Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian today said new modern barriers at train stations and more Transport Officers to patrol the public transport network are being introduced as part of a crackdown on fare evasion.
These higher barriers have been installed for testing at Olympic Park station, ahead of a roll out at stations across the network.
Ms Berejiklian said the gates would be more reliable and improve security at stations, as well as reducing the number of customers travelling without a ticket and jumping the barrier as they exit the train station.
“Fare evasion costs taxpayers millions of dollars a year. The majority of customers do the right thing, but we are working hard to ensure that everyone using public transport has a valid ticket or Opal card,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“Cracking down on fare evasion means we can provide extra transport services and new infrastructure for customers.”
Ms Berejiklian said the new Opal-only gates are based on a similar style of gate which has been used in London for many years.
“The gates are designed to minimise fare evasion with higher gate paddles prohibiting behaviour such as jumping the gate or gate tailing where two people at a time pass through the gate,” Ms Berejiklian said.
There are now 150 Transport officers on the network working with the Police Transport Command to crack down on fare evasion, with more Transport Officers to start in coming months, she said.
“We will have an extra 65 transport officers patrolling the network in 2015, bringing the total to 215, with 32 of those new officers ready to start by April,” she said.
The extra numbers mean Transport Officers will be targeting more Sydney hot spots and other regional areas such as Wollongong, the Blue Mountains and the Central Coast.
“Transport officers have issued more than 150,000 fines since starting in May 2013 and are now using new technology to do their job more efficiently and crack down on serial offenders,” she said.
“All of these Transport Officers are equipped with new hand held smart phone devices which automatically send infringement notices in the post, meaning less time on administration and more time helping customers and reducing fare evasion.
“Later this month, a new Opal smart phone app will also be rolled out so Transport Officers can ensure customers have tapped on correctly.”
Transport Officers work closely with the Police Transport Command, who have also issued more than 120,000 infringements on the transport network for offences, including fare evasion.