Metrolink penalty fares extended to Bee Network buses

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Previously only applicable on Metrolink services, penalty fares will also apply on Bee Network buses from 24 September. TfGM

The penalty fare for travelling without a valid ticket or pass on Manchester’s Metrolink will be increasing to £120 from the 24 September as part of ongoing efforts to tackle fare evasion on public transport, and will be extended to cover new Bee Network franchised bus services.

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) is urging passengers to take note of the higher penalty fare and to ensure they touch-in at the start and touch-out at the end of every journey when using contactless, smart cards or concessionary passes. As part of its crackdown, dozens of additional Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) are being employed to carry out ticket inspections.

The maximum penalty for fare evasion will rise from £100 to £120 (reduced to £60, previously £50, if paid within two weeks), and the fine for failing to pay by contactless, currently set at £45, will increase to £60 at the same time. The same fines are also being introduced on Bee Network franchised bus services, which launch in Bolton, Wigan, and parts of Salford, Bury and Manchester on the same date.

Danny Vaughan, TfGM’s Head of Metrolink, said: “We’re increasing penalty fares to remind passengers to pay for their ticket before boarding a tram. It’s simple and it’s cheap so there is no excuse for free loading, and it won’t be tolerated. This year we have issued almost 55,000 penalty fares and brought just under 6,000 cases to court, with defendants receiving fines of up to £450.

“The easiest way to use Metrolink is the contactless system. Simply touch-on and touch-off for each journey and we’ll cap the amount you pay at the best price for each day or for a week if you are a regular user. You’ll always pay the lowest fare, and it’s far cheaper than being caught or ending up in court.”