Melbourne fare evasion against the Iraq war

Submitted by Steven. on November 18, 2005

Leaflet calling for mass public transport fare evasion against the war in Iraq for March 18, 2005 and beyond. We do not believe it was adopted on a wide scale but reproduce the text here as an example of how people tried to oppose the conflict worldwide.

March 18 : Fare Evade Against the War
We are calling for a day of fare evasion against the war on March 18th. That is the day to refuse to pay. The actual 2nd birthday of the War in Iraq is the 20th March, and there will be global protests to mark this event. We have chosen the 18th for two reasons:

(1) It’s bad enough that many people have to work as it is, let along have to pay for their transport to said work-prison, so in the spirit of Casuals Friday, be real casual about paying for your tram ride;
(2) There will be a huge rally to mark the anniversary in the City at 5.30pm - we want to encourage people to fare evade their way to the rally.


We are not only calling for far evasion during the day of the 18th, but for collective mass fare evasion. As a part of this call, we are organising a mass fare evasion on the way into the city for the 5.30pm rally against the war.

When: 4pm, Friday 18th March
Where: Corner of Lygon and Park Street, North Carlton
Bring: Costumes, Musical Instruments, Toys, Party Tricks, Laughter // [email protected]


Do you find yourself just sitting there, on the tram, wondering ‘All this bombing and torturing Iraqis for oil is horrible, but what can I do about it?’. Do you see the ticket inspectors getting on, hassling some one-legged octogenarian about the fact they haven’t managed to figure out the ticket machine (which isn’t working) and buy a ticket, and think ‘God I hate those petty barsteds... public transport should be for the public, not some greedy corporation’. Well, this action is for you: fare evade!

That’s right, fare evade. The company who have the contract to collect fares on Melbourne’s trams are half owned by Australian Defense Industries, a corporation that profits from not only the War in Iraq, but other fantastic wars around the world! So when you refuse to pay for your ride, not only are you Sticking it the Man for privatising *your* tram service, but you’re sticking it to those corporate evil-doers pillaging Iraq! And that’s got to be good.

So, everyday, fare evade!


The money that is made from fining people on public transport all goes to the State government. The State government made $504 million dollar in 2003-2004 financial year from transport fines including $12.5 million dollars from 125,000 tram fines.

Yarra Trams, who took over the entire tram system last year, will be paid $2.3 billions dollars over five years, ($112 million dollars a year) for the tram contract. This is double the amount that was formerly paid to the tram private contractors, or an extra $36 million dollars a year. The government says that that this increase is necessary to make the tram system profitable for private corporations.

On the Yarra Trams site is says that "Yarra Trams will receive a fixed 40% share of the total pool of fare box revenue from the metropolitan public transport system", so its unclear how this relates to the amount paid to them by the government - whether it is part of the $2.3 billion, or on top of it. Either way, its wasted money.