Fines collected by TfL from Bus Operating Companies 2008-2012

The request was partially successful.

Dear Transport for London,

Through its contracts with its bus operating companies, TfL enforces fines for various infractions, inter alia and e.g.:

A) Defective Ramps (e.g., approximately £150,000 per defective ramp)
B) A driver not in possession of an emergency ticket pack (e.g,. operating companies take this seriously, in some cases dismissing drivers for it gross misconduct)
C) Fare evasion (e.g., fine is route dependent, but up to £300 per offense)

Please provide me:

1) with a list of all fineable infractions and fine amounts which appear as standard clauses in every contract has with its bus operating companies;

2) the detailed criteria upon which each of these fines are levied by TfL;

3) for each complete annual period from 2008 through 2012, the total amount each bus operating company has been fined for all infractions and, separately, the total amount for each infraction.

Yours faithfully,

Tom Kearney

FOI, Transport for London

Dear Mr Kearney

 

Our Ref:         FOI-1196-1314

 

Thank you for your e-mails received on 7 October 2013 asking for
information about bus operating companies.

 

Your requests will be processed in accordance with the requirements of the
Freedom of Information Act and TfL’s information access policy. 

 

A response will be provided to you by 4 November 2013.

 

In the meantime, if you would like to discuss this matter further, please
feel free to contact me.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Gemma Jacob

FOI Case Officer

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London

 

[1][TfL request email]

 

 

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FOI, Transport for London

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Kearney

 

Our Ref:         FOI-1196-1314

 

Thank you for your e-mails received on 7 October 2013 asking for
information about bus operating companies. Please accept my apologies for
the delay in providing this response.

 

Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of
the Freedom of Information Act and our information access policy. I can
confirm we do hold the information you require.

 

There are several statements in your first email which do not reflect the
way defective ramps, emergency ticket packs and fare evasion are managed
across the bus network. We have tried to clarify these points in our
answers below.

 

There are financial penalties to ensure that bus companies do not operate
buses with defective ramps. These may apply if a scheduled service cannot
be provided for mechanical reasons, such as vehicles not being available
for service due to defects such as faulty ramps. We check bus operators
adhere to lost mileage requirements by regularly auditing garage practices
and procedures that support reporting of scheduled performance. We also
independently monitor the quality of maintenance across the fleet, which
includes ramp reliability, as a separate form of assurance.

 

Bus drivers are required to report ramp defects at the time they occur on
a bus in service and operators must substitute the vehicle or, if the ramp
has failed in a manner where the bus can continue to operate safely,
rectify the ramp defect at the earliest opportunity. Failure to comply
with this requirement results in any mileage run by the bus being
classified as mechanical lost mileage and the operator will not be paid
for it. Prior to a bus entering service, bus drivers must check the
wheelchair ramp is working as intended at the bus garage or a pre-service
testing point. If the ramp is defective, the vehicle must be repaired or
substituted before it can enter service.

 

All drivers in the fleet are expected to carry the emergency ticket packs
that we supply. Failure to do so would be a staff conduct matter between
the individual involved and the employing company. If packs are lost we
would invoice the operator for the face value of the tickets, which is a
deterrent in terms of the cost incurred. Our revenue protection inspectors
(RPIs) conduct ticket checks across the bus network and can report
incidents of drivers not being able to sell tickets to passengers due to
not carrying emergency ticket packs.

 

Operators are charged for bus fare irregularities in accordance with
specific criteria. If at least half of one per cent of passengers making
journeys on a route have their tickets checked by RPIs over a four week
period and a fare was found not to have been paid, for instance because a
travel pass had expired but not been spotted by the driver, TfL would
charge the operator. This arrangement only applies to those types of fare
irregularity where drivers exert control and would not extend to
open-boarding buses where the driver has a very limited fare collection
role. The overall amount that can be charged is not capped.

 

The current ticketing irregularities that are invoiced to operators are:

·         Fare taken no ticket issued (including emergency tickets)

·         Re-issue of a ticket

·         Delayed ticket issue (dependent on circumstances)

·         Failure to follow unpaid fare report procedures

·         Unauthorised Free Ride

·         Acceptance of an invalid ticket (such as a rail only ticket)

·         Acceptance of an adult on a child pass

·         Acceptance of an out of time/date ticket

·         Acceptance of pay as you go Oyster card that has not been
validated or has insufficient credit.

 

The amount charged to operators is currently calculated by multiplying the
detected irregularity rate by the cash fare (£2.40) and the RPI passenger
check rate (between 0.5% and 5%). This calculation is contained in the
contract between us and bus operators. To be eligible to be charged to the
operator, the irregularity must have been detected on a route on which
there is an RPI passenger check rate of at least 0.5%.

 

1.    With a list of all fineable infractions and fine amounts which
appear as standard clauses in every contract has with its bus operating
companies;

2.    The detailed criteria upon which each of these fines are levied by
TfL;

 

In accordance with the FOI Act, we are not obliged to supply the
information regarding fineable infractions as it is subject to a statutory
exemption to the right of access to information under section 22. TfL will
shortly be publishing the framework agreement which sets out the detailed
criteria under which all payments to and from bus companies are made. This
will include information on the criteria upon which fines are levied by
TfL. We expect to publish the framework agreement by the end of 2013.

 

The use of this exemption is subject to an assessment of the public
interest in relation to the disclosure of the information concerned. TfL
recognises the need for openness and transparency by public authorities,
but in this instance the public interest favours test favours releasing
this information in context and according to the pre-determined schedule,
rather than in response to your request, to ensure the information is
provided accurately and in an accessible manner.

 

3.    For each complete annual period from 2008 through 2012, the total
amount each bus operating company has been fined for all infractions and,
separately, the total amount for each infraction

 

To provide the information on the total amount each bus operating company
has been fined for all infractions would exceed the ‘appropriate limit’ of
£450 set by the Freedom of Information (Appropriate Limit and Fees)
Regulations 2004.

 

Under section 12 of the FOI Act, we are not obliged to comply with a
request if we estimate that the cost of determining whether we hold the
information, locating and retrieving it and extracting it from other
information would exceed the appropriate limit. This is calculated at £25
per hour for every hour spent on the activities described.

 

We have estimated that it would considerably exceed the cost limit to
provide a response to your current request as this information isn’t held
in an easily accessible and retrievable format. If, having reviewed the
Framework Agreement, you wish to refine your request, we will try to
assist you further.

 

4.    Please provide me with the criteria which TfL could use to justify
non renewal of a route contract for a bus operating company;

 

Bus contracts are awarded to the company who submit, in overall terms, the
most economically advantageous tender capable of supporting delivery of a
safe, high-quality, accessible and environmentally-sustainable bus service
in line with the Mayor’s Transport Strategy and the Transport for London
Business Plan, throughout the duration of the contract.  This will not
necessarily be the lowest-priced tender submitted, but will be determined
in accordance with the evaluation of the price and of the following
technical criteria:

§  Resource and Schedule Proposals

§  Service Control and Supervision Proposals

§  Driving Staff Proposals

§  TUPE

§  Vehicle Specification Proposals

§  Garage Location and Staff, Operational and Engineering Proposals

§  Ability to meet the Contract Commencement Date

§  Ability to Manage Changes in the Volume of Work

§  Management Proposals

§  Health, Safety and Environment

 

Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to
appeal.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Gemma Jacob

FOI Case Officer

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London

 

[1][TfL request email]

 

 

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