Ticket fraud in the form of used tickets being passed on to passengers outside or who are waiting to board the bus, is becoming a growing concern for the GO GEORGE bus service.
More and more passengers are airing their disgust about this practice. “I have paid for my ticket, because I’m an honest citizen,” complained Muriel Plaatjies, a Rosemoor passenger. “I have seen a woman on my bus to work who passes her ticket through the window as soon as she is seated. I must pay, it is not fair and these skelms should not get away with this!” According to James Robb, GO GEORGE Manager, the benefit of having a public transport network like GO GEORGE is that passengers can travel anywhere on the network by transferring to different routes.
“As transfers are free within an hour from starting your journey, passengers could for instance travel from Pacaltsdorp to the CBD, and on to Blanco, at the cost of a single ticket. This is to ensure that travelling by bus is affordable for everybody. However, it is printed clearly on the GO GEORGE bus tickets that each ticket is valid for one person only,” Robb said.
Unfortunately, some see the one-hour validity of the ticket as an opportunity to either give their ticket away to another waiting passenger when they get off the bus, or to sell it at a discount.
“This behaviour is totally unacceptable. Any form of avoiding paying for your ticket, such as passing your bus ticket on to another passenger when the allowed hour has not expired yet, is fare evasion and a criminal offense in terms of the National Land Transport Act. Any persons caught may be criminally prosecuted and face imprisonment of up to three months or a fine up to R10 000,” said Robb.
He warns that CCTV cameras on buses, field monitors and Champions are being employed to zoom in on fare evasion and to report culprits.
Robb calls upon passengers to help keep the bus service affordable “by enjoying the benefits, and not abusing them at the cost of the service that needs real-figure income to stay viable”.