Increase in penalty fare cost on Metrolink confirmed

Transport for Greater Manchester have confirmed that the cost of travelling without a ticket on Manchester Metrolink will be £120 from 24th September as part of their ongoing efforts to tackle fare evasion. This is an increase of £20 and comes on the same day that the Bee Network of locally controlled buses starts operation.

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “Fare evasion is something we take very seriously, and it will continue to be a priority as we move to the integrated Bee Network. While most people who travel by tram do so legally by purchasing a ticket, there are some who continue to think the rules do not apply to them.

“Our message is clear: if you travel on Metrolink without paying, you’ll now face a higher penalty fare, and you could be prosecuted.

“For 30 years Metrolink received no public subsidy, and the money we raised from fare-paying passengers is reinvested into the network for everyone’s benefit. If people are fare dodging, we won’t be able to improve the service we offer. Metrolink will play a vital role in realising our vision of a truly integrated public transport system, the Bee Network, which works for everyone. I would urge everyone to consider the consequences of fare evasion.”

Whilst the headline is that penalty fares will go up to £120, this is in fact the maximum it will be. Anyone who pays within two weeks will only have to pay £60 (up from £50). Those who fail to pay by contactless will also increase from £45 to £60 at the same time.

As part of this new crackdown dozens of additional Customer Services Representatives (CSRs) are being employed to carry out ticket inspections and KeolisAmey Metrolink will also be deploying plain clothes officers to target those passengers who deliberately avoid buying a ticket.

TfGM’s Head of Metrolink, Danny Vaughan, said: “We’re increasing penalty fares to remind passengers to pay for their ticket before boarding a tram. It’s simple and it’s cheap so there is no excuse for free loading, and it won’t be tolerated.

“This year we have issued almost 55,000 penalty fares and brought just under 6,000 cases to court, with defendants receiving fines of up to £450. The easiest way to use Metrolink is the contactless system. Simply touch-on and touch-off for each journey and we’ll cap the amount you pay at the best price for each day or for a week if you are a regular user. You’ll always pay the lowest fare, and it’s far cheaper than being caught or ending up in court.”

The additional CSRs will not only be there to check tickets but to provide a reassurance on the network that it is safe to travel. There are also 3,800 CCTV cameras across the network monitored 24/7.

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