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In pictures: A night out with enforcement officers

TTC enforcement officers Bill Perivolaris and Carlos Uncao took Globe and Mail photographer Fred Lum along for the 7 pm to 3 am shift

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Bill Perivolaris, a Transit Enforcement Officer with the TTC, watching for fare evasions at College station. The latest TTC estimate, in 2010, indicates that the losses from fare evasion are equal to 2 per cent of revenue collected from passengers. Those on the ground in the system believe the problem is vastly worse, giving estimates that range from 5 to 30 per cent.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

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Bill Perivolaris, left a Transit Enforcement Officer with the TTC, watches for fare evasions at College station, while his partner Carlos Uncao asks to see a rider's Metropass. Mr. Perivolaris and Mr. Uncao are veterans who have been with the unit more than 15 years each.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

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TTC Transit Enforcement Officer Carlos Uncao writes up notes while riding a southbound Yonge subway. Downsizing in recent years and recent firings last month have brought the number of TTC patrol officers down to 34. A typical Friday night may have only eight officers patrolling.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

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An underage man was caught red-handed at Bloor-Yonge station with a mickey of Jagermeister, his actions visible to anyone walking past the men’s room. Clearly terrified, he initially claimed not to have identification but finally admitted that he had used his brother’s ID to buy the alcohol. Chastened, he poured it down the sink at a TTC processing area. The mistake cost him $125 – nine times the price of the liquor.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

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A young man is led into Davisville station in cuffs after trying to dodge paying the fare and allegedly assaulting a TTC enforcement officer when challenged. The officer elected not to pursue an assault charge, noting that the distraught suspect had no record and might learn from the incident. But the 22-year-old from California would still have to pay a hefty fine for trying to sneak onto TTC property.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

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Depending on who you ask, fare evasion is either a big problem or a huge problem. Employees say just about every method of payment has been compromised, including the sort of day-pass displayed here by Transit enforcement officer Bill Perivolaris. But TTC officers have their own tricks – monitoring body language as people pay and checking for signs of forgery.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

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TTC Transit Enforcement Officers like Carlos Uncao deal with the homeless and mentally ill; they respond to a few hundred thefts annually; and at rush hour, they help keep commuters calm and moving smoothly.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

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TTC Transit Enforcement officer Bill Perivolaris doing some paperwork after incidents on the subway system.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

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TTC Transit Enforcement officer Carlos Uncao riding a subway car.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

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TTC Transit Enforcement officer Carlos Uncao writes notes after helping a woman who fainted at the Davisville subway station.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

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One after another, passengers came to the head of the staircase at Bloor-Yonge station and recoiled in horror. But Toronto’s transit system is still relatively safe and the only casualty here was a dropped bottle of wine. Transit enforcement officer Carlos Uncao helped gather the broken glass and a janitor soon appeared to mop up the ominous stain.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

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