Currently if you are caught on the West Midlands Metro without a ticket you are liable to a penalty fare of £10 but if proposals to increase it are agreed the cost could increase 10 times with a new amount of £100 currently under discussion.
According to the West Midlands Combined Authority the £10 penalty fare no longer acts as a deterrent to passengers to purchase tickets which is why the major increase in being proposed. Under these new proposals if the penalty fare is paid within 14 days it will be reduced to £50.
The new penalty fare would be part of a new buy before you board scheme, details of which have yet to be announced.
A spokesperson from the WMCA said: “Whilst the vast majority of our customers travel with a valid ticket, from time-to-time they tell us how unfair it is that some people try to avoid paying the correct fare. In response we are increasing the existing £10 penalty, which has been in place since 1999, and may no longer be a suitable deterrent. This increase will also bring the region more into line with fare-evasion penalties seen in other big urban areas such as Greater Manchester and London. At the same time, we are planning the introduction of ‘buy before you board’ ticketing which will make it even easier for customers to ensure they have paid the correct fare before starting their tram journey. Together, these measures will help to ensure fairness as we look to further expand and improve our services to customers.”
The West Midlands Combined Authority are seeking opinions from the public on this proposal and these should be made before Friday 19th November 2021. Details of how to provide feedback are available at https://westmidlandsmetro.com/information/proposed-amendment-to-penalty-fares/.