Should You Still Have to Pay for Public Transport if Someone Is Being Threatening or Disruptive

So after getting a job, I've been having to take public transport to and from work every day, i live in a shitty area in the city and have to travel to the end of the line which ends in another shitty area, and like clockwork every single day there are the some scummiest, disgusting crowd of lowlifes on the tram, ranging from druggies, homeless(not the "aww i feel sorry for you kind", more the "you're an asshole and dont care cause you're homeless now" kind) to trashy people and just the plain inconsiderate. Since getting the job I cant get concession tickets anymore i get the extra privileged of paying $8.60 a day for the whole experience which adds up to $100s every fortnight. Of course none of these colorful characters are paying for tickets while doing things ranging from taking up 4 seats with their feet in peak hour and everyone too scared to sit down,blasting music on their phones(or better yet, portable speakers) or violently yelling and actively threatening passengers.

I love my job but traveling to work has gotten to a point where i just cant take it anymore and the only thing that feels like it gives me a minuscule way to cope with it is just not touching my ticket on, if there's no inspectors on the tram to police these people,and they're not paying for a ticket, why should i. There's no option to refund a trip because some druggy is threatening to kill everyone, and the drivers dont care to stop anything, and the police cant do anything either.

Inspectors have come onto the line about 20 times in the 3 years that I've been working, and of course the second they get on everyone scatters like cockroaches or sometimes they'll even just stay there cause they know the inspectors dont want to start anything. So its not even a line that's kept in check i think even they dont want touch it.

I've still been touching on at the end of the trip if the journey was safe and comfortable so this isn't a "how do i justify fair evading" post either. I feel like in any other location people wouldn't be okay with it, like if you paid for a movie and someone had sneaked in and was being noisy, you'd complain and they'd get kicked out or you can walk out and get a refund, Public transport is a service like any other, but it seems like we're expected to deal with it.

Does anyone else have similar experiences or thoughts on dealing with this every day occurrence?
Am i just overacting and should just block out the world and not care about what everyone is doing as long as i'm not being physically attacked?

Poll Options

  • 7
    I dont pay for public transport anyways
  • 24
    Move to a better area
  • 26
    You shouldn't have to pay for a hostile travel environment.
  • 44
    Get a car and drive to work
  • 493
    Deal with it,You're overacting and by not touching on you're part of the problem

Comments

  • +81 votes

    welcome to adulthood.

    • +16 votes

      AKA contributing to society.

      I sympathise with you OP, receiving shitty service with little recourse for a refund is… shitty. Having only one consumer choice for a service and paying more than others for a service are shitty too.

      But I don't sympathise with your approach to this problem. Your choices to evade the fare are not connectable by the provider to the problem. You should be leaving feedback at least to the driver. Simply evading the fare yourself makes you part of the problem.

      This problem is also loosely connected to the service provider. Do you think the driver has failed you by not reporting the problem? They may not have much power to rectify it. The shortcomings here belong to law enforcement, not the service provider. They might both fall under the umbrella of the government, but they're different departments and your protest should be connected to the actual problem.

      • +1 vote

        I regularly catch a privately operated bus to and from the CBD. The punctuality of the service has been poor but has recently improved.

        There is a service timetabled for every 30 min on weekdays. On one particular evening I arrived at the bus stop 10 min early and noticed a few others already waiting. About 20 people had amassed by the time the bus was due.

        10 minutes after the bus was due I started chatting with my fellow commuters, they weren't impressed. Another 10 min later, I organised the crowd with a plan. When the next timetabled service arrived I entered the bus first and informed the driver of what was happening and why. I then ushered everyone to take a seat on the bus without paying. I told the driver that we knew this wasn't his fault but it was the fairest and most effective recourse we had. And I have not come across a timetabled service which hasn't shown up since.

        • +4 votes

          10 minutes after the bus was due I started chatting with my fellow commuters, they weren't impressed.

          At least they couldn't put you in the penalty box.

        •  

          Not really helpful if you have a prepaid pass.

        • +6 votes

          I think thats more of a coincident.. and the driver not wishing to deal with you… Just past it up.

          What you did was wrong, buses have more flexibility because they're on roads with traffic, there are issues involved they can't control.

          You sound like an entitled as's

        • +1 vote

          @Baghern:

          buses have more flexibility because they're on roads with traffic, there are issues involved they can't control.

          I wouldn't call a service not showing up at all "flexibility". As a service provider they should wear the costs of failing to provide service, not consumers.

