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Fare evasion crackdown to net $2 million per year

Fare evasion crackdown to net $2 million per year

At least $2 million a year could be netted as a result of new legislation which will assist Auckland Transport (AT) in the battle against public transport fare evaders.

Auckland Mayor Len Brown has welcomed the announcement by Transport Minister Simon Bridges, saying fare evaders are effectively cheating ratepayers, taxpayers and honest travellers and this is something he has been seeking for some time.

“An estimated six per cent of passengers evade fares and that has a negative effect on revenue and the provision of services. I suspect the $2m per annum figure is conservative - it could be much more.”

At a media briefing at Britomart station, the Minister said changes to the Land Transport Amendment Bill means fare evaders will face a fine of $150 if a valid paper or electronic ticket cannot be produced, or a maximum fee of $500 on conviction.

Len Brown told those present that the degree of fare evasion means true public transport patronage figures are being under-recorded.

“Recorded public transport patronage has exceeded 80 million trips for the first time, with annual rail patronage up 22.7 per cent to 14.4 million. However actual patronage will be much higher and it’s crucial we have accurate figures so we can properly plan for future service and infrastructure requirements.”

The Mayor said fare evasion was often accompanied by anti-social behavior. “This initiative will help deal with those who don’t value community assets or respect the rights of fellow passengers.”

Len Brown said the announcement was another example of the close working relationship the city has with the Government on Auckland’s transport issues.

“A couple of weeks ago the Minister of Transport and I signed the terms of reference for a transport alignment that lets us agree on transport outcomes for Auckland. Aucklanders have asked me to deal to congestion and that is what I am getting on and doing.”

ENDS

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