The railways are cracking down on fare evasion. It simply is not worth it — and will dent your credit record.
According to Article 44 of the Railway Passenger Transport Ordinance, you will be regarded as travelling without a valid ticket (or travel in contravention to the regulations) if you:
- are travelling without a valid ticket — you will be charged beginning from the station you joined the train, or if your boarding station is not clear, from the origin station of the train service
- hold a counterfeit or altered ticket — the above will apply in addition to you being referred to the police
- board the train without a ticket, and fail to inform a member of staff about this within 20 minutes following departure (this is dealt with more seriously if you avoided contact than if the member of staff was too busy)
- travel in a higher class of travel than your ticket permits you to — in this case you will need to pay the difference in class and price over that distance
- travel with a reduced fare ticket (as a child, student, or disabled passenger when you are not one, or if you fail to produce supporting documentation) — you will need to pay up to the full fare of an adult ticket
With regard to personal tickets, using a ticket or ID document (or both) that are not yours will also be seen as travelling without a valid ticket.
In these situations, the railways are authorised to record your personally identifying details, and to further impose a 50% surcharge on the journey you have already made (even without a valid ticket). This could also, under certain circumstances, dent your personal credit-worthiness record.
You will also incur a general handling fee (currently ¥2.—).