Tag: Fare evasion

Auckland Transport Inducing Fare Evasion

AT causing induced Fare Evasion on its own accord?

 

We have heard much about Auckland Transport cracking down on Fare Evasion on our rail system, with Veolia Ticket Inspectors hard out on the trail trying to enforce what can be only described as a hopeless situation. Hopeless because in my opinion Auckland Transport is inducing actual Fare Evasion due to it’s beyond lacklustre technical support systems for both AT-HOP and the Rail Ticket Machines.

How?

This example in Papatoetoe today which I hear (the example) is quite common through feedback via Facebook and emails.

I caught the train from Papatoetoe and headed in to Britomart, repeating the exercise for the trip home. I have an AT-HOP card so I tag on and off and will top up either at home or a rail ticket machine if possible.

While waiting for the train at Papatoetoe I noticed people could not use any cash (even correct change) to get a paper ticket to head into town. The machine had no change and the coin slot was jammed meaning unless you had EFTPOS like I did (I topped up on the machine) you were pretty well stuffed in getting a ticket.

If you were getting off at Britomart or Newmarket you could still pay your fare, get off anywhere else and hello no ticket – a freebie for you.

So I sent a tweet to Auckland Transport alerting them to the machine basically down:

@AklTransport Rail ticket machine @ papatoetoe not accepting cash at all even correct change

That was sent about 10:10am today

I get back to Papatoetoe around 3:15pm today and the machine was still with no change and not taking coins. And no reply from AT either…

 

Come on Auckland Transport – where is your support services to keep these machines fully functional so good citizens can get their tickets? FIVE HOURS and no technician when the support for an “urgent” problem such as this is meant to be TWO HOURS in turn around (getting it fixed)!

Knowing my luck and I should go check it tomorrow the machine will still be down at 9:30am tomorrow morning after the morning peak!

So fare evasion? Yep – induced by Auckland Transport rather than the rail patrons themselves due to lack tech support services on the rail ticket machines. 

Do people out there know of any other rail ticket machines constantly down and if so how long before they are back up again.

Leave your comments below (AT do keep an eye on this)…

 

Lesson From Melbourne

Auckland Transport: Take Note

 

Saw this via my Twitter feed a few moments ago:

Fare evaders allowed to do a runner

Michelle Griffin

 

Yarra Trams has ordered its inspectors not to pursue fleeing or aggressive fare evaders after a spate of attacks.

In an internal Yarra Trams memo obtained by 3AW, dated March 2013, ticket inspectors are told they:

  • Must not block the path of, or attempt to physically detain a person who attempts to walk/run away.
  • Must always maintain a safe distance between themselves and a person being spoken to – if possible.
  • Must not surround or corner any person being spoken to regarding an offence under the Act.

The edict was issued after 10 assaults on ticket inspectors on trams between January and March this year. According to a Yarra Trams spokesman, this is “slightly higher” than the number of assaults at the same time last year, and resulted in 15 minor injuries, such as sprains and bruises.

The edict effectively ensures that those who refuse to give their name and address and instead flee cannot be detained or fined.

This comes just as Public Transport Victoria orders an increase in tram patrols by inspectors, in an attempt to cut fare evasion to 7 per cent across the public transport network.

There have been several aggressive confrontations between inspectors and passengers reported in recent years.

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/fare-evaders-allowed-to-do-a-runner-20130426-2iid2.html#ixzz2RWdwDPO7

 

This is happening in Melbourne while we have this per Campbell Live: “SERIOUSLY AUCKLAND TRANSPORT?” that I covered recently. No wonder why Councillor Mike Lee is jumping up and down red and blue in the face. But in acknowledgement and balance: Dr Lester Levy of Auckland Transport is actively working on this situation – a man I can trust as a ratepayer to sort what is best for both AT/Rail and the city (AUCKLAND TRANSPORT TO RE-THINK STRATEGY).

 

But Auckland Transport – take note of Melbourne please SO WE CAN AVOID Melbourne’s situation…

 

 

Fare Evasion

Fare Evasion in Melbourne

 

Lesson for Auckland?

 

As AT-HOP continues to be rolled out across the Auckland public transport network (albeit late, over budget and full of bugs) I would like to remind Aucklanders of the Melbourne situation in regards to fare evasion from a similar system to ours which includes “enforcement officers.”

From The Age:

 

Thousands escape fare evasion fines

Date: February 25, 2013 Adam Carey

More than 21,000 people avoided paying a fine after being booked for fare evasion on Victorian public transport system last financial year – meaning almost 11.5 per cent of fines issued were not enforced.

