New statistics from Public Transport Victoria show thousands of Victorians have been fined for not having a valid ticket on public transport. The Herald Sun reports that each day around 167 people are caught fare evading meaning Melbourne’s public transport network is collecting millions in fines. 61,258 fines have already been dished out in 2018 so far which is already up on the 57,484 fines issued in 2017.
With authorised officers issuing fines of $242 for fare dodging adults, this year alone, a possible $14.8 million may have been paid in fines.
Due to a change in fining processes in the past two years, many reports of non-compliance have resulted in official warnings rather than fines and no fines have been issued for failing to vacate priority seating or parking in station car parks without using public transport.
“This is a real issue at some stations,” Daniel Bowen, the spokesman for the Public Transport Users Association, told the Herald Sun. “Parking spaces are regularly taken by local workers rather than being used by commuters. It’s disappointing that authorities are not catching anybody for unauthorised use of station carparks.”
— 7 News Melbourne (@7NewsMelbourne) October 29, 2018
On top of that, the Herald Sun found that, in 2018, 6879 people received fines for placing their feet on the seats and walls, 300 were fined for smoking and 24 for obscene or threatening behaviour.
Bowen reports that authorities could do more by furthering education on these issues and improving signage. Recently, the myki system has received more upgrades making it more user-friendly and authorised officers have undergone more training, particularly in conflict management. Other improvements are on their way with the continued aim of creating a better experience for PTV’s passengers. Bowen encourages everyone to do their bit.
“Passengers are all in it together, and co-operation can help make the journey pleasant for everybody. The more people pay their way; the more money is available to help fund public transport improvements.”