RPIs on the Underground

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Bald Rick

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Occasionally, indeed very occasionally, I see Revenue guys on the underground. Usually just one side of the barriers at a busy station, checking certain types of ticket that flag up on the barriers. As I have a staff Oyster I usually get asked to 'show my credentials'.

Today, however, I saw something completely different. At around 1530 a team of approx 8 Revenue guys were in a connecting passage at Green Park. The passage in question is the link between the Victoria and Jubilee lines, and everyone going in either direction was stopped and had their tickets / cards checked. Given that almost the whole tube network is fully gated, I couldn't see how anybody would be in that particular passage without a valid ticket. The only examples I could think of were

a) someone who got through an ungated part of the wider system (eg DLR or Overground) changed on to the Jubilee at Stratford or Canning Town, and was aiming for another ungated part of the system from the Vic Line, eg a connection at Finsbury Park or Seven Sisters.

b) someone who had a travel card for outer zones only doing a journey via zone 1 whereas the Travelcard is only valid via an orbital route (eg Walthamstow to Wembley Park)

c) a gate jumper

All of these seem pretty remote, and yet the team had evidently targeted that particular passageway at Green Park. And it paid dividends, as there were two separate people having 'an interesting chat' with RPIs when I went through.

This poses the question: is there a particular brand of fare dodging that makes this particular location a target for a revenue team action?
 
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Mag_seven

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I'm sure they would have had their reasons for choosing that particular spot but I would expect to see RPI inspections anywhere and at any time on the system.
 

AlterEgo

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RPIs don't just check that people have *a* ticket, but the right ticket. Wonder how many adults on child tickets they found, or people with railcard-discounted Oyster cards that had no railcard, or....

You see my point.

There's a lot of gate jumping and tailgating that goes on as well.
 

PeterC

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There used to be regular checks on people changing Bakerloo/Northern to Jubilee at Waterloo when I worked on the south bank. I always assumed was that the target was Canary Wharf commuters "doughnutting" with non zone 1 paper travelcards. I don't know how much of an issue this still is (we couldn't get company loans for Oyster, only paper travelcards) but I would guess that the Canary Wharf flow is still the target.
 

Mojo

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This poses the question: is there a particular brand of fare dodging that makes this particular location a target for a revenue team action?
Yes, Green Park on the corridor from the Pic to Jub is a common location for doing checks and pretty much for any of the reasons you have identified. Revenue Control Inspectors (RCIs) have exercises here every now and again. East London is a massive hole in the system with connections to/from National Rail and DLR services. Manual checks are also a good way to check counterfeit tickets. I wouldn't say it's all a remote possibility; people doubling in and out at the ticket gates is fairly common, as is the use of paper Travelcards for Z2-6, child tickets, and people who haven't any tickets at all.

However saying that, given how much the Revenue Control department has been cut back (natural wastage rather than redundancy), plus also the use of CPCs which cannot be properly checked, RCIs spend most of their time nowadays on stations monitoring the gatelines in an effective and customer friendly way unlike most Tocs, or on intellegence-based operations.
 

clagmonster

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Doughnutting is the act of having a ticket to pass through ticket barriers at the start and end of one's journey, but with a hole in the middle.
 

Mojo

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Doughnutting is the act of having a ticket to pass through ticket barriers at the start and end of one's journey, but with a hole in the middle.

More commonly known off these forums as a "Dumbbell."
 

Panda

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plus also the use of CPCs which cannot be properly checked

Understood that they can't be checked the same as Oyster, but surely it is still proper checks? In fact, I would imagine that the checks are almost better than Oyster as you can also see what the person did after the check before applying any sort of penalty (and you have their method of payment right there). (The only thing that could happen after is "forgetting" to tap out, which I doubt anyone would really want to do after encountering a RCI.
 

PeterC

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With a CPC all that could be done would be to record the details and check the account at the end of the day. Then the appropriate action could be taken.

I have no idea if the technology exists to do this but it is how I would have designed it in my days as an IT consultant.
 

Panda

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With a CPC all that could be done would be to record the details and check the account at the end of the day. Then the appropriate action could be taken.

I have no idea if the technology exists to do this but it is how I would have designed it in my days as an IT consultant.
It does - which is why I am saying that the checks are proper - just not the same as Oyster.
 

Tetchytyke

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It does - which is why I am saying that the checks are proper - just not the same as Oyster.

I think mojo was referring to the fact that an RPI can immediately tell if an Oyster is being used incorrectly, and charge a Penalty Fare, but can't with a CPC. At the end of the day the system will tell if someone using a CPC has encountered an RPI check without touching in and charge a maximum fare, which is much less, although if you do it too often your CPC will be blacklisted.
 

becon-t

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An RPI can see when and where a contactless card was last touched in. That's it. But that's all they need to know in keep st circumstances.
 

MikeWh

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An RPI can see when and where a contactless card was last touched in. That's it. But that's all they need to know in keep st circumstances.

No they can't. The only thing an RPI can see with a cpc is whether it has been blacklisted or not.
 

najaB

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Nothing at all, not even a valid touch in?
I used to think they could, but have been assured that the only thing that they can tell is if the card is on the blacklist. Which makes sense after a little thought - why would banks allow TfL to write to their cards?
 

Be3G

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Presumably, considering the speed with which CPC touches show on one's online account, it would be possible for an RPI's reader to check the last touch by consulting the back-end system as opposed to reading from the card itself?
 

najaB

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Presumably, considering the speed with which CPC touches show on one's online account, it would be possible for an RPI's reader to check the last touch by consulting the back-end system as opposed to reading from the card itself?
That depends on the speed with which the back end is updated.

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MikeWh

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Presumably, considering the speed with which CPC touches show on one's online account, it would be possible for an RPI's reader to check the last touch by consulting the back-end system as opposed to reading from the card itself?

That would need very careful guidelines. The touch can take up to 15 minutes to appear, and sometimes much longer if there is a problem with the gate/reader communicating with the world. The current system handles that well with the added bonus that the friction caused by charging a higher fare is removed from the inspector/passenger interaction.
 

Mojo

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I think mojo was referring to the fact that an RPI can immediately tell if an Oyster is being used incorrectly, and charge a Penalty Fare, but can't with a CPC. At the end of the day the system will tell if someone using a CPC has encountered an RPI check without touching in and charge a maximum fare, which is much less,
Indeed. I could be doing something dodgy like travel between ungated stations, doubling through, using a Z2-6 paper Travelcard, or anything else, and when checked onboard just wave a CPC to be scanned and take the small financial hit.
 

Stigy

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No they can't. The only thing an RPI can see with a cpc is whether it has been blacklisted or not.
Yes. A simple red light and a reference for a blacklisted card, or a green light for the all clear. Not ideal, but obvious why it's the way it is. Only blocks on three failed touch ins/outs.
 

matt_world2004

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Even if the list of card touch ins was in real time; an RPIs device would not work on the underground for contactless cards due to their being no internet connection they can use. . My understanding is RPIs cannot use the 2222 network. Some RPI's have their devices set up to use virgin media wifi. Although that not officially supported.
 

AlterEgo

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Indeed. I could be doing something dodgy like travel between ungated stations, doubling through, using a Z2-6 paper Travelcard, or anything else, and when checked onboard just wave a CPC to be scanned and take the small financial hit.

That's an astonishing hole in the system. :|
 

jimbo99

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Thing is you cannot keep doing it or your card would be blacklisted.

I am rarely checked on the underground. I have 9 credit cards, most of them contactless. If I was playing this game, it would likely be years before I had to use the same card twice.

Or do CPCs yield more than just a number when scanned - eg name of cardholder?
 
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