Fare evasion

 
  bomberswarm2 Locomotive Driver

I have a yearly student pass. Sometimes I forget to touch on, or don't have time. ticket inspectors realise this and don't care. However when I go to any station with barriers, I just say to the attendant 'I haven't touched on', and they open the barrier and let me through, no questions asked.

So we don't need to buy tickets anymore, as we can just walk through any exit barriers without checking. And people wonder why fare evasion is a problem. Why don't the attendents have the power to fine these people who do this without a myki?

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  Madjikthise Assistant Commissioner

Station staff have instructions not to stop fare evaders because they get attacked.
  jakar Assistant Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
I have reasons to be on platforms as part of my job, and I always find it highly amusing the amount of people that hop off the train with their heads buried in a phone or busy lighting up a cigarette and panic when they see me at the last second. Most of the time they have to stop and fumble around searching for their Myki card which they quite obviously had no intention of getting out to touch on/off. Then there's the ones that do get it out but hold it about a foot away from the FPD so as not to activate it, which clearly they either don't have enough money or never touched on in the first place. I'm not there in any enforcement capacity but they don't know that.

I don't know what the stats are for fare evasion but from my casual observations its pretty high!

jakar
  woodford Chief Commissioner

I have reasons to be on platforms as part of my job, and I always find it highly amusing the amount of people that hop off the train with their heads buried in a phone or busy lighting up a cigarette and panic when they see me at the last second. Most of the time they have to stop and fumble around searching for their Myki card which they quite obviously had no intention of getting out to touch on/off. Then there's the ones that do get it out but hold it about a foot away from the FPD so as not to activate it, which clearly they either don't have enough money or never touched on in the first place. I'm not there in any enforcement capacity but they don't know that.

I don't know what the stats are for fare evasion but from my casual observations its pretty high!

jakar
jakar
ABC local Melbourne, the Jon fane show, had the chief of Metro Rail on and he said fare evasion was decreasing and overall he was fairly happy with the current situation.

I do not use Myki much travelling on VLine but at Southern Cross everyone I have seen appears to be using the system correctly.
  Madjikthise Assistant Commissioner

ABC local Melbourne, the Jon fane show, had the chief of Metro Rail on and he said fare evasion was decreasing and overall he was fairly happy with the current situation.

I do not use Myki much travelling on VLine but at Southern Cross everyone I have seen appears to be using the system correctly.
woodford
Go to a station with no barriers and you may be surprised at how many people don't even go near the validators.
  Lad_Porter Chief Commissioner

Location: Yarra Glen
Go to a station with no barriers and you may be surprised at how many people don't even go near the validators.
Madjikthise

Then they are taking a calculated risk, i.e. they believe that even with the occasional fine, they are still ahead overall.
  Madjikthise Assistant Commissioner

Oh and of course the head of Metro would say he's happy because I doubt that his and Metro's pay cheque is linked to fare evasion.
And as far as I can tell the official fare evasion figures are based on how many people the AOs and surveyors (who travel with AOs) actually catch or see fare evading.
A passive survey, such as using the platform cameras to count people stepping on or off the train vs how many actually touch on/off would show a much different number.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
My two cents: I was on a tram today when it passed through a Yarra Trams 'operation'. There were uniformed inspectors on the kerb asking to see passenger tickets as they got off the tram as plain-clothes inspectors got on and started checking tickets.

It didn't work as well as you would have expected. Some of the people getting off the tram saw exactly what was going on and quickly ducked around the back or front of the tram to the other side of the street - the inspectors all pretended not to notice. And because it was a relatively busy tram the inspector who was doing my part of the tram lost track of who she had already checked and who she hadn't - and so she didn't even get around to seeing my Myki.

My experience in using the system tells me that it's possible to get around on trams and trains for literally years without paying if you're determined enough. You need to treat it like a job though and be vigilant for situations when you might be caught - and be prepared to physically run away from inspectors where necessary. I've seen lots of people over the years run away from inspectors and if you happen to do a runner they don't seem too concerned about chasing after you - must be something to do with OH&S.
  Lad_Porter Chief Commissioner

Location: Yarra Glen
......be prepared to physically run away from inspectors where necessary. I've seen lots of people over the years run away from inspectors and if you happen to do a runner they don't seem too concerned about chasing after you - must be something to do with OH&S.
don_dunstan
There would seem to be different rules for AOs and PSOs then.
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
Under Victorian Law only an Authorised Officer has the power to inspect your travel ticket.

