[Qld] Got Fined for Having a Valid Train Ticket

Go Card rules state: Transfer up to 3 times. Max trip 3.5 hours, total journey 6 hours. Continue trip up to 60 mins of last touch off.

So this happened a few days ago.

Instead of paying for two trips on the Gold Coast tram I took a trip from Surfers Paradise to Southport on the tram,touched off then touched on again to continue as I was coming back in 2 hours (within the 3.5 hour trip limit) then when I was done with my stay in Southport I got back on the tram to broadbeach .

My ticket was checked, he said you touched on 3 hours ago in Southport and it only takes 30 minutes to get to Broadbeach and he fined me. I argued with the moron for a bit, told him no way I was handing over my ID. They threatened to call police to arrest me, I was considering just refusing as I was 99.99 % sure I was in the right but I chickend out like a idiot and gave them my I.D. and got the fine.

Comments

  • You seem very confident you did nothing wrong. Why would you even bother arguing with the inspector (who has obviously dealt with this trick before), or want the police involved? They aren't going to side with you, they're just there to get your ID or arrest you if you don't show it.

    Just go straight to court and contest it. The fact that you're arguing means you know you were in the wrong and was trying to weasel out of it.

  • -1

    Question: What are the consequences of refusing to pay a minor fine from the government? How is the nanny state going to coerce you into handing over the money?

  • +1

    How much was the fine?

  • +8

    YOU decided to be a tighwad, and you got caught out. Pay the damn fine and be done with it. You're trying to be shifty and it doesn't work! It's people like you that make things in life more expensive for everyone else. Just be a normal person and pay the normal fare and do it right. Always trying to save a buck smh. That's not going to get you rich!

    • "Always trying to save a buck smh"

      Had to check I was still on ozbargain after reading that

  • As above, you need to tap on and off everywhere you go and the system keeps track of the through journeys and time.

    You were in the wrong, whether you knew it at the time or not.

  • User name checks out.

    From the go card user guide:

    Trains and trams

    Card readers are located on station platforms
    and major stations have card readers attached
    to fare gates.
    • At fare gates, touch on as you enter the station
    or platform to begin your journey and touch off
    as you exit the station or platform at the end of
    your journey, even when the gates are open.
    • At card readers, touch on as you enter the
    station or platform to begin your journey and
    touch off as you exit the station or platform at
    the end of your journey.

    You tried to steal money. You failed and were punished accordingly. Welcome to society. Feel bad about yourself and learn from the experience and move on.

  • that username LOL

  • -1

    From my view the OP bought a ticket that lasted 3½ hours yet was fined even though his journey was less than three hours. Seems like he has a fair reason to dispute the fine.

  • There may be 60 minuets limit between touch on and off

  • Well that was a big assumption on thr ticket inspectors part. My 5 year old son loves the tram. We'll sometimes get on at broadbeach and travel to the end and back. Well over an hour on the tram. The argument that it may only take 15 minutes to get between a and b and because it's been longer you've obviously been cheating the system isn't valid if you never got off….

    • +1

      But he did get off…

  • How much was the fine out of interest?

    • Fare evasion: $261.

  • Down here in Sydney we were originally encouraged to exploit loopholes in the system (…except the Airport hack), so I wonder if they'd care about technicalities or they would simply let the risk of a double default fare make up for a few trip hackers. I assume it's still legal to travel into negative on an Opal card? The Sydney train network is strange since some stations have barriers and others do not. I assume it's not illegal to stand on a platform at an ungated platform but it is at a gated one. Indeed, ungated platforms are where wannabe-shady teenagers from these areas like to hang out, and often consist of a track-level pedestrian crossing where no bridge is present.

    The Opal website explicitly states you are granted up to 5 hours to travel a few kilometres from Bondi Junction to Newtown (https://transportnsw.info/tickets-opal/opal/fares-payments/h...). In a closed system, the limitations make sense for a geographically extensive network. In an open system they've removed a logical limitation that can be used against you. People skip empty trains, trams and buses for all sorts of reasons.

    Variable pricing is a gamble in a gateless system and the government knows it. This is one of those areas where privacy-destroying biometrics is a possible solution (any bets on which country will extend this power beyond airports first?).

