Tramsurance is a clever little idea. Melbourne commuters form an online group and pay $20 per month into a kitty. When someone in the group cops a fine from not having a ticket on Melbourne's public transport, the crowdsourced insurance fund covers it. Cool idea, right? Not according to the authorities, who want the online group shut down.
Tramsurance was set up for Melbourneites last month and in a little over a fortnight, the online group has attracted the attention of Public Transport Victoria, according to Reuters.
Tramsurance has reportedly been told to shut down its website or face police intervention. Public Transport Victoria adds that it might encourage people to travel without their Myki smart cards on Victorian transport.
The founder of Tramsurance, Tom Pisel, isn't fussed though.
He writes on the group's Facebook page:
If you've been following along, we're coming against some very strongly worded letters. Never fear - it'll take more than words to stop us. There is too much momentum and support behind us now. All we have at this stage is an idea, an idea that has become very popular very quickly for one reason. The Melbourne public is dissatisfied with with how public transport and Myki have been handled. Public Transport Victoria is threatening to litigate against us rather than address the concerns of those it represents.
We will not take down the site. That would be a little silly given that we haven't operated anything yet. Tramsurance started off as a simple experiment, but we can all agree that it's much more than that now. We are currently seeking legal advice to better understand the options open to us. Rest assured, the final version of Tramsurance will operate fully within the law. We will announce our decision tomorrow, when we are better informed. In the meantime, please don't fare evade. That's against the law.
Tramsurance heralds itself as "the hero Melbourne deserves, but not the one it needs right now."
Would you use Tramsurance? [Reuters]
Image: Tom Pisel