Sunday, October 29, 2006


I have a pretty good, albeit subjective, knowledge of public transport. I work in it and use it. Some time ago, I wrote this post , obviously with the intention of joing the PTUA.

I watch ticket checking people often and with vigilance and I have done so for a long time.
All I ever see them do wrong is continually let people off who have offended without taking their details, both on trains on trams. Many times I have seen and or heard these checking people accept reasonable explanations. I have seen strong behaviour by them, and from my view, quite warranted. I have seen them sit on people and I have seen them corral people. The alternative was to just let them run away. I was shocked once when one told me she targets tourists. I said that is awful to target the ignorant. No, she targets long term backpackers who quickly learn how to use the system. I had a mate from the past who was one of these ticket checking persons. He received a pay out after he was kicked in the face. "Your ticket is not valid Sir." Kick.

I remember a friend of a friend telling me how he travelled from St Kilda to Latrobe Uni at Bundoora for a couple of years without buying a ticket. He was caught twice and had to pay two fines, but he was miles in front. I also remember the first lot of o/s rels who visited. They bought a tickets the first day and never validated them for their five week stay and gave us the still usuable tickets when they left.

I really did have a mind to join the PTUA tonight, but I thought I better have a look at their website again, especially to see if there was a media release about the abolition of Zone 3.

I saw a link to 'How to dispute fines' and took a look. Now I, like most people, have opinions on our public transport system, but we have to travel on with what we have and lobby to change it. But after clicking on the link, the first line I read was 'Most public transport users will, at some point in their travelling experience, have a bad experience with ticket inspectors.' It goes on to detail what your should do if you have a bad experience, that is if you don't have a ticket.

No, I don't feel that I can be part of this group.


  1. hmm. I didn't write it, and hadn't really noticed that introductory sentence before. It's probably worded the wrong way. "Most" is unfair.

    Note the closing bit though that specifies: "This is a general guide that is intended to assist you in contesting an unfairly issued infringement notice." It's not about evading a fare, it's about unfair fines.

    PTUA has taken a strong stance on fare evasion in the past. (And in that particular case, it had an immediate and positive effect.)

  2. I had a similar experience when travelling to Deakin in Burwood. As a part time student I couldn't afford $9.70 a Zone 1 + 2 each time I had to go up that way. For one year of travelling to Burwood with a Zone 1 I was never fined.

  3. I dunno Daniel. It is the impression I received after reading it. Of course people need to know their rights and if mistreated, know how to deal with it but it just gives me an impression of anti authority rebelliousness and I think it needs a re-write.

  4. Shame on you Bobby, but if you were caught, I am sure you would gracefully accept your punishment.

  5. I remember when I could get into the city on a short trip for about a dollar. Now there are inspectors always on the busy tram line at the end of my street. Its not worth the risk anymore, though I do some sneaky things. Like validating my ticket at 6:01pm so it goes through until 1am.


  6. No, I don't feel that I can be part of this group.

    Good call. Bunch of cry-baby whingers who believe that people actually care about what they think.

    The majority of their "proposals" are impossible to achieve, and all they seem to want to do is achieve 100% public transport usage, forgetting that in reality there needs to be a balance. The constant negativity that flows from these mouth-breathers is amazing. Whinge, bitch, moan. WE CAN'T GET OUR WAY. More whinging, bitching and moaning.

    Laughably, the former spokesbitch actually claimed he(she) was quitting using public transport for good. Pretty funny for someone who is a member of the PTUA. That's "public transport USERS association".

    Stay away from them.