Transit Enforcement Unit

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Transit Enforcement Unit
Transit Enforcement Unit Logo.png
Agency overview
FormedJune 1, 1997 (as Special Constable Services)
February 1, 2011 (as Transit Enforcement Unit)
Legal jurisdictionPolice officer status on, or in relation to, TTC property

Sworn members56 transit enforcement officers (special constables)
Unsworn members63 transit fare inspectors (provincial offences officers)
Elected officer responsible
Agency executive
  • Alan Cakebread, Head of Transit Enforcement
Official website
Former special constable shoulder flash

The Transit Enforcement Unit (TEU; formerly known as the Special Constable Services Department) is the transit law enforcement and corporate security unit of the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. As of May 2019, the TEU employs 56 transit enforcement officers (TEOs), and 63 transit fare inspectors (TFIs).


TTC constables in Bloor–Yonge station
A marked TTC special constable Police Interceptor

Before the creation of the TEU, security on the TTC was limited to random patrols by Toronto police officers, and the TTC Corporate Security Department to provide in-house security relating to property offences.

Since July of 1987, the TTC employed staff designated provincial offences officers, responsible for the enforcement of TTC by-laws, responding to calls for service, and protecting TTC employees, customers, and assets.[1]

Ten years later, in June 1997, the Toronto Police Services Board, with the approval of the Solicitor General, designated the employees responsible for safety and security as "special constables" under Section 53 of the Police Services Act. The designation was governed by a contractual relationship between the TTC and the Toronto Police Services Board.[1]

In 2009, the Toronto Police Service created a Transit Patrol Unit (TPU) to patrol the subway system and to provide direction and assistance to TEOs.[1]

In 2010, the Special Constable Services Department officers lost special constable status after allegations they were exceeding their authority.[2] The agreement with the Toronto Police Service was officially terminated in February 2011. In September, the TTC reorganized the department and renamed it the Transit Enforcement Unit.[1]

Prior to the reorganization, the department was composed of three sections: Transit Enforcement, Investigative services, and System Security.[1]

In 2014, the TEU regained special constable status.[3]


The Transit Enforcement Unit has four sections:

  • Patrol (special constables)
  • Fare Inspection (fare inspectors)
  • System Security (special constables and protective services guards / supervisors)
  • Training and Logistical Support (special constables and fare inspectors)


Transit Enforcement Officers[edit]

TEOs are sworn as special constables by the Toronto Police Services Board under the Police Services Act, granting them limited police powers.[4] They have the same powers as a police officer to enforce the Criminal Code, the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Liquor Licence Act, and the Trespass to Property Act.[5]

Specifically, TEOs:[6]

  1. have powers and obligations of a peace officer under ss. 495 to 497 of the Criminal Code and subsections 495(3) and 497(3) of that Act, apply to the special constable as if he/she is a peace officer,
  2. have powers of a police officer for the purposes of ss. 16, and 17 of the Mental Health Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. M.7, as amended,
  3. have powers of a police officer for the purposes of ss.31(5), 36(1), 47(1) and (1.1), and 48 of the Liquor Licence Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. L.19, as amended,
  4. have powers of a police officer for the purposes of ss. 9 of the Trespass to Property Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. T.21, as amended, and
  5. are designated as provincial offences officers for the purposes of enforcement of the Liquor License Act, Trespass to Property Act and TTC By-law No. 1.

TEOs are also designated as agents/occupiers of the TTC.[7]

Transit fare inspectors[edit]

TFIs are designated as provincial offences officers for the purpose of enforcing TTC By-law No. 1, and the Trespass to Property Act.


The Mobile Patrol Division members were the visible presence on TTC surface vehicles while the Subway Patrol Division members were the visible presence in the subway system. They wore uniforms distinct from the standard TTC or Toronto Police uniforms; consisting of a black jacket and powder blue shirt with a special constables crest on both shoulders and black cargo pants. They were armed with batons and OC foam (pepper spray in a less aerosol form to avoid contamination in confined places), body armour and carried portable radios.[8]

Some officers patrolled the subway system on foot, while others drove in marked or unmarked vehicles, responding to calls on surface routes and in the subway.

