees wear face coverings at all times while on TTC property or vehicles. We will continue to remind employees about this and follow up on individual incidents and reports with employees directly."
by Mira Miller via blogTO
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