  • +2

    welcome to QLD

  • +3

    What a clown. Tried to cheat the system then complains when caught. Pay the fine

  • Mate, you have Touched on and off every time you leave the tram they think down on the GC I only been 3 times on tram every time I have been checked if you want to save money touch on then donot touch off once your back in birsbane save me money.

  • +1

    could touch off and then touch back on if you back in 60min you be in the right.

  • Fight it in court OP. Don't let these beaureacratic officers upholding actual existing laws oppress you. You show em, take this all the way to the high court of Australia!

  • I was coming back in 2 hours (within the 3.5 hour trip limit)

    You only get 60 mins to start the transfer not 2 hours.
    2 buses that I get are ~70mins apart. If bus A is running 15mins late and bus B is early then sometimes I get a free trip on bus B.
    If they are early or on time then that isn't the case. As the transfer time is long closed.
    The total trip limit is when you go from some place like Nambour and want to go to the Gold Coast with a change of trains at central.
    Not well I'm at Nambour I plan on going to the CBD for 2 hours then going onto the Gold coast.

    This is the full rules for anyone wondering.

    Continue your journey within 60 minutes from within the same or adjoining zones. Transfer up to three times in a journey, starting your final transfer within three and a half hours of your initial touch on. The card reader will show a continuation of travel message.

  • Did you touch on? No.
    Pay the fine.

  • You are in the wrong.

    You.need.to.touch.on.

  • From the go card user guide:

    It is an offence to not touch on when travelling with your go card and failure to do so may result in a fine.

    I think you're wasting your time trying to contest it OP.

      • Nice ad hominem. I'd suggest reading some of my comments further on down the thread if you'd like some clarification.

  • +2

    You can’t afford the 3 dollars to pay for a legit usage of the tram

  • I know nothing about the ticketing system but I know everything about an Ozber. My money is on you were trying to save a couple of bucks and rationalizing about being within some limit. Definitely a dodgy move but I have zero problems if you manage to get out of paying the fine. So good luck.

  • -2

    meh, just appeal it no biggie

  • -2

    So many people in this thread just making shit up while ignoring the actual go card rules.

    You were touched on and still within the 6 hours maximum journey time, so you had a valid ticket. It's not their business how long it took you to make the return trip. You could have got off the tram to deal with a medical emergency, you could have been waiting for your lucky tram to arrive, you could have even got off at every stop to admire the architecture of the stations.

    It's not the ticket inspector's place to make assumptions about how long your trip should take and to just ignore your valid ticket. Appeal it.

    • +1

      So many people in this thread just making shit up while ignoring the actual go card rules.

      Did you read the part of the rules that I posted which says you may be fined if you don't tap on upon entering?

      The rules seem reasonably clear cut to me and CCTV evidence would no doubt back up the claim that OP did not tap on when entering the tram for the return journey (i.e. matching OP's entry time with the go card records). This would also put paid to the "I was doing a grand tour of the tram stations" defence, because OP would not have been spotted at any of the stations heading back to Surfer's Paradise after tapping back on.

      Presumably OP's go card record will show a tap on at Surfer's Paradise, a tap off at Southport after the expected amount of time, then a tap on very shortly after the tap off. This, combined with OP not tapping on two hours later suggests that there was intent to exploit the rules.

      If a person who was playing by the rules tapped twice by mistake when tapping off (therefore tapping on), when they came back for the return trip then it's reasonable to expect that they would tap on again at that point.

      • It is an offence to not touch on when travelling with your go card and failure to do so may result in a fine.

        That's what it says in the user guide. The thing is though, he did touch on. The person who gave the fine said that he touched on too long ago and therefore he didn't have a valid ticket. What is too long ago based on? Where does it say that you must use the first tram that arrives after you touch on, and only that tram? It doesn't. You have a valid ticket from the point you touch on until either you touch off or the six hour maximum journey time runs out.

        • +1

          You can't just selectively read the user guide. Touch on and off guidelines are as follows:

          Trains and trams

          Card readers are located on station platforms and major stations have card readers attached to fare gates.

          • At fare gates, touch on as you enter the station or platform to begin your journey and touch off as you exit the station or platform at the end of your journey, even when the gates are open.

          • At card readers, touch on as you enter the station or platform to begin your journey and touch off as you exit the station or platform at
            the end of your journey.

          Emphasis mine to illustrate why OP has fallen foul of the rules.

