How To Dodge Fares When Using Public Transport

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How To Dodge Fares When Using Public Transport


Need to catch a train but you’ve lost your wallet? Can’t afford a new weekly bus ticket until pay day? Here are some sneaky emergency strategies that you can use to try and score a free trip.

Picture by Edwin11

As regular Lifehacker readers will already know, I’m a frequent user and fervent supporter of public transport, and I’m absolutely not advocating that anyone should use these techniques on a regular basis. Public transport is underfunded enough as it is, and failing to purchase a ticket deprives the system of revenue and usage data. These are emergency tactics, not suggestions on how to run your regular transport needs. If a ticket inspector gets on board, you’ll face hefty fines and I will have zero sympathy for you. (Bear in mind too that there are free options available in many city centres.)

As with our other Evil Week posts, the key lesson is that knowledge is power. If you end up stuck somewhere unfamiliar with no money, having a fare-free option can be useful. If you’re on your way to work and realise that you’ve forgotten your weekly ticket, knowing which stations aren’t supervised and hence allow you to exit and buy a ticket for that one journey is a lot cheaper than being hit with a penalty fare from a grumpy railway worker. And a final point: these tactics are based on observation — I’ve never tried any of them myself, because I’m majorly self-righteous like that.

Trains


Outlying suburban stations rarely have gates (though major interchange stations are usually an exception), which means you can travel between stations without a ticket. The big risk here is that there will be ticket inspectors on board. In Adelaide, where trains have ticket machines on board, you could try buying a ticket as soon as you see an inspector board, but you might well get spotted.

If you’re travelling from a long way away on a regular basis, you can purchase a cheap weekly ticket between two city locations, rather than between the city and your destination. I had one colleague who calculated that even if she got busted and paid a fine every couple of months, that was cheaper than buying the official ticket. (That said, a demonstrable pattern of fare evasion could lead to a court appearance and much higher fines.)

Reminder why evasion won’t always work: Railway operators are alive to many of these techniques. In Sydney, wide gates have a separating fence so you can’t easily switch to them, and in the CBD they’re almost always manned. In cities with a smart-card system, trying to use a cheaper ticket for a longer trip won’t work, since if you fail to touch off you’ll usually be charged the maximum possible journey fee.

Trams


Reminder why evasion won’t always work: As I’ve mentioned, inspections on trams in Melbourne seem more common than with other forms of transport. In Adelaide and Sydney, there are conductors on board, so those strategies won’t work at all. Picture by Geoff Penaluna

Buses


One popular strategy is to offer to pay, but only produce a $100 bill. Some drivers will wave you on rather than argue about their lack of change. (That said, sometimes they’ll have change anyway.)

Another possibility on a busy bus with paper ticket readers is to use a non-valid ticket but then just keep walking after it is rejected from the validator. Especially if you use the non-driver-side validator, you may get away with it.

If you happen to look young, you could claim to be a student and say you’ve lost your free bus pass, though this depends entirely on the sympathy of the driver.

Reminder why evasion won’t always work: In London, I once saw a woman get on the night bus and then immediately throw her ticket out the window to her friend who had loaned it to her. This didn’t work, as I was the only other passenger on the bus, and the driver immediately threw her off. Picture by Ruth Ellison

Ferries


Got any other strategies for emergency fare evasion? Share them in the comments.

Lifehacker’s weekly Loaded column looks at better ways to manage (and stop worrying about) your money.

Comments

      • I find it hard to condemn slippery slope arguments in a comment to an article by Angus. After all, he did once write an entire article claiming that there was no moral basis on which someone could simultaneously hold the positions that

        a) instructing people on how to rip off a popular internet book store was poor form; and

        b) downloading music from the internet illegally may sometimes be justified.

        Strained analogies are pretty much his stock in trade.

