Auckland Transport have announced that from next week, enforcement on fare evaders will be cranked up a gear.

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 to $3 million a year, putting an extra burden on ratepayers and taxpayers who already subsidise around half the cost of fares.

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 percent of people who travel on public transport pay for it with an HOP card, if you don’t have an HOP card you can buy one at any of AT’s customer service centres or at one of the 150 HOP retailers around Auckland.

As a fare paying passenger, it’s never a great to think that some fellow passengers are not paying their way. It’s even worse if you see deliberate fare evasion. At the same time, I do think there needs to be a balance. Fare evasion exists in every PT system, even those that are fully gated. While $2 to $3 million might sound like a lot of money, AT currently collects about $50 million annually from rail fares, so it represents a loss of about 4-6%. If I had to guess, AT will spend a lot more money enforcing fare evasion than they end up collecting in fares and fines. Some of that will simply be due to the reality that some of those evading fares just won’t travel – I’m not suggesting that’s a bad thing, it’s just not money they would have otherwise collected with more stringent enforcement.

Even without the fines, fare evasion has been getting harder. For some time now, AT have been rolling out gates to more stations. So far they’ve been installed at Britomart, Newmarket, New Lynn, Henderson, Manukau, Manurewa and Otahuhu. They will also be going in at Papatoetoe, Middlemore, Parnell, Papakura and Glen Innes. AT say that once completed, 90 per cent of all train trips will pass through at least one of those stations as part of their journey.

It’s also worth noting that not all fare evasion is deliberate. Many suburban stations only have one ticketing machine per platform and if that breaks down, or perhaps runs out of paper, both of which do happen, there can be no way to quickly top up a HOP card or purchase a ticket. In my view, AT need to do a lot of work to make stations a lot more customer friendly places and that includes making it easier to use the system.

One thing I do think this announcement does is to highlight the need to get our penalties and levels of enforcement right across the transport system. At $150, that suggests evading a PT fare is a more serious offence than any parking parking infringement, including parking on footpaths or pedestrian crossings, more serious than using a phone while driving ($80) or than driving up to 20km/h over the speed limit ($120). It’s about as equally as serious an offence as a driver running a red light, driving on bald/damaged tyres or a range of other infringements. All of those behaviours can and have resulted in other road users being killed. We also know from the recent damning safety report that enforcement on many of these issues has been close to zero. If AT believe that $150 is the right level of penalty for fare evasion, then perhaps it highlights that we need to set the fines for those dangerous driving behaviours much higher.

I’ve certainly been noticing an increase in enforcement of late, presumably ramping up efforts in advance of this. Fare enforcement may cost more money than it saves but the one thing not yet mentioned that it does help with is to reduce anti-social behaviour.

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  1. Why did he make the idiotic statement that “this is not about revenue gathering”? Of course it is, as it should be! I have a suggestion. Last year in London I saw a teenage girl squeeze through a turnstile following another passenger, who could not have cared less. Why not seek the assistance of genuine fare-paying passengers, so that these freeloaders are discouraged?

    1. How do you expect other passengers to ‘assist’? Make a citizen’s arrest?! Until now even the staff on the trains had no way of approaching the issue other than asking a fare evader to leave the train…which I have witnessed being ignored. There is only so long a train can stop at a station before it will cause delays. On more than one occasion I have seen the evader asked to leave and they know they can ignore staff so they just sit there. Issuing fines may not be the perfect solution but it’s a step in the right direction in terms of providing some kind of consequence for fare evasion.

      1. While I agree that being able to issue fines is a step in the right direction, miscreants will still ignore the transport officers.

        They will simply refuse to provide ID or leave and the TO won’t be able to physically remove them. All they will be able to do is ask for police assistance (at some random station down the line), knowing full well that the miscreant will leave the train in a few stops anyway, well before the police can attend.

        Even if the TO was able to physically remove a person, they’d be very unlikely to do so as that would endanger themselves and anybody on the platform.

        1. Here are the powers and responsibilities of the Victorian(Au) Public Transport Inspectors. This is what we need in Auckland IMO.

          “Public transport inspectors

          Authorised officers make sure that passengers have valid tickets and are not committing any offences.

          If they think you have committed or intend to commit a public transport offence, they can:

          give you an on-the-spot fine (you pay the officer by EFTPOS or credit card)
          give you an infringement notice
          charge and arrest you.

          Authorised officers cannot search a person’s bags or any of their belongings.

          Authorised officers may be in uniform or plain clothes. They must display their badge and show you their identity card if you ask to see it.
          Name and address

          Authorised officers can only ask for your name and address if they believe ‘on reasonable grounds’ that you have committed or are about to commit an offence related to your use of public transport. This may include travelling without a valid ticket. The officer must tell you why they believe this, so that you understand what the offence is.

          If you refuse to give your name and address, or give false information, you may be charged with an offence and can be arrested.

          Authorised officers can ask you to prove that your name and address is correct if they believe on reasonable grounds that the details are false. They will often check, or ask to call a relative.
          Powers of detention and arrest

          Authorised officers can only detain or arrest you without warrant if they believe on ‘reasonable grounds’ that it is necessary, for example, to make sure you go to court. They must use no more force than is reasonable to detain you. What is reasonable depends on the circumstances.

          They must hand you over to the police as soon as possible.
          If you are fined

          If you get a fine and you disagree that you committed the offence, get legal advice before paying the fine. You can choose to have the case heard by the Children’s Court if you were under 18 when the offence happened.
          Code of conduct

          Under the code of conduct for authorised officers, they must:

          provide good customer service to all public transport customers
          assist the travelling public with all aspects of public transport services which includes helping to ensure a safe network
          act as a deterrent to vandalism, fare evasion and anti-social behaviour
          report behavioural and ticketing offences against the Transport Act 1983 and Regulations
          maintain the highest degree of integrity and professionalism at all times.

          If you think you have been treated unfairly by an authorised officer, you can contact the relevant transport operator to make a complaint. If you are not satisfied with the outcome, contact the Public Transport Ombudsman.”

  2. More topup machines needed, as you say often only one per platform and frequently broken down. Not everyone can afford to line their HOP cards with a big balance or ensure their bank is lined with a balance for auto topups. Also planning an online topup before 10pm the previous day with risk of it not appearing is not an option for most.

    Unfortunately many transport officers are not reasonable forcing you to get off even though you legitimately had no options to pay. A highly embarrassing, offputting and delaying experience to say the least which has happened to me once or twice. Likely to be made worse with these changes.

    Adding more topup machines should have been done first to make this work properly imho.

    1. Agreed, those machines are so slow to use as well. Could have even made jobs for ticket sales on the platforms that would have been self funding.

      And really why could the ticket inspectors not sell tickets too?

  3. Where’s the enforcement for things that impact safety and vulnerable road users? Illegal parking, use of buslanes and cyclelanes, not slowing before a pedestrian crossing, requiring a pedestrian to wait in the middle of the road, passing behind a pedestrian on a crossing before they have cleared the road, etc.

    Despite the Road Safety Business Improvement Review, the first ramped up enforcement news we get is nothing to do with safety, but to do with fare evasion – we can just twiddle our thumbs while we wait for safety, yes?

    1. In respect of Police their budget was cut so badly over the last 9 years that their road safety ability almost ceased to exist. Include in that red light camera’s although I note since the installation of a heap of new ones, AT have failed to even get them working!

      And speaking of AT, the use of fixed cameras for bus lanes seems a no brainer.

      And being a pedestrian myself a lot of the time I really despair at having to walk on the road because cars are parked on footpaths or across driveways. But I suppose there are only so many parking wardens or whatever they are called that are available!

      1. The fines would easily fund the parking warden jobs. It’s an epidemic in many places. I noticed it along Great North Rd in Grey Lynn last week, too. Businesses just treating the footpath as their personal carpark.

        1. Yes, and I’d wondered if these illegal parkers actually thought they were doing Goddess Flo’ a favour. They destabilise the kerbstones, rip up the verges, endanger the pedestrians, take the play space away from kids, and reduce the stormwater-soaking ability of the verges. From that article, it appears the Ratepayers’ Alliance are indeed under that cars-first illusion that they are helping: “Here a community have done the right thing by parking on the kerb to allow unimpeded access and reduce the hazard.”

          Again, AT, you need to enforce AND run an education campaign.

