Mayor Boris Johnson just announced that there commuters can look forward to an increase in transport fares across the board for Tube and buses and explained that a transport fare increase would be necessary to reduce the ballooning deficit that he inherited from Ken Livingstone.
Well, I'm not sure whether it is an increase in efforts to nab fare dodgers but I notice that there is an increase in number of fare conductors especially on DLR (Docklands Light Railway) where fare dodging is comparatively rampant.
Once the conductor made her presence known, you'll notice immediately who the fare dodgers are as they quietly shuffle away in the opposite direction in the hope that they'll get to the next station before the conductor reaches them thereby avoiding the £20 fine.
Most of the time, these people do get away but sometime they don't. When that happens, it's almost amusing how it would pan out. Just last week, I was on a DLR train travelling from Bank station. Just as it pulled away from Shadwell heading towards Limehouse, a conductor appeared from nowhere, whipped out her ticket verification device and started requesting for everyone's ticket.
The guy who sat opposite me looked like a deer caught in the headlights. He took a quick glance at the conductor who was making steady progress and assessed the situation. After figuring that he had a fighting chance to make it to the next station if he moved to the end of the train carriage, he made his move.
Just as he stood up, the train pulled to a halt. These things do happen when there is some delay experienced along the line and it so happened that the momentary delay meant that Transport for London's deficit will be reduced by exactly £20.
I've never seen a more defeated looking person as he reached into his wallet as the conductor loomed over him. Well, I have to give him some credit - he could very well pretend that he doesn't speak English (I've seen some people do that). Who knows? He might just pull it off.