Commonly known in German as schwarzfahren (riding black), fare evasion is currently held in check by only occasional ticket inspections. Most public transportation systems in Germany do not have gated entrances to the trains like in France or Great Britain.
The VDV transportation association argued this week that the problem is so severe that penalties should be increased for law-breakers. Under their plan, fines should increase from the current €40 to €60 for first-time offenders and €120 for people who are caught without a ticket more than once.
Government authorities rejected the idea when it was first proposed in 2009, but the VDV says now people are organising on the internet to dodge fares – meaning tougher sanctions are necessary to deter theft of service.
How should Germany deal with fare dodgers? Should metro and train systems here install turnstiles as are common in many other countries? Or are you a Schwarzfahrer yourself?
Registered users at The Local may add their comments in the field below. If you haven't signed up yet, you can do so here – it's free and only takes a moment.