      2. If funding the AT wardens is an issue, a quick tootle around Ellerslie in the PM will net heaps of opportunities to issue infringement notices for a whole raft of things. I’d be amazed if it didn’t cover the cost of paying a weeks worth of overtime in one night.

        1. AT should also try Penrose in the morning. Anywhere there is a car yard, the vehicle transporter drivers treat broken yellow lines as if they are priority parking for vehicle transporters.

          Easy targets, if AT are interested…

        2. Another one is trucks who do actually have a parking space beside the shop they’re delivering to, but because they don’t want to move the trolley of goods in two moves – down to the road and then up to the footpath, they park at an angle to the footpath. This means that they poke right through the cyclelane and into the traffic lane.

          Trucks delivering to liquor stores are particularly bad at this one.

  4. “…It’s also worth noting that not all fare evasion is deliberate…”

    Recently I wandered to my station for the journey home deep in a fugue of a work daze. Ten minutes into the train journey I realised I genuinely could not recall if I had swiped my HOP card or not. Upon getting home attempting to swipe off it was clear I had freeloaded my commute.

    To my mind, expecting customers to swipe on at a single terminal at the start of the platform is always going to be the cause of some level of fare evasion through daydreaming, forgetfulness or absent mindedness.

    Either fit HOP swipe stations at every train door or give Transport Officers the ability to swipe your card for you for a penalty fare (say $10) if you have a HOP card and they are a reasonable cause to think you’ve made a genuine mistake.

    1. I’m sure a $150 fine will quickly cure any problems you may have tagging on due to “daydreaming, forgetfulness or absent mindedness”.

      1. That’s not nice. I’ve been a diligent on/off tagger since 2012 when the cards were issued, but on one occasion I walked onto Avondale’s platform and forgot to tag on. Reason: I had never boarded there before and the terminal was located off to the side of the platform with its face facing the tracks (side on to me as I walked toward it). If this terminal had been in the centre of the platform, confronting me, I would not have missed it. Bad location AT.

        There’s also the fact that you swipe after stepping onto a bus, but must remember to swipe before getting on the train. I think I suffered a temporary lapse where my mind thought I was about to board a bus.

        Anyway, I think the main concern is those individuals (aka thieves) who habitually don’t tag on. I’ve seen three sets of people thrown off trains for this, all on the western line. Security presence was heavy, evidently because the offenders had a long history and were recognised after boarding, perhaps after being put off an earlier train.

    2. They can view your history, so they should be able to show some lenience if it is clear you tag on and off every day and just forgot today.

    3. I agree – several times I’ve found myself sitting on a train, unsure as to whether I actually tagged on. Yet I’d be horrified if I was accused of fare evasion, and more so if I got a $150 fine for my inattentiveness. It’s times like these that I’m genuinely grateful for gated stations!

  5. Very unfortunately this law is for all practical purposes, unenforceable.

    Why, because if you refuse to comply there is NO teeth to this legislation. It’s an empty CCTV camera. No one but no one can make you do anything.

    Sure there is penalties such as fines but is no power of detainment, arrest or use of reasonable force for trespassers for example, not for the ticket inspectors or police.

    And I promise you, the people who don’t really care about paying their way ever, will soon realise this and exploit it.

    And even if they have supplied their details, there is no need to provide proof there accurate.

    This fluffy legislation is about appearances, not reality.

  6. Even AT say in their Transport Officer communications that their uniforms are “not to look like police officers and to convey a friendly image”. Hence why they don’t look serious.

  7. I’m waiting for a crackdown on vandalism. The amount of tagging on our trains and stations is appalling.
    Why have all the CCTV if you’re not going to apprehend and prosecute offenders?

    1. “…I’m waiting for a crackdown on vandalism….” You’ll be waiting a long time. the police don’t take whole areas of crime seriously.

      They generally can’t be bothered properly investigating property crime.

      1. Which is a change from what I was told at a Neighbourhood Watch meeting 16 years ago or so. Then the policeman said that they take graffiti very seriously, so do call 111, and that they use the helicopter to follow offenders.

        I remember thinking at the time that this was over-the-top, with too much emphasis on private property rights, and resulting in too much helicopter noise.

        Some balance there required, I think. Much more focus on safety and some more on vandalism.

