Yesterday, as I often do, I took the 207 bus from Ealing Common to Shepherds Bush. Coming back again, I decided to make a survey of something I had noted many times.
Of those who could not have been too old or too young to pay, only 17 of the 42 people I managed to watch touched in an Oyster card on the bus. Now the remaining 25 could have had pre-bought paper tickets or travelcards, but I very much doubt that many of them did. I never see any significant percentage of passengers at a stop use one of those machines.
I hate Bendy Buses. They are a disaster in terms of road safety. Not only have they maimed or murdered hundreds of cyclists, but on numerous occasions when I have tried to cross on a little green man I have had to negotiate my way past thirty metres of bendy bus parked right across it.
On top of that there is evidently a widespread perception that it is OK to ride them without paying. I should say that I have never seen one of London Transport’s claimed random ticket inspections.
I do not approve of fare-dodging. Public goods need to be financed. And these completely inappropriate monstrosities need to be off our roads sooner rather than later.