TICKET inspectors are set to adopt a softly-softly approach as the trams go live – but will be able to issue fines to blatant dodgers from day one.
Discretion will be used, but there will be no relaxation of the rules allowing conductors – or ticket servicing assistants (TSAs) – to begin issuing £10 on-the-spot fines to those who have failed to pay from day one.
It had been thought that a moratorium would be offered, but this has been decided against as it may only end up encourage fare dodging.
While those genuinely confused by the need to validate tickets and Ridacards may not be punished in the first days of the service, anyone who simply has not paid is likely to be fined.
An Edinburgh Trams spokeswoman said: “All tickets must be purchased and travel cards validated before passengers board a tram.
“It’s vital to the business plan that ticket revenue is collected from the very start of service.
“We will have ticketing services assistants from the start of passenger service on hand to help show passengers how to use the trams. People can also visit our public roadshow for a chance to find out about all the different ticket options and have a look around a tram.”
Last month, the Evening News revealed how an army of multilingual ticket inspectors will patrol tram carriages ready to crack down on anyone dodging the £1.50 fare.
In total, 52 TSAs will be employed, with one or more allocated to each tram – and extra staff able to be drafted in during peak periods.
Each inspector will be clearly identified by their fluorescent orange gilets and grey Transport for Edinburgh-emblazoned jackets.
An information event will be held tomorrow to inform passengers about ticket buying with a parked tram open to board in St Andrew Square from noon until 2pm.
More than 1000 attended a similar event last Saturday.
Meanwhile, tram chiefs have announced the city’s first passengers will receive a special memento of the occasion in the form of a souvenir platinum-coloured ticket.
The first passengers are being asked to take a selfie of themselves with the special tickets before posting the photo to social media.
A batch of 100,000 has been printed with the wording: “Edinburgh Trams are here.
“Special limited edition platinum ticket. Take an #ontramselfie.”
Edinburgh Trams director and general manager Tom Norris hopes the silver briefs will become collectors’ items.
“Everyone is eagerly anticipating the launch of the new tram service so we wanted to create something that passengers can keep to remember their first journey,” he said.
“We thought a commemorative ticket would be the best way to do this and we wanted to have some fun with it too.
“It’ll be platinum in colour and we’ll be asking people to take a picture of themselves with the ticket during their first tram ride to Tweet and put on Facebook.”
The first service will leave the Gyle shopping centre, bound for the city centre and York Place, at 5am on May 31.