Fare Evasion in Light Rail Systems

Along with direct revenue losses, high rates of fare evasion on public transportation trigger feelings of inequity and lack of security among paying customers. This article summarizes findings from a report on fare evasion, focusing on survey results from 18 European and American cities with light rail transit (LRT) systems. Fraud rates range from 1% to 25% in these cities, with the crime appearing to be largely opportunistic. The high dispersion rates in the different cities can be attributed to the operating and legislative environment and the operator's attitude toward fare evasion. No relation was found between type of fare system and extent of fare evasion. Although controlled access is the most efficient strategy for combating fraud, implementation of this strategy can be costly and logistically challenging. Increasing the visible presence of staff and enacting severe penalties for evasion are also useful in combating this problem. Each LRT system must find its own optimum balance to maximize revenue protection while minimizing costs.


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  • Accession Number: 01049737
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 13 2007 11:05PM