Pan Am volunteers can use their accreditation passes for free transit starting Thursday, but there are some kinks to work out.
TTC customer service mistakenly tweeted that volunteers could use the pass to “enjoy and explore the city.”
Volunteers can travel freely on TTC, GO Transit and eight other regional operators with their pass. It is intended for official volunteer work only, but the passes operate on an honour system.
The tweet has since been corrected.
Calling the incident “fairly minor,” TTC spokesperson Brad Ross admits there will be an adjustment period.
“It’s early going still. There’s going to be a few wrinkles here and there to work out,” said Ross.
“We’re very, very confident as we get closer to the games all those kinds of wrinkles will be completely ironed out.”
All TTC staff have been trained and given FAQ booklets on the Pan Am volunteer passes, as well as the free transit for event ticket holders, Ross said.
Any volunteer caught abusing the pass will be given the benefit of the doubt and transit workers will “gently remind people” to pay proper fares, Ross added.
All GO Transit staff have received face-to-face training on how the passes can be used, said spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins.
“No system is foolproof. We have plans in place so our staff are all trained for what to look for,” she said, adding the destination and time of day could tip-off whether the pass is being used correctly.
Anyone violating the terms could face a range of penalties from a warning to having the pass confiscated.
Pan Am volunteers are granted access to free transit on TTC, GO, as well as transit systems in Mississauga, York Region, Durham Region, Hamilton, St. Catharines, Brampton, Welland and Burlington.
The passes are valid June 25 to July 31 for Pan Am volunteers and Aug. 1 to 18 for Parapan Am volunteers.
Similar passes were issued to volunteers at the Vancouver Olympics.
“With the support of 10 transit agencies throughout the region, as well as the Ministry of Transportation, we are very appreciative of the work our partners have done to make this a transit first games,” said TO2015 spokesperson Teddy Katz in an email.
“And we would expect a few questions from our volunteers about this similar to when any new system goes into effect.”