          If we all waited on hold for 20–30 min with Opal we all would've received refunds. But most of us wouldn't've been bothered to do that, nor should we've had to. Similarly, not one of us would've been bothered to wait until business hours the next morning to call and lodge a complaint with the private bus company.

          Instead what we did was fair, efficient and sent a much more effective message to the operator. Who knows if they would really act on customer complaints. What are we gonna do, catch a different bus instead? There isn't one, they have a monopoly. But they can't ignore a hit to their revenue.

          I'm sure most of us would've preferred to pay $4.60 than stand around in the cold for 30 min and forego 30 min of sleep.

        •  

          Couldn't the driver have tipped off the ticket inspectors and had them board the bus? Would have been a jackpot.

        •  

          @idonotknowwhy:

          If they can't organise the bus to run, I doubt they could organise an inspector to come.

          And the driver didn't even have the will to do that. He understood our position.

          I've since had drivers on a different route from the same company show up 5 min late and usher everyone on without tapping so as to save time.

        • +4 votes

          Cool story, bro…

        •  

          @Scrooge McDuck: do NSW refund for late services? QLD won't. I requested for refund three times in the past seven days for bus delay. Never heard from TransLink. They even won't bother to reply.

        •  

          @Baghern: What you did was wrong, buses have more flexibility because they're on roads with traffic, there are issues involved they can't control.

          Not the passenger's problem. The timetable should have accounted for variations in traffic and whatever else. It's not like rush hour traffic is a new, unknown phenomenon…..airlines are held to their timetables and are penalized if they fail to keep to it (they owe compensation if flights are late, whether it be bc of a ground stop on the other side of the country or a late pax), why shouldn't busses?

          When Sydney trains tells me my train will arrive at my station at 6:42AM, I expect it to depart at 6:42AM on the dot, not arrive 3 minutes late and leave 5 minutes late, and god forbid if some kid lets go of a mylar balloon at a station, arrive 3 hours late and make a dozen unscheduled stops. Anything less is unacceptable. If they can't operate trains for hours bc of some stupid operational issue, arrange alternate transport for the passengers. It's that simple.

    • +7 votes

      "I live in a shitty area"

      This is the nucleus of the problem OP.

  • +14 votes

    Welcome to the jungle.

    • +1 vote

      If you can't beat the Chimps, join the Urangutans.

      Which you've done.

      If you hadn't you'd still be traveling more like them. Nowhere to go, nowhere to go back to… I know which way I'd rather be.

      Pay your fare with pride- cos you can.

      Avoid the worst, not so hard as now everyone has earpods to hide from all but the most excessive boofheads, tho yes its hard, just remember to put it in perspective, u don't want to goto hospital because u were on the wrong train, so keep yourself nitrogen-chilled, and get there safely.

      And move. Lots of cheap places to go live and expand your surroundings. Other cities, islands, country towns, other nations… go try one for a few months and you might wonder why you didn't do it sooner.

  • +15 votes

    lol

  • +2 votes

    Where the hell do you live? Just move if it's so bad, you have a job now so should be able to afford it.

  • +48 votes

    If there are people committing crimes, call the cops.
    If there are people disrupting your journey, call the transport help line (or whatever VIC has).

    Or travel with a couple of bikie mates.
    Your fare is for the journey, if the ambience isn’t to your liking, walk, drive or use the systems In place to address it.
    Consider also writing to your member of parliament and their opponent.

    • +7 votes

      always dropping them truth bombs mskeggs

    • -11 votes

      "Hello police, there's someone harassing people and being violent on the tram, can you get out here instantly because he's literally able to get off at any stop he wants in a moving vehicle"

      • +31 votes

        How many times did you make such a call, and how many of those did the police fail you?

        If they did fail you, with whom did you escalate the issue?

        A big reason there are "good" suburbs and "bad" suburbs is nothing to do with dollars, and everything to do with people people being responsible and involved in their communities.

        I generally ignore people who are discourteous on public transport, but not criminal.

        • -2 votes

          I've called police for people literally breaking into cars out the front of the house, they run away, i'm stuck in a call with police being like welp they've gone now sorry for the call. How many times have YOU called the police, to believe that it actually works this perfectly?

        • -18 votes

          And if the answer to fixing all this shit was "just be responsible in the community" the top (profanity) vote wouldn't be "just deal with it". Get your head out of your ass

        • +19 votes

          @lumifox:
          I guess you’re not getting the response you were hoping to validate fare evasion.

