• Germany's news in English

Public transport fare dodging an 'epidemic'

The Local · 3 Feb 2012, 07:13

Published: 03 Feb 2012 07:13 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Under the proposal, those caught for the first time without a valid ticket would have to pay €60. If they are caught multiple times, they could face increasing fines and criminal charges. Penalties are currently capped at €40.

The demand by the Association of German Transport Companies (VDV) is nothing new. In fact, in 2009 the association asked for similar fine increases, which were rejected by state transportation ministers.

Back then the VDV estimated that approximately three percent of passengers travelled without a ticket on local bus, metro and train lines. Now, that percentage has risen slightly to 3.5 percent, the organisation told the Süddeutsche Zeitung this week.

The big difference now is that people are working together over social networks like Facebook and Twitter to defeat the checks on public transportation.

“Now we’re at the point that potential fare evaders organise online. So riding without a valid ticket is become perceived as harmless,” Oliver Wolff said.

Germany is especially fertile ground for those who want to use public transportation without paying because, unlike many other countries, there are often no barriers to go through before boarding trains.

Occasionally ticket controllers ask to see tickets, but evaders can sometimes ride for months before being caught.

Wolff estimated that transportation providers lose out on €250 million in revenue to fare evasion and have to invest €100 million in hiring ticket inspectors to try to control the problem.

Story continues below…

“Honest customers pay the bill in the end through higher ticket prices,” he said, saying that municipalities and the actual transportation companies are also hurt by the fraud.

The Local/mdm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
These are Germany's top ten universities
The new library of Freiburg University. Photo: Jörgens.mi / Wikimedia Commons

These are the best universities in all of Germany - at least according to one ranking.

Introducing Swabians - 'the Scots of Germany'
Photo: DPA

These Southern Germans have quite a reputation in the rest of the country.

Woman sues dentist over job rejection for headscarf
Photo: DPA

A dentist in Stuttgart is being taken to court by a woman whom he rejected for a job as his assistant on the basis that she wears a Muslim headscarf.

Isis suspect charged with scouting Berlin attack sites
Photo: DPA

German federal prosecutors said Thursday they had brought charges against a 19-year-old Syrian man accused of having scouted targets in Berlin for a potential attack by the Isis terror group.

Berlin Holocaust memorial could not be built now: creator
The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, in Berlin. Photo: DPA.

The architect of the Berlin Holocaust memorial has said that, if he tried to build the monument again today, it would not be possible due to rising xenophobia and anti-Semitism in Germany and the United States.

'Liberal' Germany stopping Europe's 'slide into barbarism'
Ian Kershaw. Photo: DPA

Europe is not slipping into the same dark tunnel of hate and nationalism that it did in the 1930s - mainly thanks to Germany - one of the continent's leading historians has said.

Eurowings strike to hit 40,000 passengers
Travelers impacted by the strike on Thursday wait at Cologne Bonn airport. Photo: DPA.

The day-long strike by a Eurowings cabin crew union is expected to impact some 40,000 passengers on Thursday as hundreds of flights have been cancelled.

Deutsche Bank reports surprise quarter billion profit
Photo: DPA

Troubled German lender Deutsche Bank reported Thursday a surprise €256-million profit in the third quarter, compared with a loss of more than six billion in the same period last year.

US 'warned Merkel' against Chinese takeover of tech firm
Aixtron HQ. Photo: DPA

The German government withdrew its approval for a Chinese firm to purchase Aixtron, which makes semiconductor equipment, after the US secret services raised security concerns, a German media report said Wednesday.

Long-vanished German car brand joins electric race
Photo: DPA

Cars bearing the stamp of once-defunct manufacturer Borgward will once again roll off an assembly line in north Germany from 2018, the firm said Wednesday.

10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd