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TransportPenalty fares for Metrolink fare evasion to increase in network crackdown

Penalty fares for Metrolink fare evasion to increase in network crackdown

Fare evasion when using the Metrolink will soon cost commuters an increased penalty of £120.

From September 24, the fine will be issued as part of ongoing efforts to tackle fare evasion on public transport.

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) is urging passengers to take note of the higher penalty fare and to ensure they touch-in at the start and touch-out at the end of every journey when using contactless, smart cards or concessionary passes.

Customers can also purchase a ticket or travelcard with cash or card at the ticket machine or via the new Bee Network app from next Monday (18). Passengers cannot buy tickets on the tram.

Ticket inspections

As part of the crackdown, dozens of additional Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) are being employed to carry out ticket inspections as well as to help passengers travelling on the tram.

Metrolink operator Keolis Amey Metrolink (KAM) will also be deploying plain clothes officers to target passengers who deliberately avoid buying a ticket.

Andy Burnham, mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “Fare evasion is something we take very seriously, and it will continue to be a priority as we move to the integrated Bee Network.

“While most people who travel by tram do so legally by purchasing a ticket, there are some who continue to think the rules do not apply to them.

“Our message is clear: if you travel on Metrolink without paying, you’ll now face a higher penalty fare, and you could be prosecuted.

“For 30 years Metrolink received no public subsidy, and the money we raised from fare-paying passengers is reinvested into the network for everyone’s benefit. If people are fare dodging, we won’t be able to improve the service we offer.

“Metrolink will play a vital role in realising our vision of a truly integrated public transport system, the Bee Network, which works for everyone. I would urge everyone to consider the consequences of fare evasion.”

Maximum penalty for fare evasion rises

Changes to Metrolink’s conditions of carriage will see the maximum penalty for fare evasion on Metrolink rise from £100 to £120.

It would be reduced to £60 if paid within two weeks.

The fine for failing to pay by contactless, currently set at £45, will increase to £60 at the same time.

The same fines are also being introduced on Bee Network franchised bus services, which launch in Bolton, Wigan, and parts of Salford, Bury and Manchester on September 24.

Penalty fares

Danny Vaughan, TfGM’s head of Metrolink, said: “We’re increasing penalty fares to remind passengers to pay for their ticket before boarding a tram. It’s simple and it’s cheap so there is no excuse for free loading, and it won’t be tolerated.

“This year we have issued almost 55,000 penalty fares and brought just under 6,000 cases to court, with defendants receiving fines of up to £450.

“The easiest way to use Metrolink is the contactless system. Simply touch-on and touch-off for each journey and we’ll cap the amount you pay at the best price for each day or for a week if you are a regular user. You’ll always pay the lowest fare, and it’s far cheaper than being caught or ending up in court.”

Editorial credit: Tupungato / Shutterstock.com

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