    • I have lost 2 jobs due to Cityrail’s constant delays and cancellations, and I aim to get to work 20 minutes early so I can have a smoke and a coffee! Quite frankly I feel entitled to take a little bit back! Not to mention Cityrail’s “half fare”, which is more like a 65%-75% fare. Toilets always being closed. Stations guards or cops ticketing you (but not the old lady walking in front) making you miss your train. Ticket machines out of order, then the issues at the ticket gates when you get off… (Been fined thrice! (THRICE!!!!) Had to take 3 days off work, unpaid, to explain to the court that the ticket machine was down, there was no operator at the counter, to prevent $600 worth of fines. I NEVER saw the $500 or so I lost over those 3 days. Cityrail owes me thousands of dollars, I can assure you.

  • If you’re low on money, walk. Don’t just think just because it’s your first time/only time, it’s legal.

    Have you seen the people that have gotten caught? It’s looks so embarrassing and you would lose all dignity as you are escorted to the local station.

  • I’ve had to use this in Perth, as the BPay system for TransPerth can be very slow, and even if it warns you when sub $5 is left on your card, and you fill up that night, it can take up to 3 business days for the top-up to appear on the card.

    If you’re using the Armadale/Thornlie or Midland lines, you can just not tag on at the suburban stations, and then get off at McIver or Claresbrook prior to the CBD, as they don’t have gates, and then it is a short 5 min walk to the CBD.

  • When I was at uni I used to just push open the barriers and walk through. A weekly ticket was about $25 and I had $70 a week after rent to live on. I copped a fine afew times and didnt pay them until a few years later since SDRA suspended my license and I eventually needed it back.

    Having said that I would NEVER do that now. Age is wisdom I guess.

    And to the people who are about to say why didnt you get a job, I HAD a job and worked a minimum of 30 – 35 hours a week PLUS did uni full time. This was a loooong time ago, I recall my average weekly wage working those hours was less than $200..oh and I never got centerlink benefits either.

  • This is probably one of the most dumbass things I’ve ever read on the internets. Allow me to contribute some more content for the article:

    HOW TO GET A JACKET IN AN EMERGENCY

    If you need a new jacket and you’re out of cash, just wait until the shop assistant has their back turned. Now I’m not condoning shop lifting, but in an emergency, there’s plenty of ways you can get your mits on a jacket without paying for it…..

    • Yeah but fare evasion isn’t stealing, it’s more like piracy.
      The owners and such don’t get anything out of you, but they’re not losing anything either.

      Back when I was in high school I regularly had to jump on the train between a few outer suburb stations, no money for a ticket, got lucky.
      That all ended in 05 though when I started uni, and from then til now I’ve always had a valid ticket.

      • “The owners and such don’t get anything out of you, but they’re not losing anything either.”

        Don’t be fooled: PT is propped up by taxpayers, but on most systems the fares also make a big contribution. If everybody dodged fares, in most cities enough revenue would be lost that services would have to be cut.

        The top of the article might claim these ideas are for emergency use only, but the suggestions to buy a ticket as soon as the Inspectors board to dodge a fine, or claim to a bus driver that you only have a $100 note in the hopes they won’t have change, show otherwise. It’s simple theft.

    • Fare evading is much more of a victimless crime than shoplifting. Especially if you were either going to fare evade or else not travel all. Like Metlink says ” If you fare evade, you shouldn’t be here!”

      • shoplifting is not a victimless crime… are you dumb? you are giving a hard working individual a loss that they must deal with, or making someone life harder. public transport is supported by the government, and if an individual has the money they should pay, I myself have been fined 3 times for holding the wrong ticket, as I purchased a concession ticket and did not hold a concession card (all 3 I was in school uniform going home) but for many people paying $6.8 a day can really add up, and if they do or don’t use the transport it has no effect on the system (unless the transport is full and a paying customer cant get on, which never happens lol…)

        • It doesn’t matter if you’re in school uniform, you could have lost your concession card for misbehaviour so you would no longer be entitled to the concession fare. (This was the case when I was in school, anyway.)

  • Fare evasion is reverse gambling. If you win, you save $2.75, if you lose, it costs you $300+ – I’d much rather just not bother.

    But when stupidly broke, I have just gone through the gates at rushhour with the crowd by waving a card of some nature at the scanners. Getting lost in the crowd is by far the easiest way.

  • It’s interesting how you make a big moral statement about the bit torrent/usenet articles from the US site but then condone this.