    2. Cracking down on fare evasion will go a long way towards to cracking down on vandalism and anti-social behaviour. If it stops fare evaders travelling on trains, that will be an excellent outcome and money well spent. The idea that these people are valuable customers and need to pandered to because they might occasionally pay the fare is laughable, the tiny amount of money lost is vastly outweighed by the trouble and damage they often cause.

  8. PT fare evasion can go one of two ways:

    We were getting the last train back from Utrecht to Amsterdam and the machine would not accept my (overseas) credit card to top up our ovchipkaarts, had no cash and there was no ATM that we could find.We didn’t feel like sleeping in the (then under heavy construction) train station, so we risked the fine. The conductor came through and we explained, offered to pay however possible etc. but he was polite and listened and we did not receive a fine.

    In Berlin we purchased full day tickets in advance for each of the 3 or 4 days we were there. First ride of the first day we get on a crowded tram at the back door and push our way to the middle to get to the ticket validator machine. We validate and sit down. A few seconds later a german man is shouting at us, the woman sitting next to us is shouting at him (in our defense, we gathered) and then we’re pulled off the tram – the ticket inspector claims we only validated our tickets after he shouted ‘ticket inspection’ (in german), and as such we were cheating the system – planning to only validate the tickets if someone was going to be looking. No amount of reasoning, showing him proof of purchase, the other tickets we had for the subsequent days and the train ticket we had to leave the city, nothing mattered. We asked how to contest and he said to go to their office, so we spent half the day getting there and trying to sort it out – same evidence, same defiance of logic. Rules are rules and all we could do was wait for the fines and then contest them. We eventually got them, responded with again the same evidence and waited. A month after that we got a reminder saying that we were being sent to collections, but we moved after that, so good luck to them, and will never visit Berlin again.

    I have a very strong dislike of Berlin as a result and it makes me wary of public transport in foreign countries (preferring to walk wherever possible) because it’s difficult to argue and not to make mistakes. These things do matter.

    1. I think in Europe it is genuine revenue gathering. In Italy we got fined for not reserving a seat with our ticket. Yet we bought the ticket from a lady at a kiosk. You think she should have told us. I reckon the money went straight into the ticket inspectors pocket – I stopped protesting after I saw he had a gun!

      1. If he had a gun it was not a ticket inspector, just another dishonest policeman looking for lunch money

    2. That’s a bad story. Here, we have two cities rolled into one.

      The goldcard holders from out of town without an AT HOP card get waved on by the driver, then the inspector (yes I’ve actually seen an inspector on the bus) gives them lots of information in a friendly way, explains that if they’re not staying long it might not be worth getting a hop card, and doesn’t even charge them a fare.

      The ESOL teenagers whose HOP card doesn’t work, probably because of the 72 hour delay thingy just get refused entry, until this pakeha middle aged woman gets up and offers to pay their fare. Then they get waved on.

  9. Well overdue! Fact is fare evaders are not only depriving the system of revenue (and making the journey less pleasant for other users -1 less seat etc) they are far more likely to the anti-social type right away due to their disregard for the law. AT spends millions on vandalism etc.
    The TOs are for public safety also so you can’t just say they aren’t paying their way.
    As for comparing to parking, a single parking warden can issue hundreds of tickets a day. Once people realise that TOs are doing this they aren’t likely to be issuing that many.

    1. I’d suggest if there were a $150 fine for parking on the footpath parking wardens wouldn’t be issuing too many after a period of time either.

  10. I think with your comparison to other fines I don’t think the evasion fine is too high but the other fines are way too low. I don’t think the speeding fines have increased since I got my first ticket 20 years ago. The using phone while driving fine is a joke.

  11. I think there are maybe four things to say about Fare Evasion.

    Firstly, on the matter of enforcement of traffic offences and the fines gathered… New Zealanders are /extremely/ entitled when it comes to all aspects of driving and one manifestation of this is that any attempt to enforce anything is seen as revenue gathering. That’s code for “why are you stealing our money?” I remember once a friend of mine was explaining a ticket or something she’d got to which I said, “There’s a reason these rules exist”. Now my friend was probably hoodwinked by ambiguous road markings but in general the idea that there as reasons doesn’t come into it.

