Revenue Protection Inspector

Revenue Protection Inspector

Revenue Protection Inspector (RPIs) or Revenue Protection Officer (RPOs) is the job title given to staff who patrol different forms of public transport issuing penalty fares to passengers who travel without a valid ticket. These titles are principally used in the United Kingdom. In the United States, the term fare inspector is often used to refer to persons who audit transit passengers for proper payment of fare; in addition, police officers are authorized to conduct fare inspections on some systems.

United Kingdom

Revenue Inspectors and Officers work at railway stations checking passengers' tickets as they board and alight trains. Inspectors may begin an investigation if they believe a passenger is travelling in first class accommodation holding a standard class ticket, an adult travelling on a child ticket or if the passenger has travelled beyond the destination printed on their ticket, with the intent to avoid their correct rail fare. If the Revenue Inspector or Officer does not believe there was intent to avoid payment a Penalty Fare maybe issued. The Inspectors usually wear a uniform provided by their employer, but also work in civilian clothing.

The penalty fare on UK rail services is a minimum of £20, or double the single fare to the next station stop, whichever is the greater. If the journey is to be continued, the fare for the remaining portion is also taken into account.

Inspectors are also charged with the duty of investigating Railway offences within the codes and practises of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act. In the discharge of this duty the Inspector cautions potential fare evaders before interviewing them for the purpose of reporting the offender for possible prosecution. If found guilty offenders can currently face a maximum of a £1000 fine or three months in prison.

Currently Merseyrail Northern Rail, Transpennine Express, Southern, South West Trains, London Midland, South Eastern Trains, First Capital Connect and First Great Western are some of the Train Operating Companies that participate in the penalty fares scheme.

Transport for London currently recruits over 200 Revenue Protection Inspectors that work on the Bus network alone. Due to the introduction of 'Articulated Buses' to London, TfL is now recruiting an extra 150 inspectors to combat the increased fare evasion.


Revenue Protection Officers also patrol Yarra Trams and Connex train services in Victoria (Australia). They were introduced, after Conductors were taken away from the tram ways, in a bid to curb fare evasion. Replacement of Conductors with ticket machines as the point of sale method has also resulted in thousands of commuters evading fares on Melbourne trams. Many people view RPIs and RPOs negatively and in the discharge of their duties they regularly face being verbally abused and sometimes physically assaulted. It is believed that an estimated 1500 people reported each week on services.

In New South Wales revenue protection on its rail network is primarily the responsibility of Transit Officers. Like their Victorian counterparts, these transit officers also carry out security patrols on trains and railway stations, with the power of issuing on-the-spot fines for minor offences, and even to use "reasonable force" to make arrests.

ee also

*Ticket controller (transportation)
*Conductor (transportation)

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