    You can travel between some smaller ferry stops without paying as there is no where to buy a ticket at either end. There’s talk of closing them down due to lack of funds. I’d happily pay if it meant keeping the service

  • For Sydney trains avoid the big stations during busy times cos there’s always rent-a-cops waiting outside the gates.

    Also, if you can get on at a station with no gates, when you get to your destination, tell the worker at the gate that the ticket machine wasn’t working, and you want to buy your ticket at that end. This has worked for me, even in front of 3 rent-a-cops.

  • Um… This website is called ” Lifehacker ” guys. Hacker being the key word. In Brisbane if your getting the air-rail train. Swipe on when you get on, and “forget” to swipe off at the aiport. Max fee is something like $5 where as the airtrain is $15.

  • Terrible article. Blatantly condoning crime. Part of the reason that public transport is underfunded is due to the huge rate of fare evasion. How could Lifehacker possibly promote this?

  • Although the info here is dubious in content it does have a place on “LIFEHACKER” I believe.
    This literally happened to me this morning in Melbourne on my way to work. Managed to forget my wallet, happens very rarely indeed. Fortunately I managed to get to a gate-less train station. I usually carry enough ‘coinage’ on me to make a phone call or alike but not enough for the all day ticket. Had to skip the big stations as suggested. *wipes brow*
    Thanks Lifehacker team!

      • Apparently my getting to work on time was worth $500 to me. I’ll be doing the same on the way home or borrowing a colleagues Miki. I guess people will have issues with that too?
        Again, thank you LIFEHACKER!
        P.S. No, didn’t steal lunch. Finding myself rather hungry and noticing a STARK difference between fair evading and stealing another possessions.

  • Presenting a $100 implies that you HAVE money, and therefore shouldn’t be employing these dodgy methods of Transport rorting anyway.

    It automatically negates the “emergency situation” you suggested this advice be used in.

  • What the hell is this crap?

    First off the subject matter is just downright wrong, you’re talking about breaking the law. Simple.

    Secondly this isn’t an article, it’s a sentence, with “discus in the comment below” written after it. Why the fuck do I bother to come here?!?!?!?! lifehacker.com.au is getting worse than the disgusting crap gawker USA pulls.

    • Dude. It’s not breaking the law.

      Public transport in Sydney is extremely expensive, plus it’s in horrible condition.

      Maybe if some more people did this, and told those so-called cops to shove it if they get caught? then there might be a change.

      PS: I’ve never done this myself, but I really dispise this rail workers who get dressed like cops to intimidate people.

      Spend money in making your trains better, and put your fares down like other 1st world nations in the world.

  • As a worker for Melbournes train system, it infuriates me when people brazenly fare evade.

    Forgot your ticket/wallet? Dont travel on the train. You knew you needed your ticket, why didnt you bring it?

    Smartcard doesnt work? Get a new one. Dont keep using the broken one as its not deducting money thus youre fare evading.

    A new way of fare evasion im seeing is where the customer buys a Zone 2 ticket, travels into Zone 1 and claims that they asked for a zone 1 and 2, but the bus driver must have misheard them.

  • Its funny. I drove busses for 3 years and quite a few times people came up with eitehr a $50 or a $100 note trying to evade fares. It very occasionally worked. One time I gave a guy $95.60 in coins.. he wasn’t too happy but it wasn’t going to stop me since I had plenty of change in my float bag.

    On the otehr hand with the girl trying to give her friend the ticket out the window.. here in Adelaide the machiens are set up so you can’t use the same ticket on the same bus within around 15 mins so that won’t work here.

  • easiest way to do it in melbourne is carry a MYKI card. if an inspector asks for a ticket show it to them. There’s a 99% chance they won’t have a portable machine to check if the ticket is valid because these machines have about a 2 hour battery life; so consequently are seldom, if ever used (i’ve never seen one).

  • Nice article, I think it’s pretty obvious that you don’t condone fare evasion, yet every commenter still manages to call you a crook, don’t listen to them.