    Secondly, on the matter of the rationale… there’s an idea in economics that if the costs of policing a system exceed the advantages gained from doing so it’s actually irrational to police… a point possibly alluded to in the post. I think we’re in this territory. I believe GA has pointed out before that gating Papatoetoe is coming at the cost of the northern entrance to the (island) platform (which makes me worried for Papakura, a far more awkwardly shaped and much bigger station). We are quite literally sacrificing service elements in order to better police fare evasion. I’m not sure that’s what we should be doing.

    Thirdly, on the matter of accidental fare evasion… some years back a (different) friend of mine would often see me at the train station and then we’d journey into town together. On one memorable occasion he saw me before he tagged on and then only realised he’d done this as we were pulling away from Meadowbank (possibly Orakei) which is much much later. On several occasions I have done pretty much the same thing, even going as far as to jump off the train and tag on… but I’ve often had to do this twice due to actually having tagged on. Station gating is a great peace of mind provider because you can’t get to the train without having tagged on. But in those cases where the peace of mind isn’t provided, I imagine being proactive is important. If you raise the issue with the Transport Officer first, it looks and feels different. And regardless people are usually the weakest link in any security network.

    tl;dr — probably don’t be too worried about getting pinged

    Finally, on the matter of the customer friendliness of stations… I have little hope here. As I’ve just mentioned, service quality seems less important than station gating and we all know just how awful AT Is at every aspect of customer communication. I’d like to say that they’ll make sure the people checking paper tickets at gated stations will be trained up to know about the wider PT network because, if so, their presence means more stations will have /useful/ customer facing staff. However, I doubt it… look at how few (probably to their own cost) train managers know the network well. This probably won’t even result in more toilets… and if it does it’ll probably be like at Newmarket where they took a toilet away from passengers and gave it to staff instead of putting in another.

    I suspect that if the fare recovery percentage was changed, some of these issues would possibly not develop.

  12. Where is the empathy for those for whom any transport is expensive? This is a public service, after all, and it was pointed out only yesterday how expensive Auckland’s PT fares are.

    1. Yes, and people in extreme poverty in Auckland manage much more from day-to-day. They don’t have HOP cards because that’s an outlay of $10 each time you lose one, and so they are exposed to the extreme cash fares. Fare evasion is hardly surprising.

      1. And a lot of people evade fares because they can.
        They believe they’re entitled to use PT for free.
        Too bad for all the law abiding citizens who are subsidising them.

        1. I suppose I see all the drivers who are provided with subsidised roads and subsidised energy and who are not paying to mitigate their pollution and emissions, and who despite all this subsidy, choose to drive dangerously, such as with cell phones, as you’ve pointed out, and I think, hmmmm…. who are the self-entitled ones? And isn’t this just a classic case of kicking the ones who are already down?

        2. Because nobody has ever driven on the road without a registration or WoF (or even further in a stolen car) :/
          Guess we should just let them do it since it’s the same thing as fare evading effectively.

      2. Ultimately the success of a public transit system will depend on how it’s embraced by the middle class. When you make it unpleasant for the middle class, they’ll shun it, and they’ll vote for people who won’t fund it.

      1. Not safely, Zippo. You seen our pedestrian amenity, particularly in the poorer parts of town? What an inappropriate thing to say regarding a city with such a low density.

  13. There is philosophical point here. Should the punishment fit the crime? Or do we try to make the punishment so incredibly high to try and force social compliance. Do we want to live in a society where people genuinely fear owning up to mistakes (even if deliberate at the time)? Remember too, a $150 fine is a minor annoyance to a well off person but too not a person without a job or supporting dependents.

    1. We should do what they do in Finland, have fines set to be proportional to income so we can appropriately fine the wealthy without beggaring the poor.

      1. And the way it works here is the same as the USA where they hit the poor quicker than they hit the rich .

  14. Only 11% of AT’s funding comes from fares. Is it time to adopt free fares, as fare collection costs a lot, creates hassle, slows down travel and encourages travellers to use forms of transport which cost the community more? The net cost would be a lot less than 11% of AT’s budget and quite likely a negative percentage.

    1. Farebox recovery was 45.9% at the end of 2017, reducing that to zero as you suggest, is just not going to happen for budgetary and political reasons. Hopefully there will be some scope to scale back the previous government’s 50% recovery policy which might allow some movement on fare levels, possibly daily or weekly caps.