          When I have called the cops, they have arrived pretty quickly.
          My experience is different to yours, in that the guards on my train are keen to make sure everyone gets home safely, and will respond to issues.
          The only serious crime I have ever been present was a guy belting a woman at the back of the carriage, an old guy called out and stood up, along with others once everyone realised what was happening.
          The bloke ran off to another carriage, there were cops at the next station, who collected names for statements.
          Maybe that bloke got away, but I’m pretty sure he is less likely to assault women in public.
          Certainly calling out was more effective than skipping the fare.

          Deal with it doesn’t mean ignore and abrogate your responsibilities as a member of society.
          If people are trying to steal cars near your house, wouldn’t you want to tell the cops about it, and urge them to do some extra patrols? I’m not understanding why you think police aren’t interested in fighting crime? I appreciate they can’t appear in an instant, but if they receive calls from you and others about criminal activity, or no calls, where do you think they will direct their time.

        • +5 votes

          @lumifox: I've only called them once, and they showed up.

          Basically sitting in a HJ's having dinner with a friend completely minding our own business and some drug (profanity) guy came up to us and started giving us death threats for "staring at them" (we didn't even realise they were sitting there.)

          We left and I said (profanity) it, no one else in there should have to go through that, called the police and surely enough, they rocked up in 5 minutes and arrested the guy.

        •  

          @lumifox: The inconvenience you're encountering is not just anything personal, and is applicable to anyone else on the tram with you.

          But stealing from the taxpayers by not paying for your journey, and trying to justify it by blaming it on the homeless guys on the tram is not making you look any good.

        • -2 votes

          Why isn't everyone getting up in arms about the people that are causing this while not paying, apparently if i was some methhead doing whatever the hell i want its just a part of the journey and everyone else has do deal with me, but if i'm just an ordinary person its suddenly worse?

        • +10 votes

          @lumifox: Because the methhead isn't on here asking "should I still have to pay for public transport when I'm sharing it with normal people?"

          Also because it's generally not that useful to try and reason with that methhead either. Short attention spans and all that.

          I generally don't get "up in arms" about much of anything. Problems usually fall into one of two groups:

          1. Stuff you can do something about - then go do something about it, and

          2. Stuff you can't do anything about - in which case no point wasting energy on it.

          Or in other words, "May you have the strength to change the things you can change, the serenity to accept the things you cannot, and the wisdom to know the difference." (Or something like that)

        • -3 votes

          @HighAndDry: If they could stuff something that made you think like that into a pill i'd gladly overdose on it and join my fellow public transporters. As much as i'd like to flip a switch and have this line of thinking , its hard to do.

        • +5 votes

          @lumifox: Buy a kindle, read a book, put on some music. And maybe cultivate a resting bitch face?

        • +1 vote

          @lumifox: Going by a car is another alternative, but not paying for your trips using public transport is not justified because it's stealing.

        • +2 votes

          @HighAndDry:

          Or in other words, "May you have the strength to change the things you can change, the serenity to accept the things you cannot, and the wisdom to know the difference." (Or something like that)

          Or just yell 'Serenity now…..'

    •  

      Yea, +1 mskeggs

      Bikies!

  • +2 votes

    No you shouldn't if you don't feel like it, take your car or ride a bike instead.

  • +11 votes

    Video what you are seeing and put it up on You Tube. If nothing else you will reach a wider audience and, if you managed to shame the public transport minister, you might get some sort of action happening. Unfortunately without pictures it means squat.

  • +12 votes

    paying $8.60 a day for the whole experience which adds up to $100s every week

    Umm.. Get better at maths and you might not have to take public transport? ;)

    That or realise that there are less than ideal members of the public around and work out how to cope with them. I find ignoring is often a low cost option.

    • -1 vote

      meant to put fortnight, so i'll get better at English sorry

      • +10 votes

        meant to put fortnight

        Nah, you probably didn't, you were probably just wrong.

        And you're still wrong. "$100s" being plural is at least $200. $8.60 * 14 = $120.40, nowhere near $200 and I doubt you travel on public transport every day.

        • +9 votes

          I doubt OP works 7 days a week. so it's more like $8.60 * 10 = $86.00 a fortnight, so not even a hundred yet.

          Also weekend rates are capped at $6 a day.

  • +7 votes

    Pay your damn fare, it could be worse, you could be the driver of the bus.

  • +1 vote

    Welcome to adulthood.

    Call PTV and complain and possibly consider moving to a better area.

  • +1 vote

    if you cant beat them, join them!