    I once ran out of money and had to catch a last train before I could get to an ATM, I pretended to be asleep when the ticket inspector came and legally he can’t touch me to wake me up (I’m pretty sure). Another handy tip for everyone out there.

  • If I’ve forgotten to buy a new weekly ticket (it rarely happens but sometimes I will be sick or there’s a long weekend or similar and I just get the days messed up), I just say I forgot and show them my previous week’s ticket that is only one day (two at the most) out of date and I have never had a problem.

    If there is no ticket seller at my station, I can always use the “there was no way to buy my ticket at the originating station” excuse.. usually there is a guy there but somedays not.. automatic machines don’t take EFTPOS/VISA/MASTERCARD and there are zero ATMs in my suburb…

  • When I was a student, I would just chance it and not pay the train fare. The fines back then were only $50 and the checks were extremely rare, meaning you could ride trains the whole year for maybe one or two fines worth of cost. Once I was caught out at the station and just legged it away .. luckily the guards weren’t bothered enough to run after me; they just shouted at me couple of times. These days though, what with the much bigger fine, its probably not worth it … just pay the man and be done with it. 😉

  • Take the profit out of the system and I’ll gladly pay, I shouldn’t have to pay taxes as well as ticket fairs and some CEO is profiting billions while the system still fails on some levels.

    • I pay regardless but yes, I would really like to get on the train and not recognise the same dirty floor as the carriage I rode on the day before.. and the week before.. over and over again.. I mean.. if basic cleaning is not getting done, let alone train maintenance, what is being done?

      • Trains are ridiculously expensive to run and maintain. The ticket actually subsidizes only about 10% of the actual cost of travel. Buses are less so, the ticket prices here subsidize about 50% of the cost of travel. This are figures for Brisbane, I don’t know about elsewhere.

    • ??? – Public transport makes no profit, they run at a significant loss to the government and the fares offset the loss a little. I don’t know if it’s different where you are but our public transport is still public in Brisbane, no-one is reaping huge profits out of it as far as I’m aware.

      • If that’s the case, then where is the money going that Translink makes from their exorbitant fares? Or does the Qld Government/BCC just have a policy that people should buy/use cars to get around? Perth people, on the other hand, have absolutely no right to fare evade given public transport is friggin’ cheap there – even if it does stop running after dark

  • As an OH&S thing, the CityRail ticket gates have a feature where the left arm must be able to be raised manually. If you’re smooth enough and skinny enough it’s possible to get through unnoticed.

  • Thanks to the morons as “transit officers” (ie rail monkeys) giving me a fine which 1) was unwarranted because I had a valid ticket (and have since confirmed this), 2) keep insisting I pay $50 to have it heard at court (and each time that money just disappears – never get it back win or lose) then not sending me a court date, and 3) cancelling my license and rego, I have not bought a single full priced train ticket or paid car registration/insurance for nearly 3 years now. There are plenty of easy tricks for avoiding fines on the trains without confrontation, and even if I got a fine now I’ve worked out I’m roughly $15,000 ahead ($3000 a year for rego and insurance, around $2500 a year for train tickets) so thank you CityRail, State Debt Recovery Office and Roads and Transport Authority for being collective a*ssholes and saving me a huge chunk of money in the process. If I get pulled over driving it’s a different issue but I paid for my license for 5 years so even though it’s void it’s enough that it has gotten me through without troubles on the handful of times I’ve been pulled over for a breath test. Rego is trickier but I’m definitely not giving my secrets away here.

    One quick tip which doesn’t hinder me by sharing (for Sydney anyway): when you buy a single ticket, the machine captures it at the destination. If you buy a concession, normally the orange light on the ticket gate lights up to indicate you’re on a half-fare ticket but when it captures the ticket it doesn’t matter. So if you’re going somewhere with rail monkeys just get a single concession. Especially if you’re travelling usual peak times, two single concession tickets is no dearer than a full-priced return.

    • >because I had a valid ticket (and have since confirmed this),

      those scumbags! You couldn’t show them a valid ticket at the time, so they gave you a fine? 😮
      Life is unfair.

