25 October 2019

Canberra Metro fines 386 passengers for fare evasion on light rail

| Lachlan Roberts
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Fare evasions are up

Almost 100 infringements have been issued for fare evasion since 1 October. Photo: File.

Canberra Metro staff have issued 386 infringements to passengers for fare evasion since light rail commenced, with nearly a fourth of those infringements handed out this month.

Fare evasion infringements have been issued to 306 adults and 80 kids since the light rail took its first passengers in April, but Transport Canberra said fare evasion is still very low. A spokesperson said the vast majority of light rail customers travel with a valid ticket, with just 0.12 per cent of total tickets checked actually incurring a fine.

This month has seen an increase in the number of people pinged for boarding the LRV with an incorrect fare paid or no ticket at all; a total of 94 infringements have been issued for fare evasion since 1 October, to 80 adults and 14 kids. But Transport Canberra said it only represents a very small proportion, only 0.2 per cent, of total tickets checked during the period.

The fine for fare evasion is up to $181 for an adult and $75 for a child.

A Transport Canberra spokesperson said 16 customer service officers are responsible for checking that light rail customers are travelling with a valid ticket. Police or staff may request a passenger to produce a valid ticket or MyWay card for inspection including applicable concessionary entitlement.

The spokesperson said the officers do not target particular times of the day or particular stops.

“The first priority for our customer service officers is always the safety and security of our customers travelling on the light rail, while also supporting customers in using the system and providing an exceptional customer experience,” the spokesperson said.

“Ticket checking is conducted randomly across the light rail’s hours of operation, and across the 13 stops along the route.”

Earlier this year, Canberra Metro apologised to a 16-year-old girl after staff threatened to fine the teenager for not carrying ID while on a light rail vehicle.

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I do have to give a shout out for one of the TC fellows that was checking people’s fares late last Saturday night. He was so very merry and cheerful and polite to everyone that you just couldn’t be annoyed at him for the inconvenience of needing to drag out your cards to show him.

I almost got fined on the weekend. I have a my-way card with plenty of credit on it, but it has been a while since I caught the bus. I swiped my card and oh, my card no longer works! What the hell?!! Apparently your card now lapses after a certain period and you have to buy a new one.

So I had to buy another card in the city, pay an extra 5 bucks for the new card, and now have to chase up with TC to get the credit from the old card transferred to the new one. In the meantime, I had to pay $5 to get the tram from Dickson into Civic, where on my card it would have cost something like $2.60.

Capital Retro8:39 am 29 Oct 19

“……16 officers checking tram tickets….”

That’s an annual wages bill of at lease $1 million so what is the point in doing it (apart from soliciting another 16 Labor voters).

ChrisinTurner6:12 pm 28 Oct 19

Interesting that there are 16 officers checking tram tickets yet the government can’t manage enough drivers to run a full weekend timetable for our buses. Train them as bus drivers please.

Capital Retro8:31 am 27 Oct 19

Even if the total face value of the fines was collected it wouldn’t cover the cost of policing, enforcement and administration. Evaders must be arrested and charged or they will keep doing it.

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