ATM ups fines for fare-dodging

Milan transport authority ATM has announced a sharp hike in the fine for being caught on board a tram, bus or metro train without a valid ticket.
 
The very basic fine, for payment on the spot as soon as the illegal rider is caught, up to now €25 plus the cost of the ticket, has been increased by 40 per cent to €35. If it is paid within five days, the fine increases to €50, and within 60 days to €65 instead of the €40 charged previously.  If the fare-dodger still has not paid after 60 days have passed, the fine increases to between €120 and €150, depending on the circumstances.
 
The fines for illegal travel on the routes outside the centre have also been increased, although they remain slightly lower than  those for the central area.  These now cost €30 for payment on the spot, €45 for payment within five days, €58 within 60 days and between €104 and €130 for letting more than 60 days pass without settling the account.  In all cases, of course, plus the cost of the correct ticket.
 
The move, coupled with a recent increase in the number of ticket inspectors riding on public transport checking for “portoghesi” (as fare-dodgers are known in Italian), appears to be aimed at the many illegal riders who chose never to pay for a ticket and accept the risk of getting caught once a year, and thus still paying less long-term. ATM estimates the share of fare-dodgers at 10 per cent on surface routes, but now down to 3 per cent on the underground, where tickets now need to be shown on leaving the metro as well as entering it.
 
Unfortunately, at least a half of these fines, if not more, are not collected.  The reason for this, says ATM, is that illegal travellers caught sometimes give false names and addresses, or are immigrants with no documents, or homeless people with no fixed abode.

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