      >I paid for my license for 5 years so even though it’s void

      You’re still driving around unlicensed and uninsured. You might be able to sweet-talk your way out of a fine occasionally, but you’ll be in big trouble when you have an accident.

    • You’ll be pleased to know that most police cars are fitted with number plate recognition cameras now. If one of those spots your car, it will instantly alert the officers to your registration status

  • One way of getting on board public transport which doesn’t involve evasion or any kind of illegal activity is BEGGING. Kids and scruffy teenagers (and adults) do this all time. They see me coming and come up to me for a couple of dollars. One night I got cornered by three in a row.

  • Not that I’d fare evade (considering I work in the outer suburbs and commuting there via public transport would not only be more expensive, but also take over an hour, plus if I do use the public transport system here in Melbourne, I’m more than happy to pay), but one thing a mate has told me is when you get caught by ticket inspectors on the train, is to say that you didn’t have the opportunity to buy your ticket before boarding the train, but you will buy one as soon as you step off to your station.

    Hopefully, the ticket inspectors will accept this and let you go, and as soon as you step off the train you walk straight through the gates. There is the risk that they will still be on the train, and may see you walk straight out, or accompany you to your station to witness you purchase the ticket.

  • “Next Time: How to Beat Someone to Within an Inch of Their Lives, and Avoid Sentencing!

    Now we don’t condone violence, but we also know how important, and justifiable, it is when used on someone you think really deserves it. We’re absolutely not advocating that anyone should use these techniques on a regular basis! LOL!”

  • Pretty poor form to post this article.

    You can put whatever preamble you like regarding about how you support public transport and that these are ’emergency’ techniques.

    But at the end of the day lifehacker is still encouraging individuals to break the law and avoiding buying a ticket. Essentially leeching off the system.

    Irresponsible journalism.

    I guess next time I can’t find any money when I’m in the supermarket I might just walk out with a loaf of bread and it’s ok because it’s an ’emergency’?

        • I say that only because I’m concerned about the advice of bring a $100 note with the reasoning that they won’t be able to break it while the article is supposed to be for those who have no money in an emergency situation.

          • So you are saying that statement justifies this article? That has to be some sort of logical fallacy in use.

          • Maybe because as already stated bit torrent itself is not illegal.

            Fare evading is illegal. This is very specific advice to commit an illegal act or acts.

            The same comment would apply if lifehacker posted specific instructions on how to use p2p networks to obtain illegal material rather than just use ‘automated downloading’.

            Your defence of the article is really quite flawed.

  • Only problem with doing this in Melbourne is ticket inspectors (or ‘tram cops’) are sneaky and wear plainclothes. They also don’t announce their presence right away, but get on and sit down next to you and then suddenly pull out their badge and ask to see your ticket.

    Also in my experience bus drivers in Sydney are mean and will refuse to change even a $20, and rather than just letting you on they will tell you to wait for the next bus.

  • OK, for starters, I have been a daily reader of Lifehacker for around a year and I have always appreciated Angus’ thoughtful and insightful articles. This article is no different. As Angus mentioned he is a fervent supporter of public transport and I imagine this means a majority of the time he pays for his transport use. I believe this article is written in good faith and is there to legitimately help one if one forgets their wallet or money or whatever it may be. Everyone should just calm down.
    The one issue I have is that I am unsure of the legality of this article. I mean, I’m no legal expert, but I’m just hoping this article isn’t seen as an incite into illegal activity or anything like that…
    It’s also interesting to see that this article has so many posts compared to others.
    You’re a great writer Angus; keep it up.

  • I can understand a fare-evasion guide for emergency situations but there are a couple of suggestions in this article that go way beyond emergency situations.

    However, since LH appears to be cool with this, I’ll share a couple of tips that I used way back in my impoverished youth.

    These apply to Melbourne – I have no idea about other cities.

    There is nearly always a gate that is not supervised. A subtle but firm knee to the gate will cause it to open due to safety requirements.

    You can usually get through an open but manned gate (such as Flinders St often has) by waving an expired ticket in the inspectors direction.

    I’ve never done this myself, but if you board at a station that is not manned, and sabotage the ticket machine (I’m told chewing gum or super glue works, or anything that jams the coin slot) then you can claim you were not able to purchase a ticket.

