In an overhaul of the Victorian Myki fare enforcement regime, the Andrews Government has announced it will ditch the $75 on-the- spot fine next year.
As part of the new tactic, Authorised Officers will be allowed the discretion to issue warnings, instead of consistently handing out fines. After numerous complaints about the $75 on-the- spot option, Victorian Ombudsman Deborah Glass was appointed to investigate the hotly disputed system.
In her investigation she found that the on-the- spot penalty fare and $223 infringements were unfair and often unjust. Case studies regarding the on-the- spot fine found that commuters reported feeling significant amounts of pressure to make a quick decision, which often resulted in unfair outcomes for them.
Ms Glass said that the current system failed to find the right balance between financial imperative and fairness, with fines usually hitting the vulnerable and innocently ignorant the hardest.
Instead, the new warning system aims to appropriately target recidivist fare evaders, who are responsible for 68% of all fare evasions, research shows.
A number of further improvements to the myki system are also expected to take place, including processing online top-ups within 90 minutes instead of 24 hours, louder beeps, and anti-glare screens on myki machines, and new, faster readers on trams and buses. The new system will roll out on January 1.