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New penalties scare off fare dodgers on Shanghai subway

2014-05-14 11:10 Shanghai Daily Web Editor: Yao Lan

The threat of tougher punishments helped to halve the number of fare dodgers on Shanghai's subway network to about 60 a day in the first four months of the year, its operator said yesterday.

"We attribute the steep decline to a new regulation that came into force earlier in the year, which means that people who evade paying their fares face bigger fines and can be given a black mark on their personal credit records," said Shao Weizhong, deputy director of Shanghai Shentong Group.

In the January-April period, 7,260 people were caught traveling without a ticket or taking a longer ride than they had pad for, which was about half the total for the equivalent period of last year, the operator said.

A further 6,821 people were apprehended by Metro staff while trying to avoid paying for their rides, it said.

Two men were stopped at Yishan Road Station at 8am yesterday as they tried to squeeze through a turnstile together using a single ticket. They were each fined 75 yuan (US$12), which is equivalent to five times the price of the most expensive single journey ticket on the Shanghai Metro system.

Another popular method of cheating involves people, aged under 60, using cards issued to seniors, the operator said. In the year through April, 912 people were caught trying to use the free rides offered to senior citizens.

Of all the fare dodgers apprehended this year, the personal details of about 50 have been passed to the Shanghai Economy and Informatization Commission, Shao said.

The mark on their records could affect their ability to secure a bank loan or even get a job, he said.

As well as regular spot checks and crackdowns at key stations, Shentong Group said earlier it is setting up a special team to combat fare dodgers. The 100-member unit will undergo professional training with the city's traffic law enforcement team and once operational will assist the 2,000-plus monitors already working on the network.

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