To: j hawthorne

From: Trysting Fields Central Communications
Date: 3 January 2006 4:36:26 PM

Tram stop

On 03/01/2006, at 4:10 PM, j hawthorne wrote:

>how does this whole cumulative fare-evasion fines thing work, anyway?

Mine is only cumulative in the sense that I got fined twice in quick succession in December.

>how do they know you’ve been doing it over and over, and how much to
>charge you?

They don’t. The trams are basically an honor system. The driver is locked in a little box and passengers just hop on and off as they whim. Everyone’s supposed to validate their tickets (purchasable from a machine onboard) but hardly anyone ever does.

Then they have roaming inspectors who periodically lumber onboard like the fucking SS in their jackets, and flash badges (really) and ask to see everyone’s tickets.

There’s also undercover ones, disguised as normal passengers, who suddenly jump up in unison – like ‘this is a fare evasion raid motherfuckers’ – and inspect you when you are least expecting it.

They did a big blitz in December. I’ve been living in fear. I purchased a monthly pass!

>or do they just catch you once and nail you with a hefty fine?

That’s what they do. They’re supposed to escalate, I think, but somehow I’ve been fined $154 twice.

I’ve discovered that it’s an acceptable excuse to say you are running late [nb on trains only] – but this policy seems likely to be phased out.

>is riding the tram for free in melbourne like russian roulette?

Very much so. Financial public transport-based russian roulette.

Tram interior (flash) Tram interior (sans flash)

Why are you so interested in the trams?!

Can I publish this exchange on my blog?

3 Comments

Filed under People, Photos

3 Responses to To: j hawthorne

  1. 😉
    That’ll be my masters thesis: I’ll travel the world and analyze how a society relates to technology vis a vis its tram-paying philosophy.
    Or something.

  2. Pretty similar in Buffalo. Except I almost never use it, and so I’m not sure if they catch you at it. And they have scary posters about criminal records and such.

  3. Man, if we had trams it would be so cool.
    I think we invented them. Britain I mean, not Norwich… but we don’t use them. Or maybe America invented them.

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