$1000 fines for poor people on Trains – the middle classes gentrify public transport

By   /   September 29, 2015  /   27 Comments

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With the establishment of $1000 fines for fare dodgers on Auckland’s crap train and bus network, the middle classes have finally gentrified the public transport system.

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Simon Bridges announces class warfare on the trains

With the establishment of $1000 fines for fare dodgers on Auckland’s crap train and bus network, the middle classes have finally gentrified the public transport system.

Fare dodgers could face penalties of up to $1000
Public transport fare evaders could be fined up to $1000 for disobeying orders to get off trains, buses or ferries.

Transport Minister Simon Bridges says legislation will also be changed next year to empower warranted council enforcement officers to issue more immediate infringement fines of $150 a time.

With the rise of gold card use and the middle classes wanting to get from their villas to the CBD, they haven’t enjoyed the smelly common folk sitting next to them. Because only 4 entry points are actually gated many poor people use the trains for free. This is no good for a private company that needs to make profits and they’ve clearly leaned on the powers that be to give their officers the power of Police Officers to take your name , address and phone number and can now hit up up with $150, $500 and $1000 fines.

There are 133 staff at Auckland Transport who are currently paid OVER $100 000 per year and 48 staff who are paid over $150 000 per year. This is the same Auckland Transport who are building a mass surveillance system through their camera network. These seem to be the last people who should be given more power.

This is draconian measures aimed at the poor and the young for the benefit of the bloody middle classes. The gentrification  of Public Transport will keep the Mountain Biking 4×4 hybrid driving clique happy, it is going to be terrifying for the teenagers caught up in it.

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27 Comments

  1. Steve W says:

    Not all the fares dodgers are poor. Far from it.

    I’d rather see the trains be a lot cheaper.

    Also, unfortunately, some of the fares dodgers actually are poor, brown and very oblivious. They feed all the most negative stereotypes and keep them alive. Like the two Maori guys sweating constantly and loudly in the Authenticity line…. and art Papatoetoe shooting out the window for all the “fucking ragheads to get out of our country”.

    Get them off the train. That isn’t class war. It’s the war to keep public space civil.

    • fatty says:

      All fines are an act of class warfare.
      Compare a $50 fine for me and rich person.
      If we feel the need to punish people for unsavory behaviour then it should never be done with economic penalties. All punishment should be done by taking time away from people.
      We can do that via community work at minimum wage. A $60 parking ticket would change to 4 hours of community work…but that would take away class privilege which is the opposite of fines, so you will probably vote this down

      • Tangata Whenua says:

        I would expect Maoris to be exempted from the fines, and have 3 months to ‘sort it out’, just like South Auckland police did with Maoris with no driver licenses?

        And just when I hear you say reverse racism, these trains are going over and under Maori land.

        • fatty says:

          Well said Tangata Whenua…(I’d never use the term reverse racism – racism is about power not actions, so I don’t think reverse racism is possible).

  2. Just Me says:

    I don’t even have a spare $1000 as that would be almost 2 weeks pay for me.I depend upon public transport to get from home to Hades(where I work) and back home again after a day at Hades..
    This fining people for fare dodging sounds like a revenue making racket to me.Perhaps it’s a way of raising more funds for the bloody central rail link.
    Perhaps it’s a way as well of penalising those who use public transport and at times forget to pay their fare as they are rushing for the bus, train or even ferry.
    At the end of the day, as they say, it’s all $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$….
    And that is what matters for a money hungry government and now a very much money-hungry Auckland Council. Perhaps Len Brown needs more money for his hotel bills and other comforts of the job.

  3. XRAY says:

    You are miles off on this one.

    Firstly the poor use trains and they pay fares. Secondly being poor does not make you dishonest by virtue of being poor, in fact you are likely to be more honest .

    There are ratepayers who are struggling with rising rates caused by our property bubble who should not be subsidising fare evasion ever and neither should anyone.

    Mike Lee is 100% correct, fare evasion is far, far worse than AT acknowledge because to do so would admit their half arsed honesty system is a failure. How does 80% fare evasion on a train sound because I know that figure to be dead accurate on a service and anywhere below that for other services.

    Fare evaders wear suits and get on and off at Remuera, Orakei and Meadowbank to name but a few and go anywhere on the network and because it’s an honesty system and there aren’t gates, they don’t pay.

    Fare evaders also go to THE most exclusive schools in Auckland!

    But for the scum that evade fares and then treat the trains like their personal shit boxes, who commit crime and who destroy the property they ride in for free, no one cares about kicking them off permanently and no sane person ever would.

