[ScotRail] Ticket dodgers 'avoid paying on 900,000 rail journeys' (BBC)

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PaxVobiscum

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I wouldn't be surprised if it's actually more than that.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-37212664

About 900,000 rail journeys are made each year in Scotland by people who deliberately avoid paying the fare, according to ScotRail.

The train operator has carried out ticket monitoring at stations.

It has started a new campaign aimed at urging customers to pay their fare before boarding.

The firm said it had also invested in ticket vending machines at 26 new sites in a bid to help customers purchase tickets in advance.

ScotRail said its recent monitoring exercise revealed that 132 people had travelled without a ticket on 10 services they examined.

Some 450 flexible journey tickets were found to be used incorrectly during four days of monitoring at Glasgow Queen Street station.

At Glasgow Central station, 19 customers declared a shorter journey than the one they had actually travelled during one morning peak-time focus on the East Kilbride and Barrhead lines.

That type of dodge is the most common form of fraudulent travel, according to the train operator.

The new Buy Before You Board campaign aims to tackle premeditated fare fraud.

Phil Campbell, ScotRail's head of revenue protection, said: "We provide a service and it's only fair that everyone pays the correct fare for the service they use."

The rail operator said its surveys showed that honest passengers were frustrated by fare dodging.

Other analysis suggested customers were fed-up with long queues in peak times at major stations.

ScotRail said it was upgrading ticket vending machines at a further 100 sites.

There are now 260 machines across the network, with 20 more to be installed by the end of the year.

Mr Campbell added: "We've invested heavily in facilities to make it much easier for our customers to buy tickets in advance.

"This means that staff on trains have more time to help customers with travel or other queries.

"Buying before boarding will result in much shorter queues to get through the gates at busy destination stations such as Glasgow Central."
 
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Chew Chew

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IIRC tickets sales from Bishopbriggs to Queen St went up about 50% when Queen Street was barriered.

How many of those passengers were really from further away than that?
 

GarethJohn

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Does it have figures for those who have been caught up by ticket complexities, and have been deemed ''ticket dodgers'' for unwittingly catching the wrong train therefore being classed as not having a ticket for this journey?
 

Hadders

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900,000 journeys is a lot but what is it as a percentage of the overall number of journeys made on Scotrail?

There's always going to be some ticket less travel and attempts by the TOCs to reduce this should be applauded however there does come a point when it's simply uneconomic to chase it much further. Or to put it another way there will be a better return investing the staff costs elsewhere.
 

yorkie

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Do they include journeys where it is impossible to buy w a ticket?

It was reported in a previous thread that 'buy before you board ' signs have gone up at stations with no facility to purchase tickets.

Even where facilities are provided, they often don't accept all payment methods, so people paying by card for example may have no opportunity to buy before boarding.

This is the sort of nonsense Northern get up to, but without being as threatening .
 

73001

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I used to conduct ticketless travel surveys for one of the PTEs a few years back and it wasn't unusual for 50% or more of passengers (getting off in an hour) to have no ticket. I expect the 900,000 figure is conservative if it's covering all of Scotland.
 

NotATrainspott

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There will need to be barriers installed at a good many more stations before these figures will improve, but few of them would justify the cost of staff looking after them. I've seen a ticket barrier where there's a video link for passengers needing assistance, and I wonder if it could be possible to roll that out much more widely. The barriers could fail open in case the video link or assistance is unavailable.
 

ScotTrains

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Many stations, even in the suburban areas of Glasgow, still don't have any way to buy a ticket. I personally think all stations, especially busy ones, should have a ticket machine installed. There have been times I've travelled free, not because I tried to but because there has been no way to buy on the day and the ticket collector is either missing or busy. Many people, including myself, would buy before we travel if facilities actually existed.
 

paul1609

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You do have to ask why there is such a variance between different parts of the country. Even on my home line marshlink you have to get down to Appledore with less than 30k passengers a year before you don't have a TVM with full TOD facilities.
 

endecotp

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Some 450 flexible journey tickets were found to be used incorrectly during four days of monitoring at Glasgow Queen Street station.

Does anyone know what that includes?
When I try to buy a ticket at a ScotRail TVM, it often gives me the choice of various different prices, some "not valid on all trains, please enquire". Sometimes I do "enquire", i.e. I cancel the purchase, find a member of staff e.g. at a barrier, ask what the restrictions are, walk back to the machine, queue up again, and purchase the correct ticket. But more often I just buy the cheapest one and cross my fingers.
 

