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Twelve additional public transport safety officers promised by the state government last year will soon begin work on Brisbane's buses, trains and ferries.
The new senior network officers will round out their number to 63, after calls last year to increase safety for bus drivers, in particular over a rise in chroming incidents on Brisbane buses.
Brisbane buses will be monitored by more senior network officers. CREDIT:LUCY STONE
The senior network officers patrol public transport and monitor fare evasion, which Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said was an increasing problem.
"The majority of commuters do the right thing. Unfortunately, we have seen a growing problem with fare evasion on public transport, costing Queenslanders $25 million every year – so we’re taking action," he said.
“This announcement builds on two fare evasion roundtables, last year’s recruitment of additional SNOs and the great work we’ve achieved with industry and stakeholders to stamp out this type of anti-social behaviour."
Senior network officers can issue penalty infringements, warning notices, and inform public transport users about fare paying. The latest 12 officers will begin work in October.
The Rail, Tram and Bus Union had called for more senior network officers last year, with secretary Tom Brown saying the additional 12 officers gave the union confidence there were enough officers available to address fare evasion.
"Fare evasion leads to much worse behaviour on buses so the RTBU supports any increase in resources to tackle it," he said.
In September last year, the state government launched a new safety campaign to protect bus drivers and raise awareness about violent incidents against drivers.
Mr Bailey authorised the hiring of more officers in March last year, after 2018 statistics showed more than 1.53 million fare evasions on school buses alone.
This article first appeared on www.brisbanetimes.com.au
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