Metrolinx Administrative Fees Regulation – Summary of Proposal
Bill or Act:
Metrolinx Act 2006
Summary of Decision:
Metrolinx Administrative Fees Regulation – Decision Summary
The Metrolinx Administrative Fees Regulation has been approved as Ontario Regulation 282/10. The Regulation sets the framework for Metrolinx to pass by-laws establishing a fee system as an alternative to court fines for fare and parking violations in the GO Transit system.
This new system will make it easier for GO Transit customers to resolve ticket disputes. It will offer customers the option of resolving disputes without being charged under the Provincial Offences Act and avoids the court, administrative, personal and financial costs that are incurred when a dispute goes to court. This approach is more customer-friendly, is expected to lead to greater customer compliance with GO Transit’s fares and parking by-laws and to promote an orderly flow of traffic in GO Transit parking areas.
Under the Regulation, Metrolinx must provide reasonable public notice (30 days) of the administrative fees system prior to commencing the issuance of notices under the new system for parking and fare infractions. In cases where customers dispute the infractions they will have the opportunity for their point of view to be heard and the dispute resolved within an informal process before an impartial Hearing Officer.
The new model will improve the efficiency of the system for both customers and GO Transit. Customers who dispute an infraction will save the time and inconvenience of attending court. GO Transit will reduce the significant costs incurred for an officer’s time, including costs associated with lost productivity with the officer being tied up in court activities and related travel times.
Metrolinx has indicated that the fees to be paid for fare and parking infractions will continue at or slightly below the fines levied under the court regime. The Regulation requires public notice of any future revisions to the fee amounts.
March 8, 2010
Summary of Proposal:
The Ministry of Transportation seeks comments on a proposed regulation to be made under the Metrolinx Act, 2006.
The regulation would enable Metrolinx to streamline the resolution of vehicle- and fare-related disputes arising from the contravention of vehicle and fare by-laws on the GO Transit network by establishing an out of court administrative fees system.
At present, customers who contravene Metrolinx’s vehicle and fare by-laws are ticketed under the Provincial Offences Act. Customers who dispute their tickets must attend court in the municipality where the offence occurred and request a trial, for which a date would be set, usually some months later. The customer must then attend court again on the trial date for the matter to be resolved.
Under the proposed out of court administrative fees system, persons charged with contravening the designated parking and fares by-laws would have the option of paying an administration fee and having the dispute resolved out of court, rather than being charged under the Provincial Offences Act. Thus, the proposed system would also reduce court and administrative costs from fewer offences having to be resolved in the court system.
It is proposed that the regulation provide for:
1. A framework for Metrolinx to establish by by-law a new system of administrative fees applying to the contravention of designated provisions of their current parking and fare payment by-laws on the GO Transit network. The framework set out in the regulation would require Metrolinx to address, in a Board-approved by-law, such matters as:
a. Ensuring that individuals are provided with adequate notice regarding the imposition of an administrative fee for an infraction under the new by-law.
b. Providing individuals the right to have the imposition of a fee reviewed or appealed.
c. The ability of Metrolinx to enforce non-payment of administrative fees that are past due by filing a certificate of default making the payment of the fee an order of the court.
d. Procedures to allow persons to request an extension of time to pay the administrative fee, and to be relieved of paying the fee if it would cause undue hardship.
2. Metrolinx would be required to develop standards, policies and procedures relating to conflict of interest, financial administration and the handling of complaints.
Current fines range between $25 and $110. It is expected that the proposed administrative fees would fall within a similar range. If the proposed regulation comes into effect, Metrolinx will confirm the fee amounts.
This initiative is not intended to increase fines for GO Transit revenue generation.
The proposed regulation will provide Metrolinx an alternative to costly court proceedings. The administrative fees system will be a significant improvement for individuals who wish to resolve their dispute out of court. The administrative fee amount shall not be punitive in nature but will recover a portion of the cost of delivering the program. Individuals who face financial hardship or other extenuating circumstances will be able to address those concerns and seek resolution under the program without the need to attend a court.
777 Bay Street, Suite 30
July 12, 2010