They’re called Black Passengers, in Czech černý pasažér, and among their bold ranks are teenagers out for an adrenalin rush and the absent-minded individual who occasionally forgets to purchase or validate a ticket.
According to Prague’s transport authority, nearly a thousand fines are imposed daily on such passengers.
A new campaign intends to reduce the number of people who ride public transport illegally, Czech daily Metro.cz is reporting.
“We want to show the younger generation that it’s not cool to ride illegally. Everyone should be aware that traveling at the expense of others is silly and embarrassing. A stowaway is on the same level as someone who goes to the store and…does not pay,” says Deputy Mayor Petr Dolínek.
The initial campaign, which will be aimed at those who honestly forget to purchase a ticket, will feature posters and stickers that remind transport users to ride legally.
It will also reward those who present a valid pass or ticket when checked by inspectors with a button.
One of the more appealing incentives that will be introduced, however, is the reduction of those whopping fines by half.
Under the new policy, should a passenger get caught riding “black” he will only have to pay 400 CZK, but on one condition—said passenger must buy an annual coupon (3,650 CZK), effective from the date of purchase.
The city is also considering the possibility of selling the annual pass on an installment payment plan.
Dolínek says the new measures will be discussed in the near future and applied as soon as possible.
The city had at one point considered a turnstile system to prevent illegal passengers but abandoned the idea due to cost.