Sydney Uni Newspaper Promotes Fare Evasion On Buses & Trains
Sydney University’s student newspaper, Honi Soit, is under fire from the NSW Government for printing a how-to guide to fare evasion on our public transport system.
The article, “State of Non-Compliance” details how to bypass Opal reader gates at train stations, as well as giving students ways to distract drivers when boarding buses.
It also advises evaders to join Facebook groups which provide updates on the whereabouts of ticket-checking transport officers (TOs), describing them as “the natural enemy”.
The article states:
“If you’re on a train, you can normally see TOs as you draw up to the platform, and unless they walk onto your carriage it’s normally possible to avoid them before the next stop by moving through carriages,”
“If they’re loitering outside the gate at your destination, wait it out in the toilets until they’ve moved on … even if you are caught if you run away it’s possible they won’t give chase.”
“No one should feel guilty about evading fares, especially those among us who have no other option,”
“You’re not going to harm the state’s bottom line if you don’t buy a ticket. The government estimates it loses $80 million each year to fare evasion, which is a fraction of the $1.2 billion it made from passenger services this year.”
Transport Minister Andrew Constance is far from impressed.
“These guys come along and actively encourage (fare evading) — it’s outright stupidity,” he said.
“(They) should be spending more time on their studies and less time encouraging people to break the law. The average adult passenger fare only covers about 25 per cent of the actual cost of running it. Plus with student concessions and Opal discounts, public transport is affordable. Anyone not doing the right thing will be caught.”
The Honi Soit editorial team said claim they don't support fare evasion and that the article was meant to be “satirical”, pointing to a subheading that reads “this is definitely not how to fare evade”.
A Sydney University spokeswoman said it did not condone illegal behaviour and reminded students “that fare evasion is a crime.”