Controllers in all-out hunt for ticketless passengers
Minsktrans, the municipal public transport operator, has dispatched two times more controllers on December 17 deadline when transport fare discounts are invalidadted due to the abolition of social benefits Schoolchildren, students and pensioners today saw their social benefits abolished. Valery Novik, Minsktrans deputy director, told the European Radio for Belarus that the number of controllers was increased so that passengers could have time to get used to the December 17 deadline:
“On December 3 I increased at twofold the number of crews so that it would not be a surprise for passengers to see on December 17 that there were no more transport discounts any longer. Effective from November 20, we keep announcing through speakers on the public transport, that discount fares will be abolished on December 17…”
Over 800 conductors currently work in Minsk. In November, Minsktrans hired some thirty people more. All of them will come out to work on December 17.
Controllers promise not to harass ticketless passengers. They are instructed how to behave with ticketless passangers:
Valery Novik: "Naturally, we will not attack schoolchildren and students. We will tell them quietly that they should pay a fine if they travel ticketless”.
Benefits are abolished on December 17, but transporters have already been tasked to increase their profit twofold:
“We are instructed that we must get as twice as more profits from the transportation of passengers. It will be a very difficult task, because people like pensioners, schoolchildren and students have been used for years to paying 50 percent less for their transport fares”.
If public transport operators manage to make more money on the abolition of benefits, they will possibly have to spend their earnings to hire more controllers.