    This is not a bad thing. Why should the poor pay their hard earned cash for a fare and watch some losers rip the system off?

  4. Peter Archer says:

    Reminds me of the opening scene from the movie “Gandhi”, where he is in a “first class” (ie whites only) carriage on a train in South Africa, and, even though he had bought a ticket, he was, literally, THROWN off the train! And, we all know where that one led to! The British were eventually THROWN out of India!

    Maybe it is time that the FAT CATS on ridiculous salaries at Auckland Transport were also THROWN out of their cosy little rackets, and their Empire taken over by the common people!

    http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi1044512793/

  5. Korakys says:

    Who says its poor people that don’t pay fares? I know that at least in shop-lifting cases it’s more likely to be middle-class and rich people than poor. I don’t see transport as being vastly different.

    Sources:
    http://www.shopliftingprevention.org/what-we-do/learning-resource-center/psychological-studies/

    http://business.time.com/2011/07/06/why-the-rich-shoplift-more-than-the-poor/

  6. ICD says:

    “Because only 4 entry points are actually gated many poor people use the trains for free” – so (a) being “poor” means it’s OK and (b) you know they’re poor because…? Oh, got it, plenty of them in your leafy suburb, so you do know. Right.

    But hey, why stop there? How about free petrol? Free cinema? Hey, why not free food and accommodation while we’re at it.

    • fatty says:

      “But hey, why stop there? How about free petrol? Free cinema? Hey, why not free food and accommodation while we’re at it.”

      That sounds good to me.
      We can promote cycling which is really free petrol. Most people download movies these days, so there’s your free cinema.
      And free food and accommodation should be the norm in an ethical & empathetic society.

    • Winnie says:

      Why not free food for poor kids to help them learn? Better than $10 million on a Wellington panda cage, double-seat business class trip by Gerry to China to deliver a letter and a million a year leasing the Panda.

      Mind you if the current govt are more interested in low-wage, serfdom for workers, education is a low-priority. Perfect scenario for charter schools – super-funded, no accountability.

      1% owning 99% of wealth. Sorted.

  7. Himsee says:

    Fines on public transport is not class warfare, you ninny!

    NZ needs a serious culture change with respect to PT. Fares not paid, crappier service, less people use it, less revenue, crappier service, less patronage. The opposite is true when the network is well funded.

  8. Jollo says:

    Insinuating it’s poor people who break the law is quite frankly insulting, patronizing and stereotyping to the worst degree.

    There are however large groups of teen crooks who use it as a crime corridor to intimidate and turn what should be a safe commute for the ‘working poor’ into something that is actually terrifying.

  9. elle says:

    Maybe a few consession cards for young people . Elderly get gold cards ,I used mine once in Auckland the train was full of elderly Asians , no roughs ,one suited bloke got on at Homai and was really nasty to an old Chinese man ,he was calling him names and telling the Chinese to P off and get back where they came from,thats the type who should be fined.The old man was bewildered he didn’t speak English,A lady who was with him told the man she would call the police to meet the train at next station. I don’t know if the Chinese people should get the gold card if they havnt paid much into the country,and I don’t think they should crowd out the trains , but they didn’t make the rules, they looked quite wealthy ,but then so did my friend , she too could afford to pay fares,but life is what it is ,if the stations don’t employ people to monitor the gates they cant expect everyone to pay..
    A neighbour of my friend boasted hes never paid the honesty fare, andhe travels all over the place,hes a lawer!!!!!! its not only the poor who don’t pay, but they are the ones targeted with fines.

  10. Kerry says:

    Doesn’t matter if your poor or rich, you know the risks. Dodge the fair you pay the price.

  11. Jassey Anderson says:

    I wonder if the author travels on the Auckland train network.

    I am a full time University student who works part-time. All students receive concessions on their AT hop cards, so I always ensure that I pay for my journey.

    However, fare evaders do all they can to avoid paying and have been known to threaten violence against train staff and passengers. It is the evaders that delay the trains, thus hindering members of the working class and students from reaching their destinations on time.

    Unless the policy is enforced and fines administered, I suspect this policy will not have much of an effect.

    Thankfully the Maori Wardens do a great job at maintaining the peace.

  12. saveNZ says:

    +100 – perhaps they should get rid of the over paid ‘management team’ and actually put some money into improving the system and lowering fares.

    There are 133 staff at Auckland Transport who are currently paid OVER $100 000 per year and 48 staff who are paid over $150 000 per year. This is the same Auckland Transport who are building a mass surveillance system through their camera network. These seem to be the last people who should be given more power.

