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Unread 01-06-2014, 18:05   #41
James Howard
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Apparently the inspection blitz doesn't isn't covering Enfield or the commuter services on that corridor. I found myself waiting there on Saturday afternoon and noticed half a dozen tickets littering the ground. They were all for Sydney Parade to Sandymount.

Given that you can absolutely depend on never seeing a ticket inspector on most of the trains going that direction, I can see why a student wouldn't bother wasting beer money on silliness like train tickets.

It's kind of annoying though when you're spending 4 grand a year on a train pass.
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Unread 10-06-2014, 19:12   #42
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They had a serious RPU operation in Enfield this evening - I wonder if they are reading this . I would think they had about 10 people including security. Good to see proper enforcement.
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Unread 10-06-2014, 19:22   #43
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They do read this

Sounds like you got the CEO RPU group
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Unread 11-06-2014, 12:39   #44
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They had a serious RPU operation in Enfield this evening - I wonder if they are reading this . I would think they had about 10 people including security. Good to see proper enforcement.
That's all very fine but how many fare evaders did they catch, it's not very viable unless the revenue they get, outweighs the cost of 'the ambush'.

Last edited by grainne whale : 11-06-2014 at 12:41.
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Unread 11-06-2014, 13:14   #45
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That's all very fine but how many fare evaders did they catch, it's not very viable unless the revenue they get, outweighs the cost of 'the ambush'.
Plus the cost of future tickets purchased because of word getting round that Enfield is not a safe haven?
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Unread 11-06-2014, 14:17   #46
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Fair enough, it's been a few months since I've been on the commuter trains as I tend to avoid them on comfort grounds but I used to use them regularly and I've not seen a ticket inspector on any of the Longford commuter services for well over 5 years. Before that you might see a guy on the 1805 once or twice a week which was plenty.

So there definitely was an expectation that you would not be challenged if heading for Enfield or Kilcock and as I said in a previous post, I saw tickets from Sydney Parade to Booterstown lying about at Enfield.

The purpose of inspection blitzes is as much to provide a visible deterrent to fare evasion as it is to collect fines. This certainly would have done the trick.
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Unread 11-06-2014, 14:35   #47
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Fair enough, it's been a few months since I've been on the commuter trains as I tend to avoid them on comfort grounds but I used to use them regularly and I've not seen a ticket inspector on any of the Longford commuter services for well over 5 years. Before that you might see a guy on the 1805 once or twice a week which was plenty.

So there definitely was an expectation that you would not be challenged if heading for Enfield or Kilcock and as I said in a previous post, I saw tickets from Sydney Parade to Booterstown lying about at Enfield.

The purpose of inspection blitzes is as much to provide a visible deterrent to fare evasion as it is to collect fines. This certainly would have done the trick.
Yes, I'm sure all the droves of fare evaders travelling to an from Enfield will all be deterred from now on.
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Unread 11-06-2014, 16:01   #48
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So what should they do? Just not bother collecting fares.

An annual pass to Enfield is more than 2000 euro. It is extremely unfair on those paying their way to allow people get away without paying or to have them pay for the shortest available journey. The paying customer ends up putting up with overcrowding and generally a poorer service if people are let get away with it.

For the Longford commuter trains, the only station where they check tickets is Longford and even there they don't bother in the evening. I'm not sure about Mullingar - maybe they check there as well but I've not been checked the few times I got on there. But for Edgeworthstown, Enfield and Kilcock, if you were suitable inclined you could save yourself up to a couple of grand a year by just using a short-hop pass. Visible enforcement at the weak-spot stations makes this risky - although the fines are nowhere near high enough to be a real deterrent.
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Unread 12-06-2014, 09:47   #49
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So what should they do? Just not bother collecting fares.

An annual pass to Enfield is more than 2000 euro. It is extremely unfair on those paying their way to allow people get away without paying or to have them pay for the shortest available journey. The paying customer ends up putting up with overcrowding and generally a poorer service if people are let get away with it.

For the Longford commuter trains, the only station where they check tickets is Longford and even there they don't bother in the evening. I'm not sure about Mullingar - maybe they check there as well but I've not been checked the few times I got on there. But for Edgeworthstown, Enfield and Kilcock, if you were suitable inclined you could save yourself up to a couple of grand a year by just using a short-hop pass. Visible enforcement at the weak-spot stations makes this risky - although the fines are nowhere near high enough to be a real deterrent.
Ticket barriers at all stations, ticket inspectors on trains, this is the practice that most of Europe follows, but of course Irish Rail always react with overkill. They would be better employed in running a efficient and comfortable service, which would encourage more passengers and eliminate fare evasion.

Last edited by grainne whale : 12-06-2014 at 09:51.
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Unread 12-06-2014, 11:07   #50
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There needs to be exit checks on all stations. This business of leaving gates open and having no on train checks. Entry inspections do nothing as a ticket for the minimum would pass such a check, with the evader exiting at an unguarded station down the line.
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Unread 12-06-2014, 14:12   #51
Mark Gleeson
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Standard policy across Europe is no barriers and fairly minimal checks on local services, combined with very heavy enforcement at random checks
long distance there is generally a member of staff onbroad

Irish Rail's gating policy does work well at busy locations and the revenue at stations where barriers have been fitted has typically gone up

The random checks at outer suburban stations are effective.
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Unread 12-06-2014, 14:38   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Gleeson View Post
Standard policy across Europe is no barriers and fairly minimal checks on local services, combined with very heavy enforcement at random checks
long distance there is generally a member of staff onbroad

Irish Rail's gating policy does work well at busy locations and the revenue at stations where barriers have been fitted has typically gone up

The random checks at outer suburban stations are effective.
The only problem is these 'ambushes' by RPU seem to inconvenience the ordinary commuter, why don't they arrange them when fare evasion is rife (ie. when/ where stations are unmanned or out of hours).
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Unread 13-06-2014, 09:58   #53
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In Kildare yesterday evening. 7 of them.

