Bus users pay the price

More fines and more enforcement leads to decrease in fare evasion on Victoria’s buses

The number of fare dodgers on Victoria’s bus network has declined sharply, new figures released by Public Transport Victoria (PTV) reveal.

Fare evasion survey data shows 95 per cent of all public transport users are travelling with a valid ticket.

PTV chief executive Mark Wild says the reduction, from 12.7 per cent not paying their bus fares in May 2014 to 8.7 per cent in May this year, was a fantastic result.

"Recognition must go to the now 95 per cent of customers who know that travelling without a valid ticket is freeloading and costs our public transport network funds that could be used to improve services," he says.

"In just three years, PTV, Metro trains, Yarra Trams, V/Line and bus operators have more than halved the money lost through fare evasion, down from $80 million in 2011 to 2012, to $38.2million this year."

This is the highest recorded level of fare compliance since fare evasion data began being captured in 2005.

While the result is good, it also shows the number of people paying their way on metropolitan buses was still less than other modes and that more enforcement may be needed on certain bus routes.

Increased enforcement, on the spot penalty fares and the televised customer education campaign are having a positive impact, according to PTV.

Wild says all of these initiatives contribute to the increasing number of passengers travelling with a valid ticket.

"The introduction of multi-modal authorised officers has enabled us to deploy resources across the network," Wild says.

More than 13 million tickets have been checked since July 2014 and this increased enforcement will become even more intense.

"We warned customers with more authorised officers on the network the likelihood of getting caught would increase, and this has happened," Wild says.

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