Fare Evasion in Light Rail Systems

With the increasing cost pressure in public transport systems, productivity gains must be accompanied by efficient measures to combat fare evasion. Indeed, besides the direct revenue losses, high rates of fare evasion trigger a feeling of inequity or insecurity among the paying customers. International surveys have shown that the population’s attitude toward fare evasion in public transport follows a Gauss curve. The majority is willing “to give it a try” if the perceived opportunity “of getting away with it” outreaches the perceived risks. The most efficient strategy against fraud is to control access to the system. This principle can lead to specific measures depending on the chosen mode of transport. Metro systems can be closed or gated easily due to their specific station environment; this can be the case at the initial design stage, or can be implemented as a retrofit. The Metro Committee of the International Union of Public Transport (UITP) is preparing a specific report on the latter aspect. Buses can be operated with the “front boarding” philosophy with little adverse impact on operation and boarding time. Light rail systems offer far less favorable conditions; they operate mostly within an “open space” platform environment and the high patronage requires many doors. This means that the most efficient strategies to keep fare evasion as low as possible are only possible to a limited extent. That was the reason for the Light Rail Committee to perform a specific study on fare evasion. The present report summarizes the results of a survey conducted in 18 cities— Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Budapest, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Gothenburg, London (Croydon Tramlink), Manchester, Milan, Montpellier, Rouen, Porto, Saarbrücken, Salt Lake City, Stuttgart, The Hague, and Tunis. It also includes discussions held during meetings of a smaller group of operators exchanging views and experience, and during face-to-face interviews.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Features: Figures; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 230-246
  • Monograph Title: Joint International Light Rail Conference: A World of Applications and Opportunities, April 9-11, 2006, St. Louis, Missouri
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01044158
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Mar 15 2007 10:15AM