Mayor, and Minister of Transport announce legislation changes to allow actual fines for fare evasion
This morning at Britomart the Mayor Len Brown and Minister of Transport Simon Bridges announced the incoming changes to the Land Transport Amendment Bill where fare evaders could be fined $150 on the spot or $500 if convicted. No new funding for extra gates at busy stations nor extra resources for police to police the public transport network to help enforce the new Fare-Evasion Fines were announced however.
From the Office of the Mayor Len Brown
Fare evasion crackdown to net $2 million per year
At least $2 million a year could be netted as a result of new legislation which will assist Auckland Transport (AT) in the battle against public transport fare evaders.
Auckland Mayor Len Brown has welcomed the announcement by Transport Minister Simon Bridges, saying fare evaders are effectively cheating ratepayers, taxpayers and honest travellers and this is something he has been seeking for some time.
“An estimated six per cent of passengers evade fares and that has a negative effect on revenue and the provision of services. I suspect the $2m per annum figure is conservative – it could be much more.”
At a media briefing at Britomart station, the Minister said changes to the Land Transport Amendment Bill means fare evaders will face a fine of $150 if a valid paper or electronic ticket cannot be produced, or a maximum fee of $500 on conviction.
Len Brown told those present that the degree of fare evasion means true public transport patronage figures are being under-recorded.
“Recorded public transport patronage has exceeded 80 million trips for the first time, with annual rail patronage up 22.7 per cent to 14.4 million. However actual patronage will be much higher and it’s crucial we have accurate figures so we can properly plan for future service and infrastructure requirements.”
The Mayor said fare evasion was often accompanied by anti-social behavior. “This initiative will help deal with those who don’t value community assets or respect the rights of fellow passengers.”
Len Brown said the announcement was another example of the close working relationship the city has with the Government on Auckland’s transport issues.
“A couple of weeks ago the Minister of Transport and I signed the terms of reference for a transport alignment that lets us agree on transport outcomes for Auckland. Aucklanders have asked me to deal to congestion and that is what I am getting on and doing.”
So the Ticket Inspectors can ask for details of the offender and (try to) issue the spot fine of $150. Given the anti-social behaviour often attached with fare evasion as noted by the Mayor and with no extra resources for more gate lines and the actual police doing (more) crack downs somehow this new measure of actual fines is no better than the present system we have right now.
Preventative measures beyond physical crack downs by police on fare evaders also needed to be put in place. Education campaigns (and some naming and shaming of schools to spur them on could be one method) at school to remind the youths that fare evasion is not on is one measure that would help. Active investigations and research into the lead up of anti-social behaviour (that accompanies fare evasion) such as alcohol, drugs and other possible petty crimes so appropriate measures can be taken to mitigate the anti-social behaviour also need to occur/
Otherwise to be honest what really changes here folks?