Stockholm Transport launches zero tolerance policy

Stockholm Transport (SL) has announced plans to clamp down on public transport cheats.

A new proposal to be presented at next week’s board meeting has called for an increase in spot checks, more secure barriers and steeper fines. Repeat offenders also risk being reported to the police more often than is currently the case.

Fines for travelling without a ticket are to be raised from 800 kronor ($115) to 1,200 kronor. Also, the introduction of ticket machines at every station will mean that commuters can no longer use unmanned ticket desks as an excuse for not buying a ticket.

“Far too many people travel with SL without paying. We now want to introduce zero tolerance for cheats. Those who sponge off others should feel the pinch,” SL’s chairman and Moderate Party member Christer G Wennerholm told Svenska Dagbladet.

But not everybody has welcomed the move. Anders Dahlberg, a Social Democrat county councillor and SL board member, considers the proposal a case of kicking people while they are down, as “the majority of people who get caught without a ticket can’t pay the fines”.

“The Moderates have clearly decided to bring out the the batons but I don’t think it is going to have any effect,” he told Svenska Dagbladet.

SL estimates that non-payment of tickets results in an annual loss of revenue to the value of 200 million kronor.