Smartphone App for Fare Dodgers

Fare bandit mobile applicationA typical encounter in Prague: Men in plain clothes waiting at the stairs or in the foot tunnels of metro stations, or walking through the trams to inspect tickets. Alone in Prague there are 150 inspectors, and it may be a coincidence that I observe them mostly on tourist-intensive routes: the bus from and to the airport, tram lines crossing the centre along both sides of Charles Bridge, in the labyrinths of Můstek and the like.

While fare dodging is nothing new, the use of mobile technology makes it innovative. A new app called FareBandit helps you avoid inspectors in Czech towns. It is based on the principle of solidarity because the data is generated through crowdsourcing. You can get an idea of the reports with a glance at their web interface.

Eventually the inspectors will have to upgrade their equipment and trace the users of FareBandit. Or they simply register as passengers and flood the system with fake reports. That way they could even drive the dodgers to the places that are actually being controlled.

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