The Netherlands Seeks Less Confrontational Strategies to Stop Fare Evasion

Rather than simply being punitive, the Dutch rail carrier is trying to find cost effective ways to collect fares and make riders feel welcome.
January 18, 2019, 12pm PST | Casey Brazeal | @northandclark
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The Dutch are trying a suite of different strategies to cut fare evasions without hefty fees or confrontations. "The Netherlands’ national rail carrier Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) has succeeded in reducing fare dodging and accompanying violence through a new approach: not by increasing inspections or ticket enforcement, but by simply barring any access at all to many stations for anyone without a ticket," Feargus O'Sullivan reports for CityLab. Some cities have replaced outright fines with fees that include a ten-ride pack and an informational brochure.

"In general, fare dodging is infuriating for both transit authorities and the majority of riders who do pay for their tickets, but is not necessarily a huge drain on Northern Europe’s public transit systems," O'Sullivan contends, arguing that strenuous ticket enforcement measures like those used in London recoup less money than they cost. This gentler approach also seems to be curbing violent confrontations, which are down by more than 25% across the country.

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Published on Tuesday, January 8, 2019 in CityLab
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