They can and they do.  They are often present both sides of the barrier lines at the major Melbourne stations and they do a fair "trade" in reporting offences and, in the most recent change to the regime, taking on-the-spot card payments of a $75 fine in lieu of a report, a potential $217 fine and a possible conviction.

Customer service staff do NOT have the authority under the law to inspect tickets and must allow through anyone who asks whether they hold a ticket (valid or otherwise) or not.

If there is a problem it is with the Law and not with the rail operators.  Those operators quite rightly seek to protect their employees from the risk of assault and again it is only the AOs who are specifically trained in tactical response to aggression.  

Fare evasion is a problem.  The guiding rule for Myki is "touch on - touch off - every trip" even though a touch off is not required in many instances now and a touch on is not required (after the first one which starts the clock ticking) with a Myki pass as the travel has been fully paid for in advance.

Do the right thing every time and you won't have a problem.
  melbtrip Chief Commissioner

Location: Annoying Orange
Under Victorian Law only an Authorised Officer has the power to inspect your travel ticket.

They can and they do.  They are often present both sides of the barrier lines at the major Melbourne stations and they do a fair "trade" in reporting offences and, in the most recent change to the regime, taking on-the-spot card payments of a $75 fine in lieu of a report, a potential $217 fine and a possible conviction.

Customer service staff do NOT have the authority under the law to inspect tickets and must allow through anyone who asks whether they hold a ticket (valid or otherwise) or not.

If there is a problem it is with the Law and not with the rail operators.  Those operators quite rightly seek to protect their employees from the risk of assault and again it is only the AOs who are specifically trained in tactical response to aggression.  

Fare evasion is a problem.  The guiding rule for Myki is "touch on - touch off - every trip" even though a touch off is not required in many instances now and a touch on is not required (after the first one which starts the clock ticking) with a Myki pass as the travel has been fully paid for in advance.

Do the right thing every time and you won't have a problem.
Gwiwer


The Victoria Police can ask if you have a MYKI or not - before the new MYKI come out and if you myki was concession myki, they would ask to see you concession myki.

If a myki is not touched on it is not valid for travel and the customer may be fined and myki is not valid if has negative value on it
  historian Deputy Commissioner

Under Victorian Law only an Authorised Officer has the power to inspect your travel ticket.
Gwiwer

I think you are confusing 'authorised officer' with 'authorised person (ticketing)'.

A passenger must produce their ticket when asked to do so by an authorised person (ticketing). (Transport (Ticketing) Regulations 2006 s7)

An authorised person (ticketing) is 1) an authorised officer, 2) a police officer, 3) a PSO, 4) a person employed by a company who has duties in relation to the issue, inspection, or collection of tickets, 5) anyone authorised in writing by the company, or 6) a natural person who is a bus company. (Transport (Ticketing) Regulations 2006 s5)

So the barrier staff, for example, do have the legal right to inspect your ticket. As do conductors.

You could argue whether the current staff have duties in relation to the issue, inspection, or collection of tickets. But this would easily become moot - all a company has to do is authorise the staff concerned in writing that to inspect tickets.

Whether the companies avail themselves of this right is an entirely different matter.
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
I think you are confusing 'authorised officer' with 'authorised person (ticketing)'.

.........
historian

Not at all.

An Authorised Officer is also by default an Authorised Person but not necessarily vice versa.

The operation of Victorian Law as it stands currently has it that only an AO may inspect tickets.  That they are required to be an AP under the law is immaterial to the fact on the ground.

There is a hard core of determined fare evaders and there is a very small number of apparent fare evaders who are mostly well-known to the AOs in that they are, for example, Wards of the State and whilst they should pay a fare there is nothing to be gained by reporting them apart from anger, possible assault on the staff, downtime completing paperwork and a rejection of the RONC at administrative level on the grounds that it would waste court time to hear the case but achieve no result.

The hard core are reported at times but AOs cannot be everywhere.  The introduction of multi-modal AOs operating across rail, bus and tram networks has made for greater flexibility and coverage.

Unintentional fare evasion - often through system ignorance by visitors or infrequent users - is probably a greater problem than serial and deliberate fare evasion by those who wilfully travel with no intent to pay.  There could and should be much better information on how the system works and there should be a daily or single-use ticket available without the need to rent a piece of plastic for those who require it.  The kit exists to do just that and has been paid for as part of the contract but politics has interfered and it is all locked away unused.

Weekends will see a glut of seniors all waving their Senior's Cards at the barrier as they get free travel.  They only qualify for that if they also touch on a Myki with a positive balance and touch it off at the end of the trip.  It doesn't charge them if they are entitled to free travel.  But probably fewer than half actually follow the rules and many seem to be permanently travelling with a negative balance.  That is a system weakness as much as anything.