    2. I’m inclined to agree. And what is the cost of collecting the fares? So much waste. Imagine if your bus service didn’t have to shag around collecting fares. If you then coupled this with congestion charging for private motor cars, the bulk of users could not whinge they were out of pocket.

  15. Sometime if I run for a train I could forget to tag. Also I have habbit of tagging on only when train arrives, which I could only realise I forgot to tag when the train door closed. In either case I could not tag back.

    I would suggest to have a tag machine inside the train as well, so I can still correct my forgetness.

    1. Yes hope they will have lot of discretion over this, as I’ve genuinely not tagged it seems a few times, seems to be when in a hurry & going from bus to train mode – different set of thinking. More tagged posts actually at exit points would help as others have mentioned.

  16. Yes agree most of other comments around other traffic related fines not balanced with this.

    Parking on paths & cycle lanes should be around $250, or $500 if you an Audi driver ;).

    I suspect this AT fare ticket one should be lower though around $80. The main thing is having enough uniformed staff to create a safer (or just safer feeling) environment.

  17. Regarding footpat obstructions; I have had some success by taking vehicle particulars and ringing auckland Transport and providing said details. The problem seems to stop afterwards. I have been doing this for rubbish containers as well but no success with this and now there are up to 3 containers out n collections day. While some of the neighbours put there containers on the grass the collector is returning them to the footpath. Very frustrating. Especially for those with pushchairs and mobility scooters.

  18. $150 is ridiculously expensive for not paying a train fare … I know fare evasion is difficult to calculate, so I’m skeptical of the 4-6% figure, but is it even worth enforcement? Will the ‘culprits’ actually pay the fine? I think not …

    I would much rather a Transport Officer be at each station monitoring anti-social or threatening behaviour. The security guards don’t really do much, and it seems like such a labour intensive system we currently have.

    Gating stations works in the busiest locations, but as Papatoetoe has shown, it has severed it’s walkable catchment by closing the northern crossing entrances.

    Knowing that fares are comparatively expensive doesn’t really help, neither the $10 HOP card price. Plus now knowing that only 11% of AT income is from fare revenue … Not sure about all of it to be honest.

    1. A $150 fine for fare evasion is not “ridiculously expensive” at all. In NSW, the fine is $200 (max $550), in Germany fare dodging is a criminal offense.

      1. your opinion – I have mine –
        Maybe i should have said “IMO a $150 fine is ridiculously expensive” for not paying a train fare …
        Punishment should fit the crime … IMO that doesn’t.

    2. I guess it is set at the level to be a deterrent. I couldn’t give a toss if it is expensive for those who are deliberately offending but there will need to be some discretion and judgement for those who make the occasional mistake.

      1. It has to be high enough to prevent ‘regular’ people from routinely evading fares as a matter of course. It’s probably not going to do much different for the tiny core of problem users who aren’t going to pay a ticket in any case.

        If this is combined with some leniency for honest mistakes (like if you can produce a hop card that shows you usually tag on and off properly) I think it is ok.

        1. How can they tell? What if you’re a heavy user who only tags on and off every second boarding and have been doing that for years?

        2. They should be able to tell if you have previously been warned without too much trouble. If you have already been warned and make the ‘mistake’ again then the fine should apply.

  19. New Lynn’s gating is a joke, the Hetana St exit has turnstiles which can easily be leapt over (I watched a group do just that during the weekend), and it has two glass barriers next to the stairs which are only about 5ft high. I don’t know how they’re going to successfully gate stations like Middlemore and Glen Innes, the stations will need to be staffed if they’re to stop anyone

  20. Question… does this mean that these transport officer are given power to use force when necessary to alight an evader from the train if they chose to play hard ball?

    1. No, that would be far too difficult. AT need to get real or they are eventually going to face “white flight” from the train system, and a corresponding decrease in political support for PT infrastructure improvements.

      1. It shouldn’t be difficult, the authority to remove or detain evaders, vandals and people engaging in anti-social behaviour is standard around the world. Why NZ would be any different is hard to understand but probably relates to the quaint, out of touch attitudes of a certain sector of society.

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