Public transport offences

Public transport offences

There are laws relating to ticketing and behaviour on public transport.

These laws are enforced by authorised officers, including protective services officers. They may also be enforced by police officers.

If an authorised officer has reason to believe that you have committed or intend to commit a public transport offence, they have the power to issue you with an on-the-spot fine, an infringement notice, or they may charge you with the offence.

If you are charged a magistrate can decide on your penalty in court.

Getting a fine

The Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure manages fines for public transport offences, including the review process if you disagree with a fine you have been issued.

If you are fined you will receive an infringement notice telling you what your offence was and the date you have to pay by. Details on how to pay the penalty will appear on the infringement notice.

For more information about the infringements system and what happens if fines are not paid on time see Fines and infringements.

If you have been spoken to in relation to multiple offences you may be charged with an offence.

Common public transport offences

The most common public transport offences are:

  • failure to produce a valid ticket
  • failure to produce evidence of concession
  • failure to give name and address
  • prohibited language or behaviour on public transport
  • placing feet on furniture
  • smoking on public transport.

Failure to produce a valid ticket

This means that an authorised officer or a police officer says that they asked you to produce a valid ticket and you were unable or refused to do so. The authorised officer can still ask to see your ticket after you have left the paid ticketing area.

Failure to produce evidence of concession

If you are travelling using a concession ticket, you must be able to produce evidence that you are entitled to a concession.

It is not a valid excuse to say that you have a concession card but you did not have it with you. It is also not an excuse if you thought you could use your student card as evidence of concession.

The only cards accepted as evidence of concession are:

Failure to give name and address

If an authorised officer or a police officer asks you to give your name and address you must do so. The magistrate can still find you guilty of this offence if you eventually gave your name and address but at the start refused to do so.

You may be charged with this offence if an authorised officer believes on reasonable grounds that you committed an offence and when they asked for your name and/or address you did not give one, or gave a false one.

Prohibited language or behaviour on public transport

While using public transport it is an offence to:

  • use language that is indecent, obscene, offensive or threatening
  • behave in an obscene, offensive, threatening, disorderly or riotous manner.

Whether your language or behaviour is indecent, obscene, offensive, threatening, disorderly or riotous depends on whether ordinary members of the public would have found it to be so.

Placing feet on furniture

This means that an authorised officer or a police officer says that you placed your feet on the seat or another part of the train, tram or bus other than the floor. It doesn’t make a difference if you did not have your feet on the fabric part of the seat. It is an offence for your feet to be on anything other than the floor.

Smoking on public transport

It is an offence to:

  • smoke in a train, tram or bus
  • smoke in a covered area of a train station, bus shelter or tram stop.

More information

Public transport inspectors

Protective services officers

Going to court for public transport offences

Get help

Find out how you can get help with public transport offences.