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  • Angry commuters are fighting against Melbourne’s public transport ticket inspectors
  • By Olivia Lambert
  • 26/08/2016 Make a Comment
  • Contributed by: Rod ( 2 articles in 2016 )
A GANG of angry commuters has started a war against Melbourne ticket inspectors, who are probably the most hated people in the city right now.

Fed up with fines they feel are too harsh, about 10,000 tram, train and bus riders are banding together to ambush those who are out to give hefty penalties to people putting feet on seats or not following train etiquette.

It may seem bizarre, but the angry commuters are tracking the movements of ticket inspectors and posting it on the Where are our mates, Melbourne’s PT ticket wardens today Facebook page, which is clogged with pictures and videos of ticket inspectors as well as their exact locations.

Ticket inspectors can’t even go to McDonald’s without being snapped by a frustrated traveller.

Melbourne’s ticket inspectors have been criticised recently for bad behaviour.

Earlier this week a Melbourne commuter said she was threatened with a fine, all because she offered to give a homeless man her spare Myki card.

According to Fairfax Media, Emily Day was on a tram from West Preston when a homeless man sitting near her was interrogated by four ticket inspectors.

“He [the homeless man] was not in a great place and was struggling,” Ms Day told Fairfax Media.

“He was sitting quietly on the tram, shrinking into himself and they were just standing over him. It was really rough.

“I was really mad they weren’t showing compassion. They were being bullies.”

When Ms Day tried to give the homeless man her spare Myki card, the ticket inspectors turned on her and another passenger who was trying to help and threatened her with a fine.

“All four of them ganged up on me and kept interrupting me,” she said.

Ms Day claimed one of the ticket inspectors even swore at her and another called her “self-righteous”.

A Yarra Trams spokesman told Fairfax Media Ms Day wasn’t threatened with a fine and was told two people couldn’t share one Myki card.

In December last year Transport Minister Terry Mulder said there would be an investigation into Yarra Trams after a fare-evading university student was restrained.

A video of the incident showed tram inspectors pressing a knee to the boy’s throat as they held him down.

The student, Michael Liu, told the Herald Sun it was traumatising.

“They grabbed my arm and that really scared me. Maybe they thought I was going to run, and I said calm down,” he said.

A Yarra Tram spokesman said Mr Liu refused to give up personal details like his name and address.

“He then attempted to leave the scene before the report could be completed. He continued to walk away and an officer then took hold of him and reminded (him) that he was under arrest,” the spokesman alleged.

He said tram inspectors called the police when the student allegedly began pushing them violently.

Ticket inspectors have no privacy now while they’re on the job and their every movement is being tracked and shared with 10,000 commuters.

But they’re aware it’s happening and now they are prepared to fight back.

Earlier this month the Facebook group administrator, Cesar Rodrigues, filmed a ticket
inspector on public transport on the way to South Morang.

But instead of backing down, the ticket inspector decided it was time to fight back against the angry commuters, in what has now created a bizarre and bitter feud between the two groups.

It’s brazen and commuters aren’t scared to get in the face of ticket inspectors.

They angry commuters claim the ticket inspectors are after “donations” and are fining commuters to make money.

Ticket inspectors are coming down harder on commuters, especially when it comes to fare evasion, after a Public Transport Victoria report found it lost almost $30 million last year to ticket dodgers.

The Facebook page however, says it does not support fare evasion.

“Our mates, the ticket wardens of Melbourne have a tough job and they just don’t get enough thanks or recognition for what they do,” the Facebook page states sarcastically.

“This group has been started to alert FARE PAYING MEMBERS ONLY which lines their mates the ticket wardens are on so that they can ready their smiles and most importantly, their valid tickets.”

Funnily enough, the angry commuters aren’t breaking any laws in Victoria and can film in a public place as long as the footage is not inappropriate or offensive.

If a ticket inspector asks for your ticket, you can also ask for their identification.

Ticket inspectors are allowed to ask to see a traveller’s ticket or concession card, can ask for names, addresses and identification and can fine or arrest you.

They can also take things like alcohol, invalid tickets and spray cans and can kick you off public transport.

They are not allowed to search your belongings, take things that are legal to carry on public transport, take your phone or force you to delete data from it, say racist or abusive things or use unnecessary force.

A Public Transport Victoria spokesman defended the work of ticket inspectors and said the organisation expected the safety and privacy of both passengers and staff to be respected on the public transport network.

“Fare evasion has reduced in recent years but still costs Victoria millions of dollars a year which could be spent on improving services for passengers who do the right thing,” he said.

“Passengers who have feedback regarding their experiences on the network or wish to request a review of their infringement notice need to do so via the appropriate channels to ensure an outcome.”


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