Fare flout crackdown gains support


An assault on fare evasion that has led to a 48 percent rise in fines given has been backed by the Victorian Bus Association

Fare flout crackdown gains support
Crackdown on fare-flouting gains support

By Sean Muir | May 30, 2012

Bus Association Victoria Executive Director Chris Lowe voiced his support today for
a
government crackdown on fare-flouting passengers.

"The industry's position on the matter is virtually identical to the governments," Lowe says.

"This is fare revenue that treasury needs for larger and faster re-investment into transport infrastructure projects and network service improvements."

Government statistics show the number of fines issued to public transport passengers
for failing
to pay fares
increased 48 percent
in the first four months of 2012 compared with the same period in 2011.

Lowe
says the government’s initiative to quash
increasing
fare evasion is timely and necessary.

"Further initiatives like employing more Authorised Officers and Customer Service Officer on Victoria's route bus network are absolutely necessary not only to achieve our objective of getting fare evasion for bus under 5 percent, but also assisting patrons in the transition from metcard to myki," Lowe says.

Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder announced yesterday that 67,409 fines had been issued for alleged public transport offences between January and April 2012, compared with 45,578 between January and April 2011.

Mulder says 759 of these fines were issued on urban buses.

"With metropolitan Melbourne fare evasion at about 13.5 percent, the Coalition Government will continue its efforts to reduce fare cheating," Mulder says.

Public transport operators employ 540 Authorised Officers to enforce fare payment and other regulations.

Mulder says joint operations between bus, rail and tram Authorised Officers will continue at selected locations such as Melbourne University, the CBD and Box Hill.

"Commuters should not be surprised to see AOs pop up anywhere in Melbourne or Victoria," Mulder says.

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