West Midlands metro passengers who fail to pay their fare could face fines of up to £100 if plans get approved.
The current fine is £10.
The proposals, first put before the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) board in January, are to help deter people from skipping payment.
If approved the £100 fine would be cut to £50 if it is paid within fourteen days.
The £10 fine has been in place since 1999, with the WMCA admitting that it ‘may no longer be a suitable deterrent’ to prevent people from trying to hitch a ride for free on the metro.
And the increased fine will also be accompanied by a new ‘buy before you board’ scheme - similar to that used on the railway, whereby customers will need to have purchased a ticket prior to boarding rather than having the option to pay once on board.
What have West Midlands Combined Authority said about this?
“Whilst the vast majority of our customers travel with a valid ticket, from time-to-time they tell us how unfair it is that some people try to avoid paying the correct fare,” a spokesperson said.
“In response we are increasing the existing £10 penalty, which has been in place since 1999, and may no longer be a suitable deterrent. This increase will also bring the region more into line with fare-evasion penalties seen in other big urban areas such as Greater Manchester and London.
“At the same time, we are planning the introduction of ‘buy before you board’ ticketing which will make it even easier for customers to ensure they have paid the correct fare before starting their tram journey.
“Together, these measures will help to ensure fairness as we look to further expand and improve our services to customers.”
The announcement comes shortly after it was revealed that the region would be bidding for £2 billion worth of funding to further extend the metro system, with proposed extensions including from Wednesbury to Walsall along the old railway line; Wolverhampton city centre to New Cross Hospital; Hagley Road, Birmingham and Sandwell; and Brierley Hill to Stourbridge.
Should you have any comments in relation to the proposed penalty fare increase, Transport for West Midlands is asking for people to contact them by Friday 19 November 2021 on [email protected], or 03453036760.
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