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NEWCASTLE Transport operator Keolis Downer has played down concerns about the amount of fare evasion on the city's light rail.
Tram users have told the Newcastle Herald of regularly witnessing people riding the trams without paying for a fare.
"There are times when it seems we are the only ones that are paying," said Brian Agland, who uses light rail with his wife about three times a week.
"People just seem to get on and off without paying, without scanning a card.
"You think about doing it yourself; 'do you really need to pay to hop on?', because there's nobody checking."
Light rail passengers must tap on and off using Opal card facilities at each stop to pay for their trip, or purchase single-trip tickets.
PAID U Passengers tap on at the Civic light rail stop. Picture: Marina Neil
But unlike the city's buses and ferries, the trams do not have a driver or employee regularly checking fares, nor a barrier preventing access like some train stations.
"It's a problem," light rail user Neil Allan said. "I've watched a lot of them. I'd say 10 to 15 per cent [do not pay]. Definitely happening. "
Keolis Downer told the Herald more than 2,700 fare compliance checks were carried out across the Newcastle Transport network in March, with 42 cases of non-compliance.
Both NSW Police and Keolis Downer can monitor fare compliance across light rail, bus and ferry services.
"Newcastle Transport's customer service officers play a vital role educating customers on Opal ticketing and ensuring ticket compliance across the network," a Keolis Downer spokesperson said.
"We encourage everyone to do the right thing and travel with a valid ticket."
Transport for NSW conducts surveys twice a year to record fare compliance.
This article first appeared on www.theherald.com.au
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