          Also:

          You have a valid ticket from the point you touch on until either you touch off or the six hour maximum journey time runs out.

          This is an incorrect interpretation of the fare rules for a number of reasons. If these were the rules then no one would ever tap off if they were planning to take additional public transport within a six hour timeframe. The reality is that you need to tap into another form of transport within 60 minutes of tapping off and your third transfer needs to happen within 3.5 hours of your initial tap on for the journey.

          • @Nomadesque: That is just advice on how to use a go card. It isn't the definition of "touch on" as used in the law that describes the relevant offence. For that, you'd need to look at the Transport Operations (Passenger Transport) Act 1994:

            A person evades payment of a fare in relation to a public passenger vehicle if the person (a) when attempting to travel, for an intended journey (ii) if using a smartcard, does not tag on.

            tag on means present a smartcard to a smartcard reader on starting a journey, or part of a journey, resulting in a response from the smartcard reader that the transaction is successful.

            This person tagged on and got a successful transaction message - the only question is whether the point that they touched on can be considered the start of (a part of) their journey. And I can't see anything that says that you must board the next tram after starting a journey or even that you can't leave the station.

            The last thing you said took my quote out of context, just so you know. What I was saying applied to this specific situation where they have already touched on within 60 minutes to continue their journey. Once that continuation is confirmed, the only time limit they have to reach their destination is the 6 hour journey limit. Certainly not some ticket inspector's completely made up 30 minute limit.

            • +1

              @mekktor: Translink's definition of a "journey" and a "trip"

              When making a number of trips to get to your destination it is still one journey if you touch on within 60 minutes of touching off on your previous trip.

              Definition for a trip: A trip is defined as the distance travelled from point of embarkation on a vehicle (or vessel) to its terminus, or to a location, prior to the terminus, where the passenger disembarks from the vehicle. A trip may be the full journey or part of the journey.

              So, in touching off, then on, then exiting the tram / station, you're no longer undertaking a "journey" or a "trip" per the definitions. The next time you board a tram or train it's a new journey / trip.

              Therefore, the following applies:

              143AB When does a person evade payment of a fare

              (1) A person evades payment of a fare in relation to a public
              passenger vehicle if the person—
              (a) when attempting to travel, for an intended journey—
              (iii) attempts to travel on an invalid ticket

              invalid ticket means a ticket for a journey for which a ticket is
              required that—
              (a) is used, or attempted to be used—
              (ii) for a journey that is not the journey for which the
              ticket was issued

              As the tag on happened before the service that OP boarded to return home embarked, logic dictates that this is a different service than the ticket was issued for. This is also because OP effectively ended their journey by not continuing with their trip after tagging on for the final time.

              Let's also not lose sight of the fact that had OP only stayed in Southport for one hour instead of two and tagged off and on during the 60 minute time frame, they would have been fine. Instead of being fine, they received a $261 fine.

              Doesn't seem worth it to save a couple of bucks when you're not on 100% solid legal ground, as OP's behaviour suggests was the case when they capitulated in the face of authority.

              • +1

                @Nomadesque: Ok, I don't see how leaving the station somehow cancels the trip you began if you just touched on. Even if you leave the station, you are still embarking at the same location, just hours later. And the act of touching on in that moment doesn't give you permission to only ride a specific tram service. It seems like we won't reach any consensus here, so I give up trying to convince you… but it has been fun.

                I agree it's probably not worth it for a one off saving. But with the right circumstances, this kind of thing could save someone $5 or more each day. I know I will do any little trick like this to save a few dollars here and there. And I've been in plenty of worse situations than OP was with Translink officers having no issues with what I was doing. Sure, maybe I've just been very lucky. But also, maybe OP was just unlucky and got someone who wanted to go on a power trip.

                • @mekktor:

                  Ok, I don't see how leaving the station somehow cancels the trip you began if you just touched on.

                  It goes back to what Translink define as a trip.

                  To paraphrase, it's the distance travelled on a [Translink] vehicle between where you get on it and where you get off it.

                  If you tag on and do not travel a distance on a Translink vehicle, you're not undertaking a trip at that point.

                  In OP's case, they tagged off when they disembarked and ended that trip by doing so. They then had 60 minutes to continue their journey by starting another trip.