    That last one is pretty low in my opinion.

    But if you need to skip fares for whatever reason, then perhaps you don’t need to make this journey at this time. Unless it really is an emergency.

  • Nice work with an article that fits the theme of ‘Evil Week’, bit of a shame about the people getting all up in arms about it but people have to complain about something I suppose, keep up the good work Lifehacker!

    If I may quote a line ‘these tactics are based on observation’ so to all those getting their undies in a twist about this article, it’s nothing that a week of astute observation on public transport will produce.

  • Yeah, dodging train fares is a great idea. Especially when you’re caught, issued a fine, pay it off via sper and then 5 years later they send you a final demand notice saying you never paid at all. Psssht

  • If you’ve got several bus trips (that won’t fall in the 2 hour expiry) and only one trip left on your multitrip (this is in SA with the magnety tickets), put your ticket against your phone and send a text. The magnety thing is broken, bus driver gives you courtesy slip for the rest of the day.

  • shame on you lifehacker for posting a relevant article for many people and in doing so upsetting all the people who think that you shouldn’t show someone how to do anything because you might hurt someone with it. might I add that not using the public transport is the same as using it and not paying (exception being if you make it full and a paying customer is kicked off) think of it as car pooling.

    also to people complain get a fucking life and go dig a hole and bury yourself in it, Angus can write what ever the fuck he wants to. you don’t have to read it.

  • also I have been told by many people and read it in a few places that in Melbourne if you are caught on a tram with no coins and only notes its not illegal as they don’t provide a proper service for payment.

    • Nope.

      http://www.rba.gov.au/banknotes/legal-framework/

      “the provider of goods or services is at liberty to set the commercial terms upon which payment will take place before the ‘contract’ is entered into. For example, some toll collection points indicate by signs that they will not accept low denomination coins. If a provider of goods or services specifies other means of payment prior to the contract, then there is usually no obligation for legal tender to be accepted as payment.”

  • i’ve seen the “pull out a $50” trick before, 2 people got a free ride, the other, the bus driver said no and forced them to find change at a train station where it was midday (not too busy), so very unlikely to find change anywhere.

    As for trains, you’ll never see the guards come on to check tickets during peak times (where trains are jam packed) and often they’ll only check during “dead zones” during the day (areas on the train line where the next stop is far enough they can scale the whole train and you cant escape). So with planning and luck, you can avoid all the guards.

    Also if you have a smartrider and the ticket machine isnt working, i never tag on, as you can say the ticket machine wasnt working, and well, they have no reason to fine you.

    But as already said its only for a real emergency, and shouldnt be abused for free rides.

  • O.K. I admit it I’m a serial fare evader whem I lived in Sydney I never paid for trains I would go to central station and exit by the state train termimal were there were no guards/gates.
    One warning though the last time I was in Melbourne I saw an undercover plain clothes inspector on a tram.

  • In Sydney, underpaying fare is rampant, particularly among certain ethnic groups who forget their english when caught. A MyBus1 does not mean valid travel between the city and Parramatta!!

  • I’ve taken the train without a ticket once. I was out at one of the unmanned stations and the ticket machine didn’t work. I rode to Flinders St and just told one of the staff at the barriers so I could get out. I bought a ticket home though, which in terms of fare covered me for the other trip.

    I’d never intentionally fare evade on the train, the fines just aren’t worth it and I’d spend the whole trip scared to death of being caught. I did however buy concession bus tickets for ages without a concession card. I take the bus all the time and I’ve only seen inspectors once and that was just before the bus left from the station.

    Now I have a concession card and a MYKI I have no reason to fare evade. I have gotten heaps of free bus rides from when the machines haven’t been working though.

  • You losers are totally not using the best tricks – the ones that actual pros would use by actual social engineering, etc. So forget it, I’m not sharing my tips here. However, this being crimehacker week with your host Angus ‘I should have been a professional criminal’ Kidman — you can try these tips:

    For sydney on buses, is a breeze:

    Purchase zone 1 – 2 tickets for a song and take the bus as far as you want as you’re already past the driver now. Always ride peak hour – no bus inspectors bother with peak hour on buses. Middle of day is sketchier. if you see an inspector, blame your misunderstanding of complex zoning tickets or try and sit towards middle of bus. Probably they will start at front and you can then hop off when you see em coming.