If PTV wants to tighten up on fare compliance and revenue collection it should be addressing, among these other things, the large number of younger families who are unaware of the need (or claim to be) for 4 year olds and up to hold a valid Myki and who happily ride around with just the adult(s) paying.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Weekends will see a glut of seniors all waving their Senior's Cards at the barrier as they get free travel.  They only qualify for that if they also touch on a Myki with a positive balance and touch it off at the end of the trip.  It doesn't charge them if they are entitled to free travel.  But probably fewer than half actually follow the rules and many seem to be permanently travelling with a negative balance.  That is a system weakness as much as anything.
Gwiwer
I take the 216/219/220 frequently and if you look of a 'certain age' then the driver won't care if you don't use your myki - regardless of what day of the week it is. This is especially true if you are a frequent user and the driver knows who you are.

If PTV wants to tighten up on fare compliance and revenue collection it should be addressing, among these other things, the large number of younger families who are unaware of the need (or claim to be) for 4 year olds and up to hold a valid Myki and who happily ride around with just the adult(s) paying.
Gwiwer
The core of the problem is a system that is deliberately difficult to use and (mostly) not enforced. If you decide not to pay and you know the system well enough then you have a 99% chance of getting away with it... they're very good odds.
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
I take the 216/219/220 frequently and if you look of a 'certain age' then the driver won't care if you don't use your myki
don_dunstan

On their heads be it!

Endemic failure to validate was one of the reasons route 509 was withdrawn.

It might also have been part of a plan to remove Hope St Bus Line from the PTV contractors but validation (of Metcards) was never enforced.  The service was run by Italians for Italians and no cash was ever taken that I know of.  The validator was usually turned off as well.

216/219/220 aren't in the same sort of league as the 509, being lengthy cross-city routes but in the absence of validations PTV can only assume the service isn't being used.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
On their heads be it!
Gwiwer
Myki has made fare evasion on buses much worse in my opinion; it was better when the Metcard machine was right in front of the driver and drivers could sell you short-term tickets for a few bucks. There seems to be a bit of a cultural shift with Myki that all you have to do is pretend to hold a card up to it before walking away... as long as you go through the motions nobody will challenge you, particularly on busy routes. Drivers are too busy with traffic and safe operation to bother challenging anyone assuming they're actually paying attention to whether fares are being paid or not.

I've seen drivers on more than one occasion wave passengers on because they wanted to top up their Myki but the driver just couldn't be bothered doing it for them - what does that say to the passenger about the importance of having a valid ticket!

Anyway... you have an absolutely valid point about fare evasion affecting the viability of individual services but all I can do about that as a user is pay my own way.
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
In my opinion it is the absence of short-term / single-use / paper daily tickets - call them what you will - which is a cause of significant if unintentional fare evasion.

Many people who once bought a ticket from the driver on the irregular occasions they travelled no longer have the option to do so.  They can of course use Myki money which doesn't time out as a pass does but it can be fussy to get a Myki in the first place.

Visitors, a market sector which Melbourne and Victoria as a whole seeks to attract in ever-growing numbers, may have little or no idea about our ticketing system before they arrive.  I lose count of the number of enquiries I manage personally about how to "just get a day pass" or how to pay for a one-way trip from the City to the MCG for instance.  The usual response to being advised to purchase and load a Myki is rolled eyes or an incredulous stare.  Most other major cities have the day option available.  Visitor Mykis are not available on the public transport network though can be purchased from the shard at Fed Square for $14.  No-one is going to pay $14 just for a 5 minute tram ride to the MCG.

Public transport loses two ways.  Visitors are put off by the complexities of the system and the lack of a single-day or single-trip ticket and don't travel.  Or they simply hop on and take a chance.  I suspect 99.95% of them get away with that chance.

The facility to have day passes exists with Myki but politics has ensured the hardware is locked away out of use and the software is therefore redundant.  It would make sense to address this, release the day passes and achieve some sort of cost recovery in addition to appeasing visitors and other occasional system users but sense and public transport seldom seem to go hand-in-hand anywhere in the World.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
In my opinion it is the absence of short-term / single-use / paper daily tickets - call them what you will - which is a cause of significant if unintentional fare evasion.
Gwiwer
The machines and tickets are still in warehouses somewhere but I don't think there's any political will to try and fix the situation. I don't think Andrews is any more interested in fixing this dysfunctional system than Napthine was.

I had high hopes for Andrews when he was elected last year but steadily those hopes are being eroded... I guess he's just another politician after all.

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