The reputation of the fare dodgers has earned them the nickname the “Doncaster Dodgers”, with local rail services targeted due to the high number of attempted fare evasions.
Tony Baxter, Regional Director for Northern, said: “Customers have a duty to buy a ticket for travel before they board a train - and the overwhelming majority of them do so.
“Unfortunately, there are certain routes – like Doncaster to Leeds – where we know some passengers routinely do not buy a ticket and attempt to evade our conductors and ticket sales staff.”
The Doncaster to Leeds service had the highest number of attempted fare evasion incidents across all of Northerns managed stations over the last 12 months.
Mr Baxter said: “This is unfair to the fare-paying passengers of Doncaster - and taxpayers at large – who are effectively subsidising the cost of travel for those who do not buy a ticket.”
Northern handed out 352 penalty fares in 570 recorded fare evasion incidents. The company believes it has more than halved the number of incidents that would otherwise have been recorded.
Mr Baxter hopes the action taken on the 45-minute service will have “hit home the necessity of buying a ticket” for travellers and made the consequences of not doing so apparent.
Under Penalty Fares regulations, passengers found without a valid ticket must pay either a £20 fine or twice the value of a single ticket to the next station on the service, whichever is higher.