Fare evaders may soon face fines up to $500 if they choose not to pay for their trip on public transport.
From 18 June, Transport Officers can issue infringement notices to passengers who fail to tag on with their AT HOP card or buy a ticket to use public transport. Offenders will face infringement fees of $150, or a fine of up to $500 if they choose to go to court rather than pay the infringement fee.
Fare evasion costs $2-$3 million a year, putting an extra burden on ratepayers and taxpayers who already subsidise around half the cost of fares.
Making it fair for all public transport users
Transport Compliance Manager Logan Christian hears a whole range of excuses, but there's no reason not to tag on with your AT HOP card or buy a ticket.
"This is not about revenue gathering, this is about making it fair for everyone who uses public transport. We want this to be a deterrent, we don't want to have to issue these infringements, we just want everyone to pay for the services they use. If you use an HOP card, it's cheap to travel on public transport, so there really is no excuse not to pay your fair share.
"Our Transport Officers move up and down the train checking tickets and HOP cards, but don't worry, they are friendly and they are there to help."
Transport Officers, who hold a warrant from the Commissioner of Police as enforcement officers, began working on the train network late last year, and are currently on the Western and Onehunga Lines. As Auckland Transport recruits more staff they will begin to work on other services as well.
Changes to the Land Transport Act provided powers to Transport Officers on Auckland's public transport network, and regulations that come into force on June 18, enable the issue of infringement notices.
More than 90 per cent of people who travel on public transport pay for it with a HOP card, if you don't have a HOP card you can buy one at any of AT's customer service centres or at one of the 150 HOP retailers around Auckland.