In December we reported that TfL was trialling AI to catch fare dodgers at tube stations. In its latest bid to crack down on barrier jumpers, TfL has now upped the fine fare evaders will find themselves slapped with.
TfL has announced the fine for skipping the fare and abusing TfL staff will rise by 20 percent, going from £80 to £100. If paid within 21 days, the fine will be reduced to £50. Frontline TfL staff will also now wear body cameras to record any abuse they might face.
According to data released by TfL, 19,614 people were prosecuted for fare evasion in 2023 – an increase of 56 percent compared to 2022. More than 400 people were also investigated for habitual fare evasion, while fare dodgers made more than 50,000 fraudulent journeys across the Underground network.
TfL says people who jump the barriers cost the transport authority around £150 million per year. As TfL is pretty strapped for cash these days, these are funds it can’t afford to miss out on, especially if it hopes to complete proposed projects like the DLR extension and the West London Orbital.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: ‘TfL relies on revenue from fares to be able to deliver the safe, clean and reliable public transport that Londoners deserve. Fare evasion deprives us of much needed revenue and so I welcome this tough new action from TfL to increase enforcement and ensure more fare evaders are brought to justice.
‘Latest figures show real progress is being made, but I will continue to work with TfL and the British Transport Police to crack down on fare evasion, and build a better, safer and fairer London for everyone.’
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