But now it appears that fare evaders, if caught, will have to pay the largest fine ever: "People who evade paying transport fares in London could be fined up to £50 and persistent evaders issued with Asbos" (Anti Social Behaviour Orders) report the BBC today.
"Transport for London (TfL) is consulting on a private bill that will go before Parliament in November.
Last year it raised the fine from £10 to £20. If the new legislation is given the go-ahead it will rise to £50.
The bill will also give TfL the power to apply for Asbos for people who continually fare evade, which the organisation says costs it £70m a year.......
Speaking about the fare rise, TfL's Steve Burton said: "We want fare evaders to know that dodging their fare will no longer be an easy option.
"The majority of our customers pay the correct fare. A small minority don't and this costs TfL approximately £70m a year, money which could be spent improving London's transport network."
This is all well and good, but this does mean that Transport for London may end up doing sensible things with their money instead like taking a woman to court over an accidental one pound, twenty bus fare evasion.