Ticket inspectors in Moscow have collected $10,000 in fines over the last two weeks.
Fines were hiked at the start of July. Passengers without tickets on buses, trolley-buses and trams are now fined $35.This is 10 times more than during the past decade.
Bigger fines are aimed at raising discipline in public transport and making people pay for their trips.
“It’s fair, because currently it is honest taxpayers who compensate for these dodgers,” said Aleksandr Semennikov, author of the law. “Such dodgers cost transport companies about 3 billion rubles annually.”
Inspectors are accompanied by police officers who will arrest anyone without documents.
If a fare-dodger does not agree with an inspector’s decision, he or she will be able to write a complaint to a local magistrate.
According to Moscow’s transport department, in the last fortnight inspectors have confiscated over 140 travel passes for disabled and elderly people. They were being used mainly by relatives.
In European cities, fines for fare-dodging are often around 40 euros, but in some cases can amount to hundreds of euros.