Melbourne Tram

PTV and Victoria Police ramp network presence over school holidays

The Victorian Government has implemented a collaboration between authorised officers (AOs) and police to patrol certain interchanges during the school holiday period.

The move has been implemented to catch fare evaders and improve safety around shopping centre transport interchanges during a busy period for the network. Public Transport Victoria (PTV) and Victoria Police delivered 25 joint operations in the first five months of 2019 in association with Metro Trains, Yarra Trams and V/Line.

“Combining the efforts and skills of our authorised officers with Victoria Police help ensure all passengers are safe and doing the right thing when they travel on public transport,” said Victorian Minister for Police and Emergency Services Lisa Neville.

PTV figures from an October 2018 fare compliance survey show general improvement over time, bar a couple of dips. Fare compliance rates across the Victorian metropolitan network stood at 96 per cent, close to the October 2015 and October 2016 records of 96.2 per cent and significantly higher than the five-year low of 88.1 per cent in May 2013.

Train commuters were found to be the most compliant overall (97.5 per cent), with bus commuters the least compliant (92 per cent).

2018 calendar year lost revenue related to unpaid fares has been estimated to amount to around $38.9 million, according to PTV. In addition, network AOs have recorded more than 235,000 ticketing and behavioural offences in the past 18 months.

“We want everyone travelling around Melbourne during the school holidays to get where they need to go safely, quickly and easily,” said Minister for Public Transport Melissa Horne.

“We’re making it easier for people to top up, touch on and travel with a valid ticket.”

The joint effort between the police and AOs will run until July 15.