                  They might have tagged back on immediately, but as they did not embark on a vehicle at that time their trip didn't actually start until the point that they did embark on a vehicle which was beyond the 60 minute limit. It doesn't matter that their card says that they're tagged on as they've exceeded the transfer time.

                  Honestly, I think it's less about the Translink officer going on a power trip than doing their job properly. I'm sure a lot of officers just see that someone's card is tagged on and think they're OK, whereas this officer obviously looked more closely at the tag on time and realised the discrepancy.

                  I'm sure the infringement received just said fare evasion / invalid ticket rather than "was on the tram for longer than I deemed was acceptable". Hard to know as OP seems to have disappeared from this discussion (as often happens when the consensus is that an injustice hasn't been committed).

                  • @Nomadesque: Oh, I see what you're saying now - that a trip begins when you embark on the vehicle, not when you touch on before embarking. But even if that's true, the time limit of 60 minutes still only applies to touching on, not embarking or beginning the "trip":

                    When making a number of trips to get to your destination it is still one journey if you touch on within 60 minutes of touching off on your previous trip.

                    • @mekktor: Going back to one of your earlier posts where you quoted the definitions of "tag on" and "tag off", both of those descriptions seem to suggest that you wouldn't tag on unless you were commencing a journey or part of a journey (which I assume means a trip; this wording should probably be more consistent).

                      Given that you aren't considered to have commenced a journey / trip until you've embarked on the vehicle, it follows that you shouldn't have tagged on if weren't planning to immediately embark on a vehicle because that's the only reason why you would tag on in the first place.

                      All of this is secondary legal wrangling which muddies the waters, when the fact is that if you tag on just before or as you enter a vehicle and tag off just after or as you disembark from a vehicle, you won't get fined. It's very simple.

                      • @Nomadesque: There is no time limit given for how long you have to begin your journey/trip after touching on. You say they didn't begin their journey after they touched on. I say they did - two hours later. If that is too late, then it needs to be clearly stated how much time you have. Is one minute (the time it takes to walk from the card reader to the tram) ok? Is thirty minutes (the time you might have to wait for a train) ok? Is two hours (the time it takes you to sleep for two hours before getting on the tram) ok? The rules should clearly state what is allowed and what isn't.

                        I think at best you've shown that the rules are not clear and maybe even contradictory, in which case, surely the benefit of the doubt should go to OP? And if Translink wants to prevent these kind of tactics, then they should state the rules more clearly and improve their system so it isn't possible for someone to have a "touched on" go card which doesn't count as a valid ticket.

                        • @mekktor:

                          If that is too late, then it needs to be clearly stated how much time you have.

                          60 minutes. If you disembark from one service, you need to embark on another service within 60 minutes. Tagging on is part of the embarkation process, as the definition you posted states.

                          Is one minute (the time it takes to walk from the card reader to the tram) ok

                          Yes.

                          Is thirty minutes (the time you might have to wait for a train) ok?

                          Yes.

                          Is two hours (the time it takes you to sleep for two hours before getting on the tram) ok?

                          No. Despite that scenario being incredibly unlikely, it's objectively true that 2 hours is longer than 60 minutes.

                          I think at best you've shown that the rules are not clear and maybe even contradictory, in which case, surely the benefit of the doubt should go to OP?

                          I'd say the way penguincat interprets the rules would probably be how most go card users would interpret them. I'm assuming that this kind of exploit can only happen at stations where there are card readers that are external to the public transport vehicles.

                          And if Translink wants to prevent these kind of tactics, then they should state the rules more clearly and improve their system so it isn't possible for someone to have a "touched on" go card which doesn't count as a valid ticket.

                          Or they could just fine the small number of people who they catch doing it which might make them rethink doing it in the future.

                          This approach is probably cheaper than overhauling the whole system when I'm sure that 99% of users understand the single tap getting on / single tap getting off mechanic well and act accordingly.

                          People intentionally exploiting the system tends to result in these special deals getting wound back or made less accessible for everyone (including those who use it as intended).

                          It happened with the Opal system in NSW and now it takes more trips per week to hit the qualification cap for free travel, just because a bunch of people worked out they could get free travel for a week after spending as little as ~$18.

                          • @Nomadesque: I think I see where you're coming from but I still don't agree with you. I won't go into it though, or we'll just end up going at it forever. I appreciate that you actually put the effort into understanding both the rules and what OP actually did, which wasn't the case for most people in this thread (as I said in my first comment).

