November 18, 2008

Transit site sags under weight of tokens

New, heavier public transit tokens are helping to reduce fraud, but are threatening to collapse the Toronto Transit Commission's counting office.

The 22-year-old building where fares are separated and counted has required engineers to shore up the basement and enforce floors to deal with tons of additional weight triggered by the switch to the tokens two years ago, the Toronto Sun reported.

As counterfeiters were having a field day with printing fake tickets and stamping out cheap aluminum tokens, the agency did away with paper tickets and simple tokens and introduced the heavier two-metal tokens.

Two years ago, all fares weighed about seven tons. Now, with the heavier tokens and increased coin cash fares, the floor load is about 70 tons, the report said.

TTC spokesman Brad Ross told the newspaper the building in no danger of collapse and ongoing work to shore it up should cost less than $1 million.