Ombudsman investigates public transport fare enforcement


Tuesday 12 January 2016

The Victorian Ombudsman has commenced an ‘own motion’ investigation into public transport fare enforcement measures.
Passengers travelling on public transport without a valid myki can pay an on-the-spot penalty fare of $75 or may be issued with an infringement notice with a maximum penalty of $223. Fare enforcement is administered by Public Transport Victoria (PTV) and the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources.
The investigation is examining the administration of public transport fare enforcement including:
  • the issuing of penalty fares and infringement notices
  • complaint and review processes
  • the exercise of discretion by authorised officers and relevant authorities.
A key element of the investigation will be to assess whether enforcement is fair and equitable. 
From 10 August 2014 to 1 December 2015, the Victorian Ombudsman received 490 complaints about the department and PTV. Almost 80 per cent of the complaints related to fare enforcement. The most common complaints involved the exercise of discretion by Authorised Officers during fare enforcement.
In the 2014-15 financial year the Public Transport Ombudsman also received 1,214 complaints about the issue of infringement notices and penalty fares, an increase of 43 per cent on the previous year.
Given the number of complaints received by both Ombudsmen, the Victorian Ombudsman is not seeking submissions about public transport users’ experiences with fare enforcement for this investigation.
However, the Victorian Ombudsman can investigate complaints about public transport infringement notices in certain circumstances. The Public Transport Ombudsman accepts complaints about penalty fares.
An advice sheet on making a complaint about penalty fares and infringement notices can be found here.
Media contact: Rory Cahill Tel 03 9613 6235 | Mob 0409 936 235
Further information: Tel 03 9613 6222 (press 4 for myki line) | Regional 1800 806 314 (press 4 for myki line)