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Published 09 July 2012 13:53, Updated 11 July 2012 04:48
The founder of Tramsurance has pulled back from plans to realise his proposed insurance service for public transport fare evaders in Melbourne following a harshly worded letter from Victoria’s public transport agency.
“We have not facilitated any transactions or written any code to do so. We don’t plan to either,” Melbourne University student Tom Pisel wrote in an open letter to Public Transport Victoria.
“We have no intention of breaking the law. Nor have we ever. We do not advocate fare evasion, even of a system whose fares are unaffordable to the more vulnerable members of society. It’s against the law. Don’t do it. We’ve outlined with our idea a simple possibility and with that the failure of our government to meet the needs of its people.”
The scheme that came into its current form and won a Most Innovative and Disruptive award at last month’s Startup Weekend Melbourne workshop, proposed reimbursing members who paid a premium of $20 a month the cost of any fines they incurred for not paying fares on Melbourne’s public transport services.
In a letter dated July 5, Public Transport Victoria’s director of governance and legal Joshua Miller said fare evasion cost the Victorian community about $80 million a year and warned that if the organisers behind Tramsurance did not stop promoting the scheme, they would refer them to the police.
“Travel on the Victorian public transport system without a valid ticket is an offence,” Miller wrote. “Your scheme therefore encourages members of the public to commit an offence.”