Figures released to the Victorian Greens and made public on Monday reveal that people who challenge an infringement notice have a better than 10 per cent chance of avoiding the fine, despite high-profile advertising campaigns warning “there is no excuse”.

“[Public Transport Minister] Terry Mulder’s whole ‘get tough, no excuses’ line on fare evasion is hollow,” Victoria Greens leader Greg Barber said.

“Ticket inspectors sometimes get it wrong. Special circumstances sometimes apply and the courts form their own view. That’s why 11.5 per cent of all tickets aren’t enforced – a pretty poor hit rate by any standards.”

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The figures show that 188,566 infringement notices were issued in 2011-12 and 21,674 of those were withdrawn.

Most withdrawals, 17,152, came with an official warning, with just 591 notices being withdrawn completely after being reviewed. A further 2417 fines were waived after being challenged in court.

Mr Barber said the state’s system of using patrolling authorised officers to police fare evasion was inefficient. He called for a return of tram conductors and fully staffed railway stations, not seen since the 1990s.

“It’s a pretty inefficient way to try to reduce fare evasion,” Mr Barber said.

“You’ve got to make it normal to meet a human, buy a ticket, have your ticket checked, or you’re never going to get any progress.”

A Public Transport Victoria spokeswoman said everyone was expected to have a valid ticket, but that passengers had a legal right to appeal against their fine.

“By far the most common reason for fines being withdrawn is where a passenger travelling on a concession fare has forgotten to carry their proof of eligibility,” the spokeswoman said.

“Where they can later produce proof of their concession entitlement, the fine may be withdrawn. Clear cases of fare evasion, such as those travelling with no ticket at all, will get fined and no excuse will be tolerated.”

The fine for travelling without a ticket is $207.

Public Transport Users Association president Tony Morton said last month that much fare evasion was “opportunistic” because of the lack of customer service staff on the network.

“There needs to be a full staff presence at every station from first to last train … it is simply penny-pinching to not provide that staff presence now,” Dr Morton said.

“It is no doubt that some fare evasion on the train system is opportunistic evasion that might be avoided if there was a consistent staff presence on stations and people had an idea that they might get caught.

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/thousands-escape-fare-evasion-fines-20130225-2f162.html#ixzz2M45Q7Lit

 

Rather disturbing from Melbourne.

 

Now reading the Business Report from the February Auckland Transport Board agenda it states on page 19 that 16% to 23% of passengers travelling by rail were checked by roving Ticket Inspectors with an unknown percentage not having a valid ticket or tagged on AT-HOP card. 16% – 23% means a maximum of 6.000 individual checks done (according to the Business Report) where there is an estimate of around 30,000 passengers travelling per (week)day on the network across some 326 approximate services (Monday to Thursday, with more on Friday, and less on Saturday and Sunday). It means in technical terms that upwards of 23% of total revenue from rail passengers is protected meaning currently some 77% if total revenue if everyone paid their fare (or had a Super Gold concession) per day is at potential risk. In saying that there is safeguards at Newmarket and Britomart where you need a ticket or AT-HOP card one way or the other to get through the gate system, but the idea is to not get that far without a ticket.

77% of your revenue at risk from fare evasion – due to only 23% of all passengers being individually checked by roving Ticket Inspectors – big case of OUCH! So it begs the question would you take the risk on skipping out of your fare providing you were not passing through Britomart and Newmarket ? With those figures I quoted it would be a case of “Why Not!”

 

Now before anyone points fingers, I am a good citizen and tag on and off with my AT-HOP card when travelling by train – so I pay my fare as it is only fair.

 

What I am pointing out is that Auckland with AT-HOP has the potential issues as Melbourne does with Fare Evasion – although Melbournites face a stiffer penalty at $207 (Australian) and a higher chance of getting caught. Our poultry “penalty” fare is $10.30 and moves to $20 next month – however this limitation is due to legislation issues currently being sorted to address.

 

We also have the two issues with AT-HOP of: lack of customer service, and the reliability of Rail Ticket Machines and Tagging Posts (I usually do a post every fortnight on the machines breaking down over the weekends). I will write separate posts on these in due course however, those issues do not really inspire confidence in the public transport ticketing system to the point they could act as a catalyst to fare evade.

 

So a warning from Melbourne and another LGOIMA request to go fill out.

 

I wonder if “we” are taking in the lessons learned from our cousins in Australia?