If your business lost £100 million to customer fraud you would take some action, such as investing in better security or identifying and prosecuting the offenders. Last week it was revealed that this is the estimated cost of fare evasion on Transport for London (TFL) services, a rise of £14 million from the last estimate three years ago. Their response was a vague remark about investing in technology and working with partners.
TFL employs 450 revenue protection inspectors, or ticket collectors as they were once known. On a salary of less than £50,000 an extra two thousand could be hired with the £100 million. Or the government grants which comprise 32% of TFL’s revenue could be reduced and the £100 million used to build a new hospital or fund initiatives to help the homeless.
TFL is expected to have a deficit of £700 million in the next financial year. It is likely that they will continue to purse a policy of closing ticket offices and increasing fares. This will only make fare evasion more attractive and increase the deficit further. Not that TFL care, because they’re not paying for it.