Last month I received a fine for not having a valid ticket to travel on Melbourne’s controversial public transport system. This is my letter to the Department, seeking a review of my case. The fine is a hefty $207. Have you ever received a fine like this? Would you pardon my case?
22 December, 2012
To Whom It May Concern:
My name is Esther and I am writing to the Case Review Area of the Transport Infringement Administration in regards to a Ticket Infringement Notice I received on the 17th of November 2012.
On the 19th of October 2012, I ‘Fail[ed] to produce [a] valid ticket’ at Flinders Street Railway Station. The time of the offence was approximately 9:38am.
I strongly believe this Infringement Notice should be reviewed under the grounds (c) stated on the Infringement Notice – the conduct for which the infringement notice was served should be excused having regard to any exceptional circumstances relating to the infringement offence.
I am a student, and at all times carry my Concession card and my Myki card. I presented both to the officer on said date. The reason for my offence on this particular date was a combination of my respect for punctuality, misunderstanding and a one-off error. I boarded the train at ***** Station at 9:10am. I had an important appointment for which I could not be late beginning at 10am. It was crucial I board this train so that I could catch a connecting tram in order to meet my schedule.
I got to ***** Station just as the train arrived at the station and ran for the train. I thought I had touched on successfully and heard the Myki reader beep, but did not look at the machine to check my balance. As it happens, I was then travelling on a negative balance. However, this is the first and only time I have done so, and I always carry money in order to top up my card. The only reason this did not occur was simply due to a lack of time.
As soon as I arrived at Flinders Street Station I was going to check and top up my Myki. However, the officer at the exit gate got to me first. I told her I had every intention of topping up, as I did, and explained to her the unfortunate circumstances of my rookie offence.
Consequently, I received this Infringement Notice, which I believe should be excused. Since this date, I have never travelled on a negative balance, have made sure I leave more time to sufficiently top up or check my Myki balance, and continue to carry my Concession card and Myki at all times when using Melbourne’s public transport system.
I am currently without an income and in the event of having to meet this fine, would go into debt. It is under these circumstances that I hope you will review my case and my respect for the public transport ticketing system, carefully. I have no other offences to my name and have all intentions to never make this same mistake again.
The Infringement Number is *******.