Calgary, AB,

Fare compliance on Calgary Transit hits all-time high

Calgary Transit’s most recent annual fare compliance study shows more riders than ever are paying their way.

The City of Calgary’s CTrain fare payment works on the honour system, with passengers required to purchase cash fares or monthly passes.

The two-week study, conducted between October 19 and November 1, 2015, saw peace officers touring CTrains and asking customers for proof of payment. In all, 45,248 customers were checked, and of those, only 786 were unable to produce a ticket or pass.

This means an all-time high of 98.3 per cent of passengers were purchasing tickets.

“Having a low of 1.7 per cent of customers evading fares is statistically significant because it tells us that Calgarians are honest,” said Supt. Brian Whitelaw, who heads Calgary Transit’s Public Safety and Enforcement Section. The high level of fare compliance assists with the diligence of the careful use of taxpayer dollars.

“There isn’t any one thing we can credit for the improved compliance other than it shows the vast majority of customers are honouring our fare system and paying their way. Our peace officers are also very visible. We have more peace officers and they do a good job checking for paid fares.”

Between 2009 and 2014, the fare evasion average was about 3.6 per cent.

The CTrain carries about 325,000 people every weekday making it the most successful light rail transit system (LRT) in North America.

Calgary Transit is committed to improving the customer experience. Having peace officers visible is helping us fulfil our new Customer Commitment to provide safe, reliable and easy-to-use transit.




The City of Calgary’s CTrain is an open system; a self-service, barrier-free fare collection. The Calgary Transit Bylaw requires customers to buy tickets or passes and keep them handy as proof of payment. This system has saved millions of capital investment dollars by avoiding a turnstile-type system at stations.

In 2015, we reached a record high for fare compliance: 98.3 per cent of customers using the CTrain bought tickets; only 1.7 per cent evaded fares.

Peace officer visibility continues to play a key role in deterring fare evasion.

The City of Calgary is committed to continuing routine fare compliance checks.

Calgary Transit depends heavily on revenue collected from fares: it pays for 50 per cent of our operating budget. Calgary Transit wants to make sure customers are compliant so we can continue offering great levels of service.