A new report has revealed that there has been a year on year increase in the numbers of passengers dodging tram fares on city region’s Metrolink service.
Last year more than 30,000 people were caught without a tram ticket across the Metrolink network. That amounts to almost a hundred people a day.
Moreover, the number of people caught without a ticket has increased year on year since 2013.
Metrolink passengers have said they think it’s unfair that some people are paying while some aren’t.
One passenger told MM: “They’ll need some form of regular ticket inspection. For instance, if you buy a ticket and you get to Victoria and no-one checks it, you’re thinking “I could have got away with that.
“It bugs me, but I also do get it because if you’re a young lad and you don’t have the money to get into town and you just want to get into town I do understand completely.”
Another added: “It’s just not fair is it if people are paying and some aren’t, so they’re getting the free tram rides while people are paying £30 a week just to get where they’re going.”
Bosses at Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), which runs transport services across the region, said passengers who chose to travel without a ticket would be targeted.
A spokesman said: “The message is clear – travel without a ticket and we will not hesitate to issue a £100 standard fare and prosecute anyone who does not pay within 21 days.
“The number of fines issued proves that it is simply not worth taking the risk for the sake of a few pounds. All money from Metrolink fares is reinvested back in the system for the benefit of our customers, which is why we take fare dodging so seriously.”
More than 37 million passenger journeys were made in 2016/17, an increase of around 12 million from 2012/13, reflecting the growth of the tram network to a 93 stop system.
The Manchester Second City Crossing line opened in February and this is deemed to be the final piece in the £1.5 billion Metrolink expansion project.
The major change led to an improvement in city links for stops such as Exchange Square – some services now going as far as Oldham and Rochdale – but also a growing concern over a rise in ticket dodging.
TfGM have said that they aim to tackle this issue head on.
A spokesman said: “Fare evasion is something that we take extremely seriously. Our day to day patrols and targeted operations are making sure we tackle more offenders.”