    For sydney trains:

    Always carry a backup ticket – a plain unused one. This is tricky. Wave this same card (but only the front) at the guard. He will let you through 9 of 10 times. If not, so what, just buzz ur card. Big whoop. However, if u do suceed with this jedi mind trick, you can proceed to tell the inspector (if one checks you) that you used the card in question to walk past the guard because you were helping a friend with a pram or luggage etc. And of course you didn’t buzz ur ticket. Having that ticket will usually keep you free from a fine because the guard will see that you stil hold a valid ticket and you will just buzz it when you leave.

    Anyhow, you should always have a ticket in sydney – but its how you USE the ticket beyond its boundaries that will get you lucky. Concession tricks are too dicey. You’re better playing with zoning or guard entries for higher success rates. Anyway, we all know this is just for education research, but seriously Angus – what the fuck? Are you gonna publish how to make homemade weapons just for fun too?

    By the way, what Angus should be discussing is why they are so keen on e-cards like the British Oyster card, etc when they cost hundreds of millions of bucks.

    The real point is that it will stop much of the real fare evasion because its recording all the info on YOU and its harder to escape detection unlike a throwaway paper ticket.

  • You losers are totally not using the best tricks – the ones that actual pros would use by actual social engineering, etc. So forget it, I’m not sharing my tips here. However, this being crimehacker week with your host Angus ‘I should have been a professional criminal’ Kidman — you can try these tips:

    For sydney on buses, is a breeze:

    Purchase zone 1 – 2 tickets for a song and take the bus as far as you want as you’re already past the driver now. Always ride peak hour – no bus inspectors bother with peak hour on buses. Middle of day is sketchier. if you see an inspector, blame your misunderstanding of complex zoning tickets or try and sit towards middle of bus. Probably they will start at front and you can then hop off when you see em coming.

    For sydney trains:

    Always carry a backup ticket – a plain unused one. This is tricky. Wave this same card (but only the front) at the guard. He will let you through 9 of 10 times. If not, so what, just buzz ur card. Big whoop. However, if u do suceed with this jedi mind trick, you can proceed to tell the inspector (if one checks you) that you used the card in question to walk past the guard because you were helping a friend with a pram or luggage etc. And of course you didn’t buzz ur ticket. Having that ticket will usually keep you free from a fine because the guard will see that you stil hold a valid ticket and you will just buzz it when you leave.

    Anyhow, you should always have a ticket in sydney – but its how you USE the ticket beyond its boundaries that will get you lucky. Concession tricks are too dicey. You’re better playing with zoning or guard entries for higher success rates. Anyway, we all know this is just for education research, but seriously Angus – what the fuck? Are you gonna publish how to make homemade weapons just for fun too?

    By the way, what Angus should be discussing is why they are so keen on e-cards like the British Oyster card, etc when they cost hundreds of millions of bucks.

    The real point is that it will stop much of the real fare evasion because its recording all the info on YOU and its harder to escape detection unlike a throwaway paper ticket.

  • Not sure what these articles are implying about the lifehacker readership. The site used to have some decent articles, tips and tricks. However in recent months I cant help but feel the content has descended to captain obvious statements and rubbish like this one.

  • Angus IS a good writer whose stuff I enjoy reading.

    This however is a poor article, evil week or not, and as pointed out cannot be justified by a retort of, “LOL BitTorrent LOL”

    Sorry Angus, Lifehacker, it’s a thumbs down from this avid reader.

