Revenue protection processes

Fare evasion is a concern to all operators. Ticketing fraud is usually dependent upon the active intervention of the ticket issuer or machine holder, the ticket inspection staff or the passenger or some collusion between parties. Often operators have difficulty in quantifying the revenue losses from fare evasion.  Most operators obtain fare evasion estimates through internal sources, although some external studies have been conducted.

The intensity of evasion and the cost to operators varies widely, depending on the cultural attitude to evasion, the degree of sophistication of the ticketing and fare collection environment, and also the perseverance of operators in managing and identifying fraud and in successfully prosecuting offenders. 

Before the widespread introduction of modern ticketing systems, London Transport had estimated [from its internal studies] that it lost 4% of legitimate revenues to evasion and that one bus passenger in 20 on average was travelling with some form of ticket irregularity during a journey. In less sophisticated operating environments with weak ticketing systems, very much higher levels of legitimate revenue loss can be expected.

Modern electronic ticketing systems are more difficult to infiltrate and thus identified evasion tends to be far lower with the introduction of such systems. In many cases the cost of investment in the system is returned in a very short period through the revenue losses avoided.

With informal transport, the driver has usually contracted with the vehicle owner to deliver a fixed daily ‘hire’ charge, retaining all excess revenues, or sometimes is the owner of the vehicle. In either case, he is well motivated to ensure the collection of all revenues and will only employ a trusted assistant over whom he keeps a close supervision. The crew will deal effectively with any passengers who attempt to avoid payment.

  • Managing evasion
  • Passenger evasion
  • Crew peculation
  • Passenger / inspection collusion
  • Passenger / crew collusion
  • Crew / inspection collusion
  • Crew / machine repairer collusion
  • Penalty fares and application
  • Criminalization of offences