Auckland has given more power to transport officers to strengthen fare enforcement. Changes to the Land Transport Act and new regulations that came into force on June 18th allow controllers to issue infringement notices to passengers who do not carry tickets.
Before the new law, officers could ask to see a passenger’s ticket, but could only ask them to leave at the next stop. Only police could apply fare enforcement. Now, transport officers can ask for proof of payment evidence and issue tickets of $150 to fare dodgers. This fine cap rise up to $500 if fare dodgers choose to go to court, rather than paying the infringement notice.
The overall objective is to fight fare evasion. About 6% of Auckland’s passengers travel without a valid ticket, costing $2 to $3 million a year.
A deterring, not a revenue gathering measure
According to Transport Compliance Manager Logan Christian, the fare enforcement measure “is not about revenue gathering”. The aim is to “make it fare for everyone whose uses public transport”, since ratepayers and taxpayers subside around half o the cost of fares.
The Administration expects the infringements to have a deterring effect.
Long-term fare enforcement strategy
Transport officers began working on the train network late last year and currently patrol two lines. Auckland Transport (AT) will recruit more staff to work in other lines too. For the moment, AT will focus on implementing the fine on trains. They will roll out the measure to buses and ferries in the long-run.
On the other hand, like many other cities such as Lille or Nice, Auckland Transport plans on installing more fare gates at stations. This way passengers have to buy a ticket or tag on before they got onto the platform.
Photo credit: Auckland Transport