Fare evasion crack-down

The perennial problem of fare evasion is being tackled again, with penalties lifting on TransLink’s southern Queensland network

Fare evasion crack-down
Fare evasion crack-down

May 17, 2011

Penalties for the misuse of Go Cards will rise from 30 May in a further push to crackdown on fare evasion on TransLink’s southern Queensland network.

Queensland Transport Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk says the penalty imposed when Go Cards are deliberately not touched off would increase to $10 for trains and $5 for buses and ferries.

"Fare evaders cost the government approximately $18 million in lost revenue each year," Palaszczuk says.

"That's money that could be spent on adding more bus services in growth areas for example."

Currently the penalty for failing to touch off is $5 for train and $3 for bus and ferry, which for bus and ferry is less than a two zone trip.

"The majority of customers do the right thing," says Palaszczuk.

"However there are some customers who deliberately and repeatedly exploit the system."

She says TransLink studies show about 70,000 trips a month are fare evaders taking advantage of the low penalty rate by deliberately not touching off at the end of their journey.

"These penalties were originally kept low due to the large number of new users taking up Go Card and getting used to the new system," Palaszczuk says.

"With Go Card use now at 80 per cent and the system operating to a world-class standard we are looking to target those who evade fares by deliberately abusing the system."

TransLink CEO Peter Strachan says passengers who make an honest mistake or are unable to touch off can still simply go on-line to request an adjustment.

"Users who touch on or touch off incorrectly receive a message displayed on the card reader next time they use their go card," he says.

"Changing penalties is the latest measure TransLink has undertaken in reducing fare evasion after the success of new fare gates and senior network officers."

He says Go Card misuse on the TransLink network remains steady at 3.45 per cent of all Go Card trips.

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