Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Fare jumpers

It was recently reported that a significant proportion of KTM Komuter users use the system without paying.

Well, I don't think this is news. Everyday, many users evade fare through many ways.

Take for example the LRT services. When you purchase a manual ticket, how often does your ticket get checked when you enter the system (at the gate) and when you discard the ticket on your way out? There's nothing to stop you from purchasing the cheapest fare and using that ticket to travel.

Sometimes, there aren't any officers at the gates!

When Rapid KL issues manual tickets, shouldn't it also conduct random ticket inspections on the platforms and trains then?

Well, why issue manual tickets in the first place! What has happened to the ticket vending machines? What has happened to the common ticketing system? We'll discuss this some other time.

When buses are full (because standing commuters refuse to move all the way to the back of the bus), drivers sometimes allow passengers boarding to pay at the front and enter from the back. This being Malaysia, there will be passengers who would just board without paying.

I've noticed that this had become a norm. So, one day, when I was riding a packed Triton 309 (I think) at Pusat Bandar Damansara, I managed to correctly identify a fare dodger. I contemplated whether I should tell off that uncle. This being Malaysia (again), I would expect him to give me the typical cock-stare and other passengers would just mind their own business.

I was bloody sure of it, so I told him politely, "Uncle, you haven't paid your fare yet. It's not fair for you to do that." Naturally, he denied it. Argh.

But then this other passenger then said "Yes uncle. It's not fair. Please leave the bus." Har har. He was then forced to pay his fare, where he got all the other passengers to pass the money to the front. If I was nasty enough, I would have demanded him to leave the bus, as there were many others who couldn't get on.

So, what's the lesson here? Commuters, please pay what you use. And please fill up the back of the bus or middle parts of train carriages. Operators, I thought you were better at collecting what's due you.


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