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Answered November 08 2019
Ticket fare evasion is when a person or group of people simply don’t pay for a ticket. Some people see it as a challenge, some people just don’t want to spend the money, and some people are stuck without the legal means to get into the bus or train.
This happens more often than most people think. New York City alone deals with about 208,000 subway riders and 384,000 bus riders who manage to avoid paying for a ticket. As can be imagined, cities don’t like this. It costs them a lot of money to do anything about it, to begin with, and many of the old methods don’t work well enough to justify the cost. Additionally, city planners are often using old and outdated systems to maintain their public transit systems.
What are some traditional and pioneering methods of preventing tick fare evasion and how can they be implemented?
Many subway, tram, train, and bus riders are familiar with some of the traditional methods of preventing fare evasion. These can include, but are not limited to:
When these transport systems first came to be, these methods worked fairly well. Most of them worked by distributing proofs of payment, which barricades and staff would assess to make sure everyone had paid for their ride. However, as the above example about New York City showed, these methods simply can’t cut it today. There are too many people taking public transportation and too little public trust to rely solely on tradition.
What are some of the new technological advances and devices that cities use today?
The first technical devices widely used to reduce ticket fare evasion were pre-paid cards and tickets. These sped up the time needed to enter the train or bus station. They also reduced the need for people, such as conductors.
However, people still faced problems when the cards would not work or paper tickets were lost. It was also not terribly difficult to bypass these systems. The next step in the ticketing process may be the use of smartphones to further track who has a ticket and who does not. Smartphones could connect into the transport system and automatically deduct the appropriate charge from the user’s bank account.
Other pioneering techniques include:
The possibilities are endless, but the future is just beginning. With awareness of different methods of preventing fare evasion, you will be well on your way to ensuring more accountability among passengers.
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