Started by ozbob, October 18, 2009, 11:08:55 AM
QuoteFare cheats pocket $25mLISA CARTY NSW POLITICAL EDITOROctober 18, 2009ABOUT half the fines issued for train fare evasion in NSW remain unpaid, leaving close to $25 million in offenders' pockets.Office of State Revenue figures obtained by the State Opposition show a huge gulf between the number of fines issued and those paid.They show errant train travellers who fail to buy a ticket, or travel on a concession fare to which they are not entitled, cost taxpayers $8.67 million last financial year alone.Figures for the past three years show 311,750 fines were issued and 147,769 - equivalent in value to a new state-of-the-art police station ($24,691,100) - went unpaid.Opposition transport spokeswoman Gladys Berejiklian said it was ''simply unacceptable'' that half the fines issued are not paid.''The state's finances are so broken this $25 million could go a long way towards keeping the 600 frontline rail staff and the 1000 nurses the Rees Labor Government is currently in the process of axing,'' Ms Berejiklian said.''This shows the Rees Labor Government has a massive problem with the way it seeks to recoup fine revenue. If commuters know they don't have to pay fines for fare evasion or other rail offences, what sort of deterrent is that?''A modern integrated ticketing system would greatly reduce the incidence of fair evasion, but this Government is too incompetent to bring in such a system.''The Government needs to put more effort into recovering unpaid fines - the people have committed an offence and they should pay the penalty.''Transport Minister David Campbell said he did not like seeing people who did the wrong thing get away with it.''It's not fair on people who do pay their fares every day,'' he said.''The State Debt Recovery Office has a range of measures in place to follow up unpaid infringement notices and people who do not pay up are likely to be caught in the future.''But the proportion of people doing the wrong thing is very low considering there are more than 300 million passenger journeys each year.''The overwhelming majority of CityRail's customers do the right thing and pay the full, correct fare.''An Office of State Revenue spokeswoman said travellers who failed to pay fines could have their driver's licence or vehicle registration suspended, have their property seized or their wages or bank accounts garnisheed.They now had the option of paying their fines over time, rather than in a lump sum, she said, and offenders on welfare could pay their debt through instalments from their benefits.Those who were homeless, had a mental illness or intellectual disability could satisfy their debt by working with ''an approved organisation'' or undertaking certain courses or treatment, she said
QuoteOne million dollars a month was lost due to passengers on buses in the eastern suburbs avoiding their fares from June to December 2017, new Transport for NSW data reveals.Sydney public and private bus operators lost about $17.7 million in revenue due to fare fudging passengers in the second half of 2017, up $4 million on the same period in 2016 and about $5 million more than the six months prior.Recent losses were driven by the eastern suburbs area where rates of people minimising the amount they pay to ride the bus rose from about 4 per cent in May 2016 to almost 10 per cent of passengers in November 2017.The number of people estimated to be paying for the right ticket on public transport in Sydney declined on buses and trams but increased on trains and ferries in the six months to December 2017.Across all modes of public transport, the rate of people not paying their way was stable in 2017 at about 6 per cent, in Melbourne the rate of shirkers was less than 5 per cent last year.Half of the people who skipped their fares in Sydney did so by not tapping an Opal card or carrying no ticket at all. The rest either claimed a concession fare without proof or had other reasons such as a lost school bus pass.A Transport for NSW spokesman said people not paying the right amount to travel on public transport cost NSW taxpayers $83 million dollars last year."[That] is money which could have been reinvested in the network," the spokesman said.There was an increase in people failing to produce a valid entitlement for concession cards, including adults travelling with a child concession Opal card."A campaign based on behavioural insights has been designed to help customers do the right thing by tapping on and off with a valid Opal card," the spokesman said. "[It] is currently being rolled out on the suburban and intercity rail network, and on buses in the Eastern Suburbs."Sydney trains recorded a better result, losing $2 million less revenue to fare evasion in the six months to December 2017 ($16.1 million) than the first six months of 2017 and about $1.5 million less than the same period in 2016.The rates of fare evasion were higher in the afternoon peak hours and on weekends for almost all modes of transport.Fines for being caught travelling without a valid ticket, not paying the correct fare or using a concession ticket without a valid entitlement card range from $200 to a maximum of $550.
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