Bus drivers cannot refuse a person getting on the bus without a ticket. Bus drivers also do not view mykis when travellers get on buses.
The notification of a valid myki is a high pitched beep, an invalid myki is three low pitched beeps. A library card going past the reader will not register, and no sound is heard.
There are twelve bus ticket inspectors who work across Victoria. They go out in groups of three. Each group has two myki readers, but they are often faulty.
There are over 300 metropolitan buses across Melbourne, and over 100 rural Victorian buses. That means given four groups of ticket inspectors, assuming they work 8 hours a day and buses run for 16 hours a day, that there is a 1:200 chance of them being on a particular bus line, let alone on a particular bus.
The authorised met officers, if they do catch you, may issue a report of non-compliance. This report is then reviewed and a fine may be issued. The fine for not having a valid ticket is $180 for an adult, and $61 for a child (under 18).
The cost of a daily travel between Zone 1 & 2 is between $10-$12. Monthly, 10x2hr tickets, etc, can reduce the cost. A full fare myki travel for a month (30 days) is $170.
Assuming you catch the bus every weekday, and you get fined for travelling without a pass one 1:100 trips and you get fined $180 for the offense, then over the course of the year you will pay $360 for fines – assuming that the fine is not contested and you are charged.
If you do the same with a valid myki then you will be charged, over the equivalent period, $2,000. the saving in non-payment of travel costs but paying a fine is around $1,640 a year.
This is an issue for the government and the privatised organisations running these services. According to Metlink’s figures “Fare evasion costs Victorian taxpayers and fare-paying passengers an estimated $80 million a year.”
The cost of Metro advertising, as reported in the Age June 2011 is as follows. “In fact, details from the Victorian government’s agreement with Metro, previously held from the public but revealed by The Age in April, confirm that at least some of the marketing extravagance is contractual. One part of the agreement describes a budget of $10 million over eight years for ‘public relations’. That is in addition to $3.4 million for an ad campaign to launch the Metro brand name.”
The Victorian taxpayer subsidises public transport around $300 million per year.
But to the Victorian government – I have some swamp land in Florida that you may be interested in buying out of state government funds…