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Why More Sydneysiders Are Refusing To Pay For Public Transport

Recent data has shown an alarming surge in the number of fare dodgers refusing to pay public transport tickets.

While the majority of passengers, around 90 per cent, responsibly pay for their trips, the significant loss of revenue from non-compliant individuals amounts to nearly $90 million. 

Of those who are caught and fined, only a tiny fraction of them end up paying the fine in full.

So, who’s not paying, why aren’t they paying, and what’s likely to happen?

On today’s episode of This Arvo In Sydney, host Sacha Barbour Gatt and LiSTNR investigation editor Clair Weaver took a deep dive into the cost of public transport and why Sydneysiders are dodging it.

They’re losing a lot more than they’re clawing back from fare dodgers. If you drill down into the numbers, you can see Sydney light rail has the highest percentage of zero-fare payment,”

Weaver said.

Weaver said people would jump on the Sydney light rail without any kind of tickets or card tab. 

For people who take ferries, Sydney ferries had the highest percentage of fraudulent concession tickets, meaning people buying cheaper tickets than they were entitled to.

Well, if you’re lucky, transport officers can let you off with a caution or a warning if it’s a first offence, so the best advice here is contrite and polite if it happens to you, or they can give you a fine for fare evasion,”

she added.

In the past five years, over 244,000 fines have been issued to almost 185,000 people aged under 25, and only 15 per cent of those were paid in full. 

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Weaver said fines ranged from $200 to $550. For people who planned to dodge the payment, the fine increased by $65 for adults or $25 for individuals under 18.

If you’re having difficulty paying it, you can set up a payment plan, request a fine reduction, apply to have your debt written off, or apply for a work and development order.”

Hosted by Sacha Barbour, This Arvo in Sydney is a 10 to 12 minute daily news podcast made just for Sydney! Listen now on the Listnr app.