Fare evasion
Fare evasion, as distinct from fare avoidance
Fare avoidance
Fare avoidance, as distinct from fare evasion is the lawful use of knowledge to travel using tickets which cost significantly less than the 'normal' fare for a given journey, which is what one might be expected to use...

, is the act of travelling on public transport in disregard of the law
Law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior, wherever possible. It shapes politics, economics and society in numerous ways and serves as a social mediator of relations between people. Contract law regulates everything from buying a bus...

 and/or regulation
Regulation is administrative legislation that constitutes or constrains rights and allocates responsibilities. It can be distinguished from primary legislation on the one hand and judge-made law on the other...

, having deliberately not purchased the required ticket to travel (having had the chance to do so). It is a problem in many parts of the world, and revenue protection officers operate on many systems. Often ticket barriers, manned or automatic, are in place at stations etc, to ensure only those with valid tickets may access the transport.

One method of fare evasion is jumping over the turnstile
A turnstile, also called a baffle gate, is a form of gate which allows one person to pass at a time. It can also be made so as to enforce one-way traffic of people, and in addition, it can restrict passage only to people who insert a coin, a ticket, a pass, or similar...

s which mark the entryway into a subway
Rapid transit
A rapid transit, underground, subway, elevated railway, metro or metropolitan railway system is an electric passenger railway in an urban area with a high capacity and frequency, and grade separation from other traffic. Rapid transit systems are typically located either in underground tunnels or on...

 system; hence the term, "turnstile jumping". The most extreme method is train surfing
Train surfing
Train surfing is riding or climbing on the outside of a moving train. This activity is illegal in many countries and is prohibited by administrative law.-History:...


Another method is on the bus
A bus is a road vehicle designed to carry passengers. Buses can have a capacity as high as 300 passengers. The most common type of bus is the single-decker bus, with larger loads carried by double-decker buses and articulated buses, and smaller loads carried by midibuses and minibuses; coaches are...

, passengers would either bypass the bus driver
Bus driver
A bus driver, bus operator or omnibus driver is a person who drives buses professionally. Bus drivers typically drive their vehicles between bus stations or stops. They often drop off and pick up passengers on a predetermined route schedule. In British English a different term, coach drivers, is...

 or simply enter through the rear end of the bus. This is commonly found under the New York City Bus system which is causing its operators to lose millions of dollars a year.

Closed circuit television

Closed-circuit television
Closed-circuit television
Closed-circuit television is the use of video cameras to transmit a signal to a specific place, on a limited set of monitors....

 (CCTV) monitoring is used by many public transport companies to combat vandalism
Vandalism is the behaviour attributed originally to the Vandals, by the Romans, in respect of culture: ruthless destruction or spoiling of anything beautiful or venerable...

 and other public order crime
Public order crime
In criminology, public-order crime is defined by Siegel as "...crime which involves acts that interfere with the operations of society and the ability of people to function efficiently", i.e. it is behaviour that has been labelled criminal because it is contrary to shared norms, social values, and...

s. Using CCTV to apprehend fare-dodgers in the act requires full-time human monitoring of the cameras.
Sophisticated CCTV systems discriminate the scenes to detect and segregate suspicious behaviour from numerous screens and to enable automatic alerting. However, the attentiveness of the surveillance personnel may be threatened by false reliance on automatics.

Penalty fare

A penalty fare is a special fare charged at a higher than normal price because the purchaser did not comply with the normal ticket purchasing rules. Typically penalty fares are incurred by passengers failing to purchase a ticket before travelling or by purchasing an incorrect ticket which does not cover their whole journey.

Penalty fares are not fines and are used when no legal basis for prosecuting fare evasion exists, but prosecution is deemed too drastic and costly or is unlikely to result in conviction
In law, a conviction is the verdict that results when a court of law finds a defendant guilty of a crime.The opposite of a conviction is an acquittal . In Scotland and in the Netherlands, there can also be a verdict of "not proven", which counts as an acquittal...


Civil and criminal penalties

On some systems, fare evasion is considered a misdemeanor
A misdemeanor is a "lesser" criminal act in many common law legal systems. Misdemeanors are generally punished much less severely than felonies, but theoretically more so than administrative infractions and regulatory offences...

. In such cases, police officer
Police officer
A police officer is a warranted employee of a police force...

s and in some cases transit employees are authorized to issue tickets
Traffic ticket
A traffic ticket is a notice issued by a law enforcement official to a motorist or other road user, accusing violation of traffic laws. Traffic tickets generally come in two forms, citing a moving violation, such as exceeding the speed limit, or a non-moving violation, such as a parking violation,...

 which usually carry a heavy fine. Then, charged persons can then be tried in court
A court is a form of tribunal, often a governmental institution, with the authority to adjudicate legal disputes between parties and carry out the administration of justice in civil, criminal, and administrative matters in accordance with the rule of law...

. Repeat violators and severe cases, such as ticket forgery, are punished more severely and sometimes involve incarceration
Incarceration is the detention of a person in prison, typically as punishment for a crime .People are most commonly incarcerated upon suspicion or conviction of committing a crime, and different jurisdictions have differing laws governing the function of incarceration within a larger system of...

. Wealthy offenders face stiffer penalties than poorer offenders.

Ticket barriers

Turnstiles are used to obstruct invalid access. Since most fare-dodgers know how to pass a gate without paying, turnstiles may be replaced with ticket barriers in a less easily transversed form, or may be integrated more closely with an electronic ticket system.

Ticket barriers can also require the travellers to show their tickets upon exiting.

Ticket inspectors

With manual fare collection
Manual fare collection
Manual fare collection is the practice of collecting fares manually . "Fare collection" generally refers to the collection of fares in the transport industry in return for a ticket or passes to travel...

, fare evasion can become more difficult and stigmatizing for the fare-dodging traveller. Ticket inspectors may or may not be allowed to use force to prevent or apprehend fare-dodgers.

Uniformed guards

The presence of uniformed guards
Security guard
A security guard is a person who is paid to protect property, assets, or people. Security guards are usually privately and formally employed personnel...

 can act as a deterrent to fare evasion. Guards may or may not be allowed to use force to prevent or apprehend fare-dodgers.

Undercover public transit police officers

It is sometimes common for police officers dressed in plain clothes to patrol subway stations. As such, they have all the jurisdiction that normal officer have when policing the transit system.

Manual fare collection

Transit systems which use honor system
Honor system
An honor system or honesty system is a philosophical way of running a variety of endeavors based on trust, honor, and honesty. Something that operates under the rule of the "honor system" is usually something that does not have strictly enforced rules governing its principles...

s under normal circumstances may employ staff to collect fares at times and places where heavy use can be expected - for example, at stations serving a stadium after the conclusion of a major sporting event.

See also

  • Public transport security
    Public transport security
    Public transport security refers to measures taken by a mass transit system to keep its passengers and employees safe, to protect the carrier's equipment, and to make sure other violations do not occur...

  • Prohibited activities on public transport
    Prohibited activities on public transport
    On most public transport systems, there are at least some activities passengers are prohibited to engage in. Activities like these, which can be restricted in vehicles, stations, and other property of the agency, are prohibited for a variety of reasons...

  • British Transport Police
    British Transport Police
    The British Transport Police is a special police force that polices those railways and light-rail systems in Great Britain for which it has entered into an agreement to provide such services...

  • Planka.nu
    Planka.nu is a network of organizations in Sweden promoting tax-financed zero-fare public transport with chapters in Stockholm, Gothenburg, Skåne and Östergötland. Planka.nu was founded in 2001 by the Swedish Anarcho-syndicalist Youth Federation in response to the increasingly expensive ticket...

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