AngusH

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That actually seems better than I would have expected.


Assuming it is correct, 900,000 represents only about 1% of the 86 million passenger journeys that scotrail is stated to run per year (as per Transport Scotland and Scotrail's own facts and figures document)




I would however be curious to know how they extrapolated from the 608 627 instances in the press release to the 900,000 headline figure.
Do they take representative routes and stations?
 
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Mojo

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I would however be curious to know how they extrapolated from the 608 627 instances in the press release to the 900,000 headline figure.
Do they take representative routes and stations?
It is standard practice for Tocs to carry out fraud surveys a couple of times a year. Times and locations are specified by data experts and either Inspectors or agency staff go around checking tickets as instructed. Results from the inspections are then returned and the data extrapolated to give a percentage figure in terms of customer journeys with some sort of irregularity, and revenue loss (which is offset by estimated income from Penalty fares, revenue collected on gatelines and Maximum fares on Smartcards (where applicable).
 

ScotTrains

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It's not more TVMs that are needed. It's more checks.

How do people buy tickets on the day if there is no TVM at their unmanned station. Are they really that expensive?
Checks are good but surely they should invest in TVMs first? That way there is no excuse not to have a ticket.
 

PHILIPE

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How do people buy tickets on the day if there is no TVM at their unmanned station. Are they really that expensive?
Checks are good but surely they should invest in TVMs first? That way there is no excuse not to have a ticket.

They could still walk past the TVM not intending to buy a ticket
 

AngusH

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There will be diminishing returns on this.
At some point the cost of further checking will exceed the benefits gained.


The figures suggest that Scotrail is actually doing an excellent job already.
I'm sure I saw figures that estimated national evasion as 3-5%.



(Thanks Mojo for the explanation on methodology)
 

me123

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Do they include journeys where it is impossible to buy w a ticket?

It's actually sometimes quite difficult in Scotland to buy a ticket. Many years back, I occasionally travelled between Hamilton and Coatbridge by train (back in the days where there was just a handful of services a day). I did not once pay for these journeys, but I can assure you it was not for lack of trying!

I was always refused sale at the ticket office when it was open (the most common excuse being that my train was going from the other platform to the one the ticket office was on - don't look for logic, there isn't any).
I invariably seemed to encounter the onboard TI close to Motherwell station - as they changed crew there, they usually wouldn't sell me the ticket for lack of time.
The new TI who came on usually wouldn't bother checking. On the one occasion they did, I was not charged.

I think it would be hard to argue that I was evading my fare, but would I be considered in the statistics for fare evasion?

It's not more TVMs that are needed. It's more checks.

I wouldn't agree that a lack of checks is a big issue in Scotland. On Scotrail, it's actually quite rare for me not to have my ticket checked. My recent experiences in England and Wales are somewhat different though - ticket checks are somewhat of a rarity (which seems odd given that the offence of fare evasion is treated rather harshly). I undertook a 2.5h journey with ATW a few days back and didn't even see a guard/TI/any staff whatsoever.

On the other hand, machines would be very useful indeed. This is particularly true on local 156 routes in Glasgow, where the trains stop frequently and the guard spends a lot of time controlling the doors. It wasn't uncommon on the Whifflet route (back in the days of diesel action) for the guard not to make their way through the busier trains, as they could realistically only serve one or two people between stops. With no machines en route, I imagine quite a few people got a free hurl (at least until the barriers appeared - then they got a 15 minute delay to their journey).
 

Butts

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After dropping my car off to be Serviced in Larbert today I boarded a service from there to Edinburgh Park.

A schoolkid proffered a debit card to pay a £1.30 fare to Falkirk and the transaction failed due to the wrong pin number.

The Guard told him to pay at his destination - which I'm sure he did <D

Why do they even accept cards for fares that low surely should be a £5 minimum ?

Self inflicted dodge in my view :p
 

Agent_c

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Why do they even accept cards for fares that low surely should be a £5 minimum ?

People don't carry cash, and Scotrail can't issue penalty fares or use the threat of criminal prosecutions to encourage them to pay up.