  • I like this part: “And a final point: these tactics are based on observation — I’ve never tried any of them myself, because I’m majorly self-righteous like that.” Wow, who are you trying to convince there? Yourself maybe?

    fare evasion on the bus is definately a challenge. The notion that the odds are better during busier times is pure BS, the driver is paid overtime for late running, the driver wont be worried about running late. Produce a large bill and the driver can say goodbye to you or if they have change or maybe if they do have change then you will recieve a huge pile of small coins in change to teach you a lesson. If you dip validate an expired ticket and walk off ignoring the LOUD beeping noise then you look like an ignorant knob, the driver calls you back to the front of the bus and tells you to exit continuing to make you look like a knob. Overall it’s a lame and irresponsible article as it encourages fare evasion and puts a burden on tax payer dollars.

  • Another hack is that, one can buy a ticket from a MyZone ticket reseller and you can use that ticket theoretically forever (magnetic strip), until you either insert it into the machine on the bus, the ticket barriers at train stations or get checked by someone who may or may not stamp/write a date on it.

  • It has happened rarely, but I have had to fare evade or walk 50 kilometres to get home, I don’t condone it either, but it is good to know strategies if it were to happen again, CHEERS!

  • Tram fare evasion is fun, in this over-regulated world with cameras watching every move. I’ve already paid tax and plenty of fines. It’s called fighting back.

  • Wow… Never have I seen so many whingy people. You do things everyday that ultimately a far less moral than hopping a train. Do you support big oil companies by using products with petroleum in them? Then you are supporting wars and famine. Do you go to the cinema? Then you are supporting Hollywood whom is the leading cause of internet censorship, the list is endless. Get a life, and have a look at yourselves. Cheers Angus.

  • No more transits in Sydney after June 2013. Forcing gates is now impossible as they are interlocked. Doubling up on a gate works, so does exiting the wide gate in a crowd. Jumping over the gates is another option.
    Getting caught by plain clothes police is not a option. Not paying the fine?
    No drivers licence for u!
    Don’t drive? Sheriff will knock on your door.

  • Brisbane bus drivers are only permitted to carry $50 change – a 50 or 100 will get you onboard as the driver says “take a seat” However, be warned, there is one casual scumbag who stops outside garages and shops and demands you get change. If you can handle the embarrassment when caught, use this tactic.

  • Having read this article and the comments I found it very funny, I once got onto a bus with $50 note as that was all the cash I has. I had no idea why the bus driver was so mad about it guess he must have seen that before with others. Just ended up buying a ticket when got to the train station anyway. These days I have a yearly and only use the trains but on principle I avoid touching on and off. I don’t condone fare evading thus my yearly ticket however I do despise the Myki system something fierce I feel it’s just another way big corps collect more and more data on people what are they using it for? Improving service ? I doubt it. As far as demonstrating civil disobedience it’s pretty useless unless it’s done by a mass of people enough to catch attention that you probably don’t want to be getting and Australians are far to chilled out to be outraged enough about the exorbitant costs we pay for pretty much everything to take action. E.g local councils in Malta wanted to introduce rates (they don’t pay them in Malta) there was so much backlash from the residents that they were forced to put it aside. Just something to think about.

  • i got cough with my feet up on the chair the other week and i’m leaving the country in 2 months if i choose not to pay the fine and leave the country will there be anyway they could track me or could they stop me leaving the country if i don’t pay the fine

  • For Buses you stated ….. “Evading fares on buses is difficult, since you have to go past the driver in order to get on board, which makes travelling ticket-free more challenging.

    This is ironic seeing as you used a TransPerth Bus as the picture …..

    Newsflash …. The entire Perth CBD is a free transit zone so when you board the bus in the CBD just don’t get off until your stop. (and make sure to use the rear doors)

    Simple….

    (Sorry was having way too much fun with the html tags)

  • You guys are so out of touch with reality! The governments of every country are basically the biggest gangs!
    Everybody should be fare evading! The AMOUNT of tax we pay is way out of proportion! We’d be much better off with the mafia, they don’t charge nearly as much “tax” or “protection” money as governments do. You guys really need to snap back to reality, and stop living in the matrix. Coz it ain’t gonna last much longer. Research Flat Earth. Peace.

  • Pretend that you don’t speak English. If they ask you for a ticket tell that you don’t understand what they are saying in very broken English. This trick let me travel from Sydney to Canberra on an xplorer using only and Opal Card

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