PERHAPS Metlink’s Karma Campaign has worked.
It seems the presence of ticketing inspectors in their navy blue overcoats riding on our trams, or the experience of being caught red-handed without a ticket by a plainclothes inspector, and those posters depicting the bad luck the universe might exact on fare evaders, has successfully achieved a reduction in fare evasion.
All at a time of unprecedented patronage growth and crowding on some services.
The latest figures from Metlink’s 2008/09 fare evasion survey show the number of commuters hitching a free ride have dropped by 3.2 per cent since 2005 to 9.3 per cent.
The figures were obtained by taking a random sample of 80,000 passengers using train, tram and bus services in Victoria, inbound and outbound, at various times of the day.
I don’t know about you, but the poster suggesting you might get away with not paying your fare, and yet, as karma would have it, then get caught out walking in public with your skirt stuck in your knickers, was almost enough to make me double-check that:
(a) I’d bought a ticket for the right zones; and
(b) my undies were firmly tucked out of sight.
Here’s hoping you count yourself in the majority of passengers who continue to do the right thing and buy the correct ticket – lest Metlink and the universe find you (and your undies).