The Andrews Labor Government will today introduce legislation to abolish on-the-spot penalty fares on public transport and deliver a simpler, fairer and more effective fare enforcement system for Victoria.
The Transport (Compliance and Miscellaneous) Amendment (Abolition of Penalty Fares Scheme) Bill is the next major step to get rid of the unpopular fines, which intimidate commuters and encourage people to avoid paying their way on public transport.
The $75 penalty fare means a passenger can get caught fare evading more than 20 times in one year and still pay less than the cost of a regular Zone 1 and 2 yearly pass.
Penalty fares are also anonymous, so there is no record kept of serial offenders, meaning the worst fare evaders cannot be identified and targeted.
This legislation replaces the former Liberal Government’s ineffective, confusing and unfair regime with a single infringement system that provides a clear process for how and when fines can be issued, and how and when they can be challenged.
New guidelines for internal review will be implemented, including an official warning system for passengers who make an honest mistake. PTV is also working with operators to better train and support Authorised Officers, who are at the front line of our fare enforcement system.
These important changes to the fare enforcement system are supported by a range of initiatives to make it quicker and easier for people to top up, touch on and do the right thing.
New quick top-up machines have been introduced at key stations and tram stops, online top up times have been reduced from 24 hours to around 90 minutes and next-generation myki readers are being rolled out at busy stations.
The Labor Government has also begun investigating new contactless technology for Victoria’s public transport system, including the ability for passengers to touch on and off with their credit card or smart phone.
Penalty fares will remain in place until the new fare enforcement system begins on 1 January 2017, subject to passage of the Bill.
In the interim, passengers who receive a penalty fare will continue to be provided with information about how to lodge a complaint if they feel they have been wrongly or incorrectly fined.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan
"Penalty fares are unfair and ineffective. They intimidate passengers and encourage people to evade fares – that’s why we’re getting rid of them."
"This legislation establishes a single infringement system that is fairer on those trying to do the right thing, and tougher on those who deliberately and repeatedly don’t pay their way."
"We’re putting passengers first – making our ticketing system simpler, fairer and more effective and investing in the major projects our network needs. We’re getting it done."
Reviewed 19 August 2020