  13. saveNZ says:

    In addition it is another ‘corporate welfare’ transfer, because actually the overstretched courts and tax payers will be paying for it when all these cases are disputed or unpaid and people sent after them to enforce it.

  14. Stephen says:

    Dear simple left wingers, here is a simple concept for you to understand and that is simply if you don’t want to pay a fine, then pay the fare. See simple, it shouldn’t be to hard for you to understand.

    Most probably though that is not your real issue, the real issue for you is that you want public transport to be free, that is somebody else paying your fare so you can continue to ride off the back of society.

  15. andrewo says:

    Martyn, looks like you got reamed on your own thread.

    Regardless of our personal political beliefs – we cannot support criminals.

  16. arbeitslos says:

    Although I am a leftie and believe that public transport should be cheaper, those who deliberately dodge fare paying are losing the company millions which could be used to pay for better and cheaper services for everyone. I agree though that the fines are far too high for the occasional fare dodger. If someone dodges fares repeatedly, then it should be a punishable/finable offence. Surely there just need to be better systems in place to prevent fare dodging.

  17. Mike in Auckland says:

    I have used the public transport in many cities, including London, Paris, Frankfurt, Berlin, Rome, Singapore and also Mumbai, not naming all.

    Of course you need controls, and correct ticketing, no matter whether it is the Council or a private enterprise running the show. I guess Auckland is still in the early learning phases, as coming back to the so much boasted about Britomart station ten or so years ago, was a huge disappointment to me, having lived overseas for a fair while.

    Wherever you go, there are barriers, scanning and other systems, and those not paying are prosecuted. The fines though seem rather exorbitant, if that what is written above is true.

  18. The Daily Blog Martyn says:

    Many here have bristled at their sense of privilege being questioned. If you honestly think a $1000 fine is an appropriate response to people getting a free bloody train ride, you need to examine your own prejudices.

    The poor doge fares, teens doge fares – there’s nothing outrageous about that, and I’ve certainly witnessed it many times catching the train. The pretensions of the middle classes to be able to ride without the smelly folk sitting near them as they transition to public transport is is what is driving this and a $1000 fine is for the benefit of Auckland Transport who already have massive spending on their executives and who are transforming their cameras into a mass surveillance tool.

    This is an outrageous over reach and such fines penalise the poor. It is made even more unjust when you consider that pensioners get to ride for free while the young and the poor are treated by such draconian penalties.

    • Kevin says:

      “Many here have bristled at their sense of privilege being questioned. If you honestly think a $1000 fine is an appropriate response to people getting a free bloody train ride, you need to examine your own prejudices.”

      Yes, it is excessive, no question.

      “The poor doge fares, teens doge fares – there’s nothing outrageous about that, and I’ve certainly witnessed it many times catching the train.”

      No, dishonest people dodge fares – and it doesn’t matter whether they are rich or poor.

      “The pretensions of the middle classes to be able to ride without the smelly folk sitting near them as they transition to public transport is is what is driving this and a $1000 fine is for the benefit of Auckland.”

      Possibly but you’re going to need more than just excessive fines to prove it.

    • ICD says:

      It’s got nothing to do with privilege. As others have said already Martyn, it’s not about poor or smelly folk. It’s about dishonest bludgers who literally take a free ride on those that pay. Not really that difficult a concept, is it? Those that don’t pay, will increase the cost for those that do. You could end up in a position where it’s the few that pay for the many…

    • Jassey Anderson says:

      I do not think a large student loan or low wage work is a source of privilege.

      Ticket inspectors regularly operate on the rail network. From my experience as a passenger, everyone is asked for a valid ticket or tagged on AT hop card. Those who have not paid are asked to exit the train and told to purchase a ticket.

      This is not case of targeting the less off. The goal is to deter fare evaders, rich or poor. Some will comply and some will not. Those who do not comply happen to be the trouble makers.

      It is true that a $1000 fine is disproportionate to the offense. But this is about finding the appropriate solution that will ensure children, teenagers, the elderly, parents with babies, students and ordinary workers are able to reach their destination in one peace. I still favour a full time Maori Warden presence on rail network.
      However, none of this would be a concern if fare evaders would not engage in threatening behavior.

      I do agree the gold card scheme is unfair. Based on research conducted by Susan St John, married superannuitant will receive a net income of $14,677. That is more than enough to purchase a ticket.


 
Authorised by Martyn Bradbury, The Editor, TheDailyBlog,