  • +3 votes

    While I always pay my fair I agree the service is ridiculous for the price we pay. I have often thought I can't believe I am paying for this shit but the only other option is driving to work.

    They can charge an arm and a leg because they know people don't have many other options.

    If you don't think certain things are acceptable call to complain.

    • +2 votes

      They can charge an arm and a leg because they know people don't have many other options.

      The people voted for politicians claiming privatised public transport would deliver better services at lower costs. And now the brain dead continue to vote for the parties that conned them although they are slowly losing votes as people wake the f up and see what a disaster Liberal and Labour are for them.

    • -1 vote

      But the only other option is driving to work.

      Could also be unemployed in a smart way … I cant wait till Im old to donate my assets to my children or divorce my wife on paper and loose everything to her and then leech pension from the government in return for my lifetime committment to paying taxes and contributing to this country … A bit like the pension politicians recieve for 1 term in parliament.

  • +4 votes

    No don't pay, two wrongs make a right!

  • +6 votes

    Your fare is the price you pay for the ride.
    What others do is irrelevant to you.

  • +2 votes

    Record it and send it to the media or post in social media

  • +2 votes

    This is how I feel about Sydney motorway tolls. It took me forever to get to work before the motorway upgrade. They upgraded it and whacked on a hefty toll on. It now still takes me the same forever to get to work, but Im lucky enough to pay now.

  • +3 votes

    I hate commuting to work.. can’t do it! I hate public transport. What do I do? I live walking distance from work. That’s life changing. You get more time for yourself. You work better because you are not stressed out because the bus was late, full or didn’t stop for you.

    • +1 vote

      You sound like an adult

      •  

        I feel they sound like an adult because working that close to work requires being able to afford higher property prices…

    •  

      The other beauty of this is after the storms have come through, and the roads and public transport are in disarray, you say ta ta to your colleagues and you are home at the same time as usual. It also gives you time to destress before walking in the door.

  • +1 vote

    It's still cheaper than driving.

    Public transport by its nature contains all members of the public. If you pay your fare at least they can afford better security etc.

  • +2 votes

    Geez you guys back off op. Leave him alone.

    Yes op you can do whatever you want that makes you happy. Everything is going to be OK, it's their fault, you're doing just fine the way you are.

    Wait a minute….

  • +3 votes

    I pay less for living in a shitty area.

    I don't like that the shitty area is shitty and the services are shitty.

    I want to not pay for the services because I feel entitled to nice things.

    • +1 vote

      Bang on, although I'd hazard a guess that OP lives with parents. Move closer to work if you don't like it, you might even find the savings in fares cover the increase in rent.

  • +3 votes

    Not touching off at the end of your trip won’t make any difference, as long as you’ve touched on, you are getting charged

  • -3 votes

    F.F.S. if you feel scared on public transport, wear your $1000 dollar phone/camera/video recorder, as a lanyard. if you don't like it here… go home.

  • +4 votes

    Surely not in the world's most livable city.

  • +1 vote

    i can hear a violin playing in the back ground but its very faint, grow some

  •  

    Sounds like the opening act of some tv shows and movies I've seen. In the second act our hero becomes a vigilante.

  • -1 vote

    What line are you on? In which area does it happen? How often does it happen? Have you tried asking them to lower the volume of music being played? Have to asked them to move the feet so you can sit? Or are you just a Keyboard Warrior?

    • +6 votes

      Oh god no. Don't engage with those people. Put on headphones (but still be aware of your surroundings), don't make eye contact, keep your belongings close, get on, tap on, tap off, get off.

      • -1 vote

        I think its sad that we have to have this kind of attitude, like you're literally expecting to be killed on a tram if you step up to someone, this is the whole part of the problem and somehow no one sees anything wrong with this

        • +1 vote

          The advantage of being a woman "of a certain age" is you can tell people where to get off and you, generally, get away with it. This young guy was, purposefully, blocking me from sitting in a seat so I just clambered over his legs. When he told me I'd hurt him and he was going to report me I said "go right ahead" and he quickly backed down. Everytime he tried to be a smartarse I gave him an earful. Mind you, I do avoid this with the psycho looking ones, they may well pull a knife.

        •  

          @try2bhelpful: Hahaha, he actually said he'd report you after blocking a seat in the first place? Guy's got no manners or smarts.

          But I think judgement is important and, without knowing a person's level of judgement, I generally wouldn't advise anything other than just avoiding fights, even if in the same situation I personally wouldn't - but then I've definitely got an inflated opinion of my own sense of judgement.

