A transit officer is not a police officer, instead, they’re employees of the government who patrol the public transport network.
If you’re on a bus, train or tram and a police officer wants to speak to you, their powers are governed by the ordinary police laws.
A transit officer is allowed to ask for your name and address, you must answer truthfully.
A transit officer can ask to see your ticket and identification, including a concession card if you have one. You must answer their questions.
If you don’t answer a transit officer’s questions, or if you lie to them or try to stop them from doing their job, you can be fined.
You can ask to see their official identity card, and they must warn you that failing to answer their questions can result in a fine.
If you break the rules on public transport, you can be fined. You might have to pay as much as $210, or more if you’re charged and go to court.
Some of things you might be fined for are:
To avoid a fine, you should always pay the correct fare and behave politely on public transport.
A transit officer does not have any power of arrest beyond an ordinary person.
If they witness you committing a crime, they may use reasonable force to detain you until the police arrive.
Transit officers do not have the power to search you or confiscate your property.
A transit officer can remove you from a bus, train or tram if they believe you’re behaving in an offensive or disorderly way. If you don’t do as they say, they are allowed to use reasonable force to remove you.
Transit officers can’t be rude to you and use offensive language. They also shouldn’t use or threaten to use force in exercising their powers.
If you believe a transit officer has done the wrong thing, you should make a complaint online here.
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