Do train companies lose money from railcards?

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by faddy, 8 Jan 2017.

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  1. Qwerty133

    Qwerty133 Established Member

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    The railcard system was designed at a time few disabled and older people were in paid employment, and in all probability this is the only reason the disabled and senior railcards haven't had AM peak restrictions all along. Now the workforce participation levels in these groups has significantly increased it is not unreasonable to suggest that it is now time to bring in restrictions to stop these cards being used for everyday commuting as was always the case with other railcards.
     
  2. JamesRowden

    JamesRowden Established Member

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    Having a railcard doesn't make a season ticket cheaper.
     
  3. Qwerty133

    Qwerty133 Established Member

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    No but in some cases railcard discounted anytimes can be cheaper than a season.
     
  4. JamesRowden

    JamesRowden Established Member

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    I would suggest that in such cases the problem is that the `Anytime Day Return ticket' is cheaper than 150% of the season ticket (per day of travel).
     
  5. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    There is an active campaign to change this to allow discounter peak travel for 16-18 year-olds who have school ID. I don't know how far it had gotten though.
     
  6. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    That still assumes that they're reducing revenue, rather than generating it, which I don't think is the case.
     
  7. faddy

    faddy Member

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    Except in London and Merseyside which both give free bus and train (and Mersey Ferries) travel to over 60s
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    The Young Person flavours of all Merseytravel products and of the Merseyrail Day Saver can be used by anyone aged 5-18 inclusive.
     
  8. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Established Member

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    I should think season tickets are more abstractive than railcards, but nobody talks of getting rid of them.
    Their existence is also a response to the "highest fares in Europe" mantra.
    I'm surprised railcards have not been personalised, both for better tracking and for incentives.
    Virgin did allow off-peak railcard tickets on peak trains but even that's gone now.
    As loyalty cards, they are still in the stone age.
     
  9. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    Why not just make the child fare run until 18? Job done.

    Then adjust the YPRC as necessary.
     
  10. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    There is a logic to making the YP railcard valid on peak services when presented with school ID - it means that there's a gradation from half-fare up to 16, then two-thirds fare from 16 to leaving school, then off-peak discounts until 25.

    There is, I suppose, the argument that disadvantaged families might not be able to spare the £30 to get the railcard, maybe the first two years (16-18) could be spread payment.
     
  11. MikeWh

    MikeWh Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    The 16-18 zip Oyster card allows half price travel throughout the Oyster area. If residence and/or education requirements are met then you also get free TfL bus travel.
     
  12. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    I saw a piece on BBC Breakfast recently about a teen who is trying to get similar half-price travel for 16-18 year-olds extended to LM as she now has to pay full price to travel to school somewhere near Birmingham (missed the stations involved).
     
  13. Llanigraham

    Llanigraham Established Member

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    HeeHee.......not in Wales!:D
     
  14. Llanigraham

    Llanigraham Established Member

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    So a person who is disabled and holds down a job should be precluded from using their card?
    How nice of you!
     
  15. PeterY

    PeterY Member

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    I'm surprised the Network card hasn't been withdrawn either. Even though I only travel for leisure, I brought my last Network card last week. Next year (unless the goalposts are moved) I'm getting my first senior card.
     
  16. paul1609

    paul1609 Established Member

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    If you were going to have an all comers railcard on the ex Inter City franchises you'd have to have some pretty elaborate restrictions to prevent some enormous revenue extraction. Thats why Virgin etc didn't want to play with the Gold Card.
    As somebody who is still entitled to an existing railcard I think it would be a very bad idea :)
     
  17. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    I think they'd have a battle on their hands if they withdrew it. Off Peak travel increases of 50% wouldn't go down well in the marginal constituencies.
     
  18. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    I suppose even if you were to exclude InterCity services, a Network/Regional railcard would still be very handy for a lot of people. It would continue to encourage off-peak travel on south eastern commuter trains whilst also encouraging Northerners to get their local line to the rugby or the market, or to explore the hills.

    Of course, such a card would be easier for people to understand if all IC services shared an IC livery (i.e. "you can use it on any trains except the beige ones with the red stripe").
     
  19. Laurencew

    Laurencew Member

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    Maybe a bit off topic...

    Anyone remember the Voyager Railcard? Only issued at Stoke on Trent and giving half price off-peak travel for the holder and up to four people (? the details are a little hazy now). I have come across one with an expiry date of 24th January 1987, but I can't remember if I had more than one. No internet in those days, I remember travelling to Stoke from Chester in a then brand new class 150 sprinter to buy one. It was valid system-wide, and was well recognised within a wide radius of Stoke. However I remember using it at London Waterloo and it took a helpful clerk a long time to find the dusty dog-eared memo that explained its use.

    Faded away quickly, but that brand name was reused in another context!
     
  20. RJ

    RJ Established Member

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    Whilst that is true, not everybody uses season tickets to commute. I have some regular customers who buy 5 days of Anytime Day Travelcards with a 16-25 railcard as it is a fair bit cheaper than a weekly Travelcard. Similar story for people who can commute on Off Peak tickets.

    As for the Network Railcard, I wouldn't be suprised if it does cost certain TOCs more than it generates. The likes of SWT for example with a sprawling network within the area. I occasionally work at stations on the periphery of the Network area where almost every single person coming to the ticket office window has one. The trains are pretty busy, but not overcrowded but then we run trains longer than 4 coaches on weekends!
     
    Last edited: 10 Jan 2017
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