Fare dodgers, be warned
ANYONE considering taking a ride on Auckland’s trains without paying should think again.
Ticket inspectors are trialling body-worn cameras which will help them to identify fare dodgers and deal with them more effectively.
Cameras will allow inspectors to better identify unpaying passengers who will be banned from the network and it’s hoped the cameras will improve staff safety.
Figures show that about $1.5 million worth of fares were not paid on the city’s trains for the most recent year.
‘‘It’s frustrating for other passengers if they’ve paid and they’re sitting opposite someone who hasn’t,’’ train operator Transdev’s managing director Terry Scott says.
‘‘The introduction of the AT HOP card system at the end of 2012 has seen a slight increase in the rate of fare evasion compared to when people needed to purchase a ticket on the train.
‘‘The onus is now on passengers to tag on and off,’’ Scott says.
The rate of fare evasion varied before the AT HOP system was introduced but there was no accurate way of measuring it, according to Auckland Transport figures.
Ticket operators have had limited options for dealing with fare dodgers until now.
Since January, at least 12 rail staff and three Maori Wardens have been assaulted by fare evaders they have confronted. Four required medical attention.
‘‘It should act as a deterrent,’’ Scott says.
The trial will last for three months.
Auckland Transport is investigating other options including installing electronic gates at more train stations to make it harder for people who haven’t paid.
Police are also routinely putting staff on trains, Auckland City inspector Vaughn Graham says.
The increased presence is about reducing crime across the board though, he says.
Watch out: Train ticket inspectors are trialling bodyworn cameras to help them deal with fare dodgers.