                            We had a similar situation here in QLD, where they switched from "Make 9 journeys then travel for free" to "Make 8 journeys then travel for 50% off". There's nothing wrong with that though. The promotion was poorly implemented so they fixed it. That's all.

                            • @mekktor: The average person looks at OP's intention and can't admit "the system" itself might be flawed.

                              A foreigner might ask "why can I ride transport non-stop for 6 hours but get penalised if I take a 60 minute break?" If someone pops on a bus for one stop to avoid a separate fare is he doing the "right thing"? Sure, he took up extra passenger space so that the little granny couldn't squeeze in, but at least he righteously "followed the written rules".

                              There's a reason we've had tax reforms, transport pricing reforms, law reforms… Lawmakers make mistakes and social change dictates changes to the law.

                              The current system might be the best possible, but it's our duty to challenge it's logic theoretically.

                              Religions and political groups don't need virtuosness to survive. They just need blind followers.

                              • @peterpeterpumpkin:

                                A foreigner might ask "why can I ride transport non-stop for 6 hours but get penalised if I take a 60 minute break?"

                                If a foreigner was to ask that, the response would be that you pay for a new journey because the rules say that you're only allowed 60 minutes between trips during a journey. You're not "penalised" if you have over an hour break between trips. That's loaded language.

                                It would be like me being in Moscow and complaining that I have to buy a ticket every time I get on the metro because the rules in Australia are different.

                                If someone pops on a bus for one stop to avoid a separate fare is he doing the "right thing"?

                                If we apply this this to OP's case, it would have been more than one stop. In fact, they would have needed to take the bus for an hour and before arriving back in Southport and spending an hour or less there before returning back home. Why? Because they have 60 minutes to transfer between trips

                                There's a reason we've had tax reforms, transport pricing reforms, law reforms… Lawmakers make mistakes and social change dictates changes to the law.

                                Yes, and each time this happens the laws become more restrictive and prescriptive for end users. Very rarely do things get better for the people the laws are designed to control.

                                The current system might be the best possible, but it's our duty to challenge it's logic theoretically.

                                OP didn't theoretically challenge the logic of the system. They actually challenged its logic and were left wanting when the opportunity to stand up against the system was presented.

                                Religions and political groups don't need virtuosness to survive. They just need blind followers.

                                Yes, those poor Translink sheeple who are happy with the current system and know that exploiting loopholes will likely lead to stricter rules being enforced. When will they ever learn?

    • -1

      Exactly what I was thinking!

      Claim you have been sleeping in tram!
      Say you just had an argument with your wife and now stay in the tram to cool-off!
      Claim you have been sleeping on a station!
      Say you were feeling stressed and driving in a tram calms you down, so you stay in it for a long time.
      Just say any excuse that would even possibly justify your long time in a tram or a station.

      Source: One day traveled Sydney-Wollongong-Sydney on purpose and slept on it because I find trains relaxing on the same ticket. No way a ticket controller will tell me that what I am doing is illegal.

      • Source: One day traveled Sydney-Wollongong-Sydney on purpose and slept on it because I find trains relaxing on the same ticket. No way a ticket controller will tell me that what I am doing is illegal.

        Haha, unless you had your ticket checked or actually approached a member of staff to confirm what you were doing was OK, you getting away with it one time does not confirm that it's legal.

        Anyway, your example is a fair bit different from OP's because:

        • OP is in Queensland, you're in NSW
        • You didn't get off the train in Wollongong and wander around for two hours after intentionally double tapping on exit to take advantage of a loophole.
  • You won’t get much sympathy around here unfortunately.

  • +1

    What did you think you were accomplishing by posting this?
    You were trying to cheat the system and you got caught, cry me a river.

  • You think you don’t have to pay for the “return” portion of your journey? Mind-blowing how entitled some people seem to be.

    • I think he just convinced himself of how the rules should work, instead of just obeying them

  • -2

    Heh, this has been a good/funny read. But this needs to be closed, with Op is a dunderhead title.

    Look like a lot of anarchist, trying to stick it to the man.

    Rules in Qld seem to be the same in Sydney. You have to tap on and off every time. The system will decide if you were within the period where there is a continuation of travel.

  • +1

    Next time - If you see them again, all you have to do is: - RUN!!!

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