Cancellation and revival of the special constable program[edit]

On June 18, 2009, the Toronto Police Services board voted unanimously to take control of the TTC special constables. Negotiations between the Toronto Police Service and the TTC on how to proceed took place for over a year before the Police Services Board decided to wind down the organization.

One of the main objections that led to this decision was the fact that constables are not armed, and any time there is a situation with a firearm involved, they are not equipped to respond and must wait for police. There were also concerns regarding the constables overstepping their jurisdiction when it came to criminal investigations, and a lack of civilian oversight.

In a newspaper interview, Alok Mukherjee, the chair of the Police Services Board, was quoted as saying "We were creating more than one public police (force) paid by the public taxpayer, without the oversight, without the accountability, without the monitoring.... The core business of the TTC is to run the transit system and the core business of the Toronto Police Service is to provide policing. So I think it was a rational decision."[9]

On October 21, 2010, the Toronto Police Services Board voted in favour of the cancellation of the special constable program effective February 1, 2011. At the same time, the board approved the expansion of the Toronto Police Transit Patrol Unit. It is expected that the existing special constables will become bylaw enforcement officers, tasked primarily with fare evasion and by-law offences.[10]

Andy Byford, the CEO of the TTC, requested in October 2013 that the Toronto Police Services Board restore the special constable program in an effort to implement an independent complaints process and public awareness campaign.[11]

In 2014, the TEU regained special constable status.[3]

Policing issues[edit]

According to the 2008 Annual Report to the Transit Commission, the special constables were involved in 1215 arrests, and laid approximately 450 charges during the calendar year ending December 31, 2008. During that period, over 6000 occurrence reports were filed regarding incidents that did not involve arrests or charges.[12]

Transit fare inspectors and proof-of-payment[edit]

The Transit Enforcement Unit employs approximately 64 transit fare inspectors, who conduct fare inspections and enforce fares on designated proof-of-payment routes (either on board the vehicles, or at terminal/interchange stations). The inspectors are dressed in white uniforms, with a "Fare Inspector" banner on the back.

This unit was launched in August 2014, when the new Flexity low-floor streetcars entered service on street car lines. All streetcar lines use an honour system where passengers pay their fare using electronic fare machines or by using the Presto fare system. Transit fare inspectors will then inspect passengers while on a vehicle, exiting a vehicle, or at subway stations.


  • Ford Taurus Police Interceptor with new graphics package
  • Ford Police Interceptor – Previously marked, however all have been converted to unmarked operation
  • Various unmarked vehicles for undercover and surveillance operations


  • Special constable (Patrol)
  • Sergeant (Patrol / Fare Inspection / Training and Logistical Support)
  • Staff sergeant (Patrol / System Security / Fare Inspection / Training and Logistical Support)
  • Chief special constable

Other positions[edit]

  • Fare inspector (provincial offences officer)
  • Protective services guard (Security / Revenue Protection)

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Special Constable Designation for Transit Enforcement Officers at the TTC" (PDF).
  2. ^ "Transit cops may regain 'special constable' status | The Star". Retrieved 2019-05-08.
  3. ^ a b "TTC police regain arrest powers".
  4. ^ "MINUTES OF THE PUBLIC MEETING of the Toronto Police Services Board held on DECEMBER 12, 2013".
  5. ^ "TTC riders, know your rights". The Varsity. 2018-10-01. Retrieved 2019-05-09.
  6. ^ "Who we are". Retrieved 2019-05-09.
  7. ^ "2018 TTC Transit Enforcement Annual Report to TTC and Toronto Police Services Board" (PDF).
  8. ^ TTC Special Constable Services 2008 Annual Report (PDF). Toronto Transit Commission. p. 17. Retrieved 2009-09-14.
  9. ^ Lakey, Jack (2008-03-08). "Police to control TTC constables". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2008-09-14.
  10. ^ Kalinowski, Tess (October 21, 2010). "TTC constables overstepped authority, police board alleges". The Star. Toronto.
  11. ^ Kalinowski, Tess; Pagliaro, Jennifer. "TTC argues for return of special constables". Toronto Star.
  12. ^ TTC Special Constable Services 2008 Annual Report (PDF). Toronto Transit Commission. pp. 18–19. Retrieved 2009-09-14.