Earlier this week, two RPU officers patrolled the 14:25 to Portlaoise checking tickets after every stop.
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Unread 13-06-2014, 10:49   #54
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Exit checks aren't really practical at a lot of rural stations due to their sometimes isolated locations and the infrequent nature of the services. The best solution for the Longford services would be to deploy a checker at random on one of the services a few times a month and combine that with the odd blitz.

I don't really see how the checks are inconvenient to regular commuters. It is just a matter of flashing your pass which takes me approximately 2 seconds. It is a lot more convenient than losing a service because the revenue on the line isn't sufficient to cover its costs.

Anyway, deploying a team to Enfield is deploying them to a place where fare evasion is present (if not rife) and as far as I know the station is always out-of-hours as it is effectively just a halt.
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Unread 13-06-2014, 13:10   #55
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Quote:
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Exit checks aren't really practical at a lot of rural stations due to their sometimes isolated locations and the infrequent nature of the services. The best solution for the Longford services would be to deploy a checker at random on one of the services a few times a month and combine that with the odd blitz.

I don't really see how the checks are inconvenient to regular commuters. It is just a matter of flashing your pass which takes me approximately 2 seconds. It is a lot more convenient than losing a service because the revenue on the line isn't sufficient to cover its costs.

Anyway, deploying a team to Enfield is deploying them to a place where fare evasion is present (if not rife) and as far as I know the station is always out-of-hours as it is effectively just a halt.
I've been incovenienced as I try to get up stairs to catch a Feeder Bus at Hazelhatch Station, the RPU block off the stairs. Up to 100 passengers would be getting off the train in the evenings, if you don't make it the Feeder bus will go off without you.
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Unread 13-06-2014, 14:40   #56
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Irish Rail is completely empowered to check tickets whenever they like

Bear in mind the greatest cause of delays at an inspection are

1. Passengers not having there ticket to hand, and spend ages digging around in pockets and bags

2. Passengers with no tickets clog up the process as it leaves fewer checkers to handle the queue.

Irish Rail's approach is consistent with other operators, I've never had a problem and always found the checking to be efficient and firm.

On the occasions where a passenger refuses to cooperate then the fun and gardai start

Last edited by Mark Gleeson : 13-06-2014 at 14:55.
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Unread 13-06-2014, 14:49   #57
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Quote:
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Irish Rail is completely empowered to check tickets whenever they like

Bear in mind the greatest cause of delays at an inspection are

1. Passengers not having there ticket to hand, and spend ages digging around in pockets and bags

2. Passengers with no tickets clog up the process as it leaves fewer checkers to handle the queue.

Irish Rail's approach is consistent with other operators
In all my years commuting to and from Hazelhatch I have NEVER seen any passenger caught for travelling without a valid ticket.
I have travelled by rail extensively in Portugal, Spain, Italy and UK an I have never seen such ambush tactics employed. Tickets are checked by a courteous member of rail staff. Why do Irish Rail always have to be confrontational.
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Unread 13-06-2014, 15:14   #58
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Comes down to a simple question, are Irish Rail's action legal?

They are.

I have traveled in 20+ countries by train, all are different. If you don't like Irish Rail you should avoid Berlin underground when a army of blue vest wearing checkers descend on a station.

In Budapest I got checked every second time on what is supposedly a open system, never been checked in Prague.

The reality is there is a high rate of fare evasion which is running at a level which is over the order of 12 million euro per year. Only way to stamp this out is to check tickets and ensure people know tickets will be checked.
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Unread 13-06-2014, 16:20   #59
James Howard
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I should think that Irish Rail's approach is driven by culture. The fact is that there is a significant section in Irish society that tends to be extremely aggressive and who basically believe in getting their retaliation in first. This tends to correlate strongly with those who don't pay for their train tickets. So if Irish Rail don't turn up in force and behave assertively, they will get walked all over and may end up putting staff in danger.

It is unfortunate that the law-abiding majority have to get their noses put of of joint by this behaviour but I can't see a way around it. This is similar to how the loud aggressive drunks tend to get treated more quickly at A&E on a Friday night. The alternative for those of us who pay is to suffer a worse service and basically subsidise the scumbags who won't pay. I don't personally find them rude but then I always have my ticket to hand and can show it promptly when asked.

The opposite applies to other cultures. I don't know if the same system still applies but when I was in Tokyo about 15 years ago, they had this system called "Fare Adjustment" where if you didn't know what your fare was, you paid the minimum and then put your ticket into a machine at your destination and paid the difference. Of course, ever single Irish person I knew used to buy the minimum fare ticket and use their point-to-point work pass to get out at their home station. Our Japanese colleagues would be utterly horrified at this behaviour and there was never a ticket inspector to be seen anywhere because honour and honesty are basically core values in Japanese culture.
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Unread 17-06-2014, 07:46   #60
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Maybe IR should consider changing the timing of their checks to out of hours when apparently fare evasion is rife.
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