No more free rides - It’s time to get real about fare evasion
Added: 13 December 2013
Highly visible focus operations at key interchanges are the latest technique being used by public transport operators to reduce fare evasion.
Public transport customers are being warned that if you fare evade it's no longer a case of if you'll get caught, but when.
Authorised Officers across trains, trams and buses are working together to target fare evaders at key fare evasion hotspots and transport interchanges, and they will be waiting at these sites to check myki cards as customers disembark.
At the hour and a half focus operation this morning, which took place at Tram Stop 112 Casino East for tram Route 55 and bus routes 216/219/220, Authorised Officers checked 114 valid tickets and issued nine reports of non-compliance, with seven for tram and two for bus.
Public Transport Victoria Director of Customer Services Alan Fedda said that the May 2013 fare evasion results revealed that fare evasion across all forms of transport has increased from 9.4 % in October 2012, to 11.9% and is as high as 16% on buses.
“Any increase in fare evasion is unacceptable and these free rides taken by fare evaders cost the public transport network $65 million a year,” Mr Fedda said.
“The money lost through fare evasion could be used to buy more trains, trams and buses, increase the frequency of services and improve public transport facilities across the network.
“PTV is working closely with bus operators such as Transdev Melbourne, Melbourne’s newest bus operator, to understand the reasons for the increase in fare evasion on this mode, with a focus on bringing rates back down to the levels seen previously.
“To help our customers always be ready to travel, PTV has recently been running a highly successful campaign to educate our customers about the Auto top up service that is available.
“With Auto top up, when a customer’s myki money balance is running low, it is instantly topped up from their nominated bank account or debit/credit card.
“This service gives our customers the confidence to know they can travel as often or infrequently as they like and they are always ready to travel, as the best outcome is that everyone travels with a valid ticket so that we can invest in our public transport network,” said Mr Fedda.
Yarra Trams recently led the way with highly visible focus operations at high profile tram stops in the CBD that sought to not only catch fare cheats but reassure fare-paying customers that new initiatives are being used to combat fare evasion.
Wearing high-vis safety vests and displaying banners informing customers of Authorised Officers’ presence, Yarra Trams is able to check up to 50 per cent more tickets than it did before.
The operation’s effectiveness was demonstrated by an increase in both the number of myki cards checked and reports of non-compliance issued, and Yarra Trams is now assisting Transdev to conduct joint operations at shared tram and bus stops.
According to Transdev Melbourne CEO Edward Thomas, the focus operations are not just about handing out fines to customers found to be travelling without a valid myki.
“It’s time to reduce the rate of fare evasion on the bus network and one way for us to do this is to work with the other transport modes,” said Transdev Melbourne CEO, Edward Thomas
“We have held a number of joint focus operations with Yarra Trams at key tram and bus interchanges and we plan to continue with these,” says Mr Thomas.
“We want to remind commuters that public transport, including the bus network, is not unsupervised and to ensure that they understand how to use myki properly. People need to touch on and off every time they travel to receive the lowest fare for their journey and to ensure they are travelling with a valid ticket,” said Mr Thomas.
“Individuals will be fined if they don’t travel with a valid ticket, but the Authorised Officers will also hand out myki information and talk to people about how to use the system.
Customers should ensure they are always prepared for their trip. Register for Auto top up online at ptv.vic.gov.au or by calling 1800 800 007. myki cards can be purchased and topped up at the ticket window at staffed stations, close to 800 retail outlets including all 7-Eleven stores, on board buses (to a maximum $20), at myki machines (full fare card purchase only) at every train station and selected accessible tram platform stops and bus interchanges, online at ptv.vic.gov.au or by calling 1800 800 007 6am - midnight daily.
Concession holders should always carry proof of their entitlement. Fines for fare evading are $212 for adults and $72 for children under 18.
Information on fares and ticketing is available from ptv.vic.gov.au or by calling 1800 800 007.
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Public Transport Victoria media enquiries 0466 017 500
Yarra Trams media line: 0410 473 719
Transdev media line: 0407 332 855