Earlier this month, a post about a boy who was fined $100 by LTA for failing to pay the correct bus fare went viral on the Internet.
Prakash Naidu wrote on his Facebook page about a 17-year-old boy who paid $1.00 for his bus fare instead of $1.10 by mistake.
He then wrote that a Land Transport Authority (LTA) officer checked and caught the boy for fare underpayment and summoned him $100.
“Well done, Government. The best way to mould the future. Is there an increment for Government bodies?” he wrote.
He also posted the picture of the notice which showed that the incident took place on 10 December 2016 at 4.47 pm.
The summon reflected that the offence was for fare evasion, with a fine of $100.
Many netizens commented on the viral post. Some said that the fine was too harsh.
Azimah Salim wrote, “With the frequent unnecessary increase of bus fares and not a frequent user of buses, some people do experience a shortage of 10cents.
But paying $100 fine for the shortage of 10cents even if the offender is not a teenager is crazy unless it is a repeated offence.”
Esther Tan wrote, “Sometimes is the bus driver who does this. There was once I put a $2 note for a $1.70 ride but the driver only key in $1.40.”
Darren Lim wrote, “What if you short of coins when happen to take the bus and the bus driver don’t mind letting you on? Then the ticket checker catches you. Blame bus driver or you?
A long time ago when I happen took a bus back home happen to short of 10cent and the bus driver said its ok just pay what you have. The system how it works here is really totally screwed up.”
Tan Zun Je wrote, ” Not the first time. A few years back, I was on bus 168 and the driver stopped in the middle of the isle, get his colleagues on to the bus and say I never tap my Ez link card them ask me to go tap. Then they realised I have tapped, but no apologies what so ever from them.”
The Online Citizen wrote to LTA for clarification, and has received a response from the Public Transport Council (PTC). This was their response in full:
With regard to this case, our records show that the commuter had paid $0.65 (the minimum student concession cash fare), and when checked by a Public Transport Official, was unable to produce a valid student concession card. Without the student concession card, his bus fare for the journey would have been $2.20 (adult cash fare). It has also since been established that at the time of offence, the commuter’s student concession card had expired for about a year. For this evasion offence, a penalty fee of $50 was imposed, with payment to be settled within 14 days.
However, the penalty fee was not settled within 14 days. As such, a Notice of Offence offering a higher composition fine of $100 was sent to the commuter, allowing him another 28 days to settle the payment. Based on our records, the payment remains outstanding.
The Public Transport Council (PTC) only received an appeal for leniency after the payment due date for the Notice of Offence had lapsed. PTC is currently looking into the appeal while awaiting supporting documents from the appellant.