        •  

          It's not that you should expect to be killed. The actual chances of meeting a psycho is like 1-in-a-million. But there is a million people (4 million I think) in Melbourne so someone's drawing the short straw (like that stabbing victim you mentioned), and if you 'step up' regularly, you're increasing the chances of that person being you.

          That doesn't say anything about any one place, just that some people are crazy and some people are bad, and if you're smart you'll do what you can to avoid running into either.

        •  

          @HighAndDry: No, I do tend to agree with you; you need to be able to judge the level of crazy you are dealing with. This kid was, obviously, just a cowardly moron and it was a crowded tram.

        • +1 vote

          @HighAndDry: So it just goes back to let people do whatever the hell they want because we are too scared to do anything,the people with absolutely no moral compass get free roam until they commit a crime that gets them removed from society permenatly and in the meantime everyone else has to deal with it, that's no way to live. inb4 "that's life"

        •  

          @lumifox: Not really. They will sooner or later end up in jail, or worse. It's just that there isn't a finite number of these people - people will drop out of school or uni, or get into drugs, or lose their job and lease, etc. Then they end up on public transport scaring people like you.

          Civilization is a never-ending fight to stave off the forces of chaos and entropy. The fact that you seem to be managing to get to and from work every day on public transport, without being stabbed or attacked (or really have anything happen to you at all that I can tell) seems to suggest we're doing alright.

          I do wonder at you though - you seem to think we should do something about it, and yet your idea of "doing something about it" seems to be…. not paying your fares?

        • +1 vote

          @lumifox: ahhh, you are not taking into account the people with mental health problems. If someone was genuinely threatening another person I would do everything I can to help the victim. If they are obviously just being a dick, but are sane, I will consider confronting them. If I suspect they are "afflicted" and they are just being annoying then I just keep an eye on them - I've been bailed up by crazies before and the rules of society dont really apply to them.

        • -2 votes

          @HighAndDry: Well that was what part of the thread was for. so far we have
          "Move to a better area" which frankly is ridiculous suggestion and i'm surprise that people actually think that's the best option like bad people just vanish in the suburbs or something
          "Deal with it" Which is what i'm really trying to figure out how to do, but apparently in the wrong ways
          "Contact authorities" which seem to be coming from people that have never had to do that in their life
          "Make a complaint" Which will change nothing with just one person
          "Drive" Which is probably the best quick fix idea, but a huge sink of money

          So aside from working my way all the way up to being part of the government and making some major changes, it seems to be just deal with it, or join them.

        •  

          @lumifox: Trust me, no matter how much fun it looks like they're having, I very much doubt you'd want to join them. So yeah - "just deal with it" is the best solution. Of the others - factors like this are reasons why people would move to more affluent areas when they can afford to, this is what police are paid to deal with (even if they don't attend 100% of the time, they do attend sometimes), if everyone took your view that "making a complaint does nothing if it's just one person", then no one would ever make a complaint, and…. I like driving. But I would hate to drive every single day.

          "Deal with it" is the most practical solution. That, or as someone else suggested, turn vigilante. Up to you I guess - I personally am too lazy to be a caped crusader.

        •  

          @lumifox: Your answer to this is to not pay for the service; which is illegal, unethical and would, ultimately, end up in no service being made available for anyone. If it makes you feel better then confront the people that are causing the issue and roll the dice as to how they react; but, as someone who has lived in Fitzroy for over 20 years, you need to be mindful of who you confront. There is a button on the tram that you can push to contact the driver if you feel the behaviour is threatening to you. My way of dealing with this is to get blockout earphones and play with my video game, whilst being mindful of things around me to make sure they aren't going pearshaped. There are plenty of things to be annoyed about in this world that is more important than twats on a tram. Are we going to see your post that says - "the inspectors charged me for not touching on, how do I get out of it?"

        •  

          @HighAndDry: I guess my post came off as entitled rant so that's probably why i got the replies i did, Thanks for having a constructive conversation, i appreciate it.

        •  

          @lumifox: S'all good. Yeah your post was a little ranty and a little entitled-sounding, but I could kind of see it was just stemming from mostly frustration at something you can't seem to do anything about. I think we've all been there.

  • +2 votes

    LOL looked at OPs post history. Richmond, MEL is a shitty area? Hardly - it's upper middle class if anything. You're probably on the 109 going down Victoria St which, I'll admit, gets a few interesting characters but you're definitely overreacting. Throw some headphones on play some Switch - problem solved.

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