So would you rather get nothing or 1.30 less the card transaction fees?
 

Butts

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People don't carry cash, and Scotrail can't issue penalty fares or use the threat of criminal prosecutions to encourage them to pay up.

So would you rather get nothing or 1.30 less the card transaction fees?

In that case don't get on the train or use the ticket office or machine both of which were operational. - £1.30 by card is taking the **** :p
 
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endecotp

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It's actually sometimes quite difficult in Scotland to buy a ticket.

Recent example: Kyle of Lochalsh to Plockton. Kyle ticket office was closed with a notice saying "back soon". Still closed as train was boarding; asked if it was going to reopen before the train left; reply was "no" in a surprised "of course not!" sort of way. Approached conductor and asked for a single to Plockton; said he'd come back. Didn't come back. Got to plockton; got off. I don't think there is either a machine or a staffed office in Plockton.

This annoys me in part because I know that the statistics on little-used lines do matter. Perhaps Plockton's future is not in dohbt, but if I'm travelling to a smaller station in the highlands I want to know that my use of the station has been recorded.
 

Butts

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Recent example: Kyle of Lochalsh to Plockton. Kyle ticket office was closed with a notice saying "back soon". Still closed as train was boarding; asked if it was going to reopen before the train left; reply was "no" in a surprised "of course not!" sort of way. Approached conductor and asked for a single to Plockton; said he'd come back. Didn't come back. Got to plockton; got off. I don't think there is either a machine or a staffed office in Plockton.

This annoys me in part because I know that the statistics on little-used lines do matter. Perhaps Plockton's future is not in dohbt, but if I'm travelling to a smaller station in the highlands I want to know that my use of the station has been recorded.

Apparently there are plans to install barriers at Plockton - so watch out next time you go !!!
 

plymothian

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After dropping my car off to be Serviced in Larbert today I boarded a service from there to Edinburgh Park.

A schoolkid proffered a debit card to pay a £1.30 fare to Falkirk and the transaction failed due to the wrong pin number.

The Guard told him to pay at his destination - which I'm sure he did <D

Why do they even accept cards for fares that low surely should be a £5 minimum ?

Self inflicted dodge in my view :p

This is probably one of the biggest dodges going.

Using a card that they know will be declined and there isn't enough time to manual process it; or if it's manually processed, there are no funds and the transaction is subsequently null and void.
 

PermitToTravel

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've seen a ticket barrier where there's a video link for passengers needing assistance, and I wonder if it could be possible to roll that out much more widely. The barriers could fail open in case the video link or assistance is unavailable.

Are there any unstaffed barriers where the video link is to somewhere outside the station? Every installation that I'm aware of has someone in the building
 

Butts

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If Guards were not responsible for opening and closing the doors would revenue collection rates improve ? :p
 

me123

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People don't carry cash...

Yes they do. Until very recently cash was used for >50% of all transactions. That may have changed (there's a definite downward trend), but there's still plenty of people using cash.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Don't they have contactless in Scotland yet?

Yes. In fact Scotrail have terminals at manned stations (not sure about TVMs and on train though).
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
If Guards were not responsible for opening and closing the doors would revenue collection rates improve ? :p

Honestly... I don't want to start a DOO debate but the answer must be yes on the routes in Glasgow with very frequent stops. Of course there are lots of non DOO solutions - TTIs as a third staff member on board, more ticket machines to minimise on board sales...
 

Butts

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My ticket is normally checked on the way in from Falkirk to Edinburgh Park, but on the 2313 coming back it is often not. Barriers open at EDP at that time of night but very few people get on.

It's only normally a 2 Carriage Service so no excuse really. I imagine a few people blag a free ride from Linlithgow to Polmont or Falkirk G.

Perhaps the answer is to tighten it up with permit to travel or double fare onboard like the Trams.
 

route:oxford

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Yes they do. Until very recently cash was used for >50% of all transactions. That may have changed (there's a definite downward trend), but there's still plenty of people using cash.

It changed last year. As at 2015, cash is now used in 48% of transactions.

On 1st January this year, I withdrew £250 from an ATM as an experiment to see how far in the year I could go on a single withdrawal.

I converted £100 of it into US Dollars back in February.

Post US holiday, I still have US$75 - most of what I used was for tipping.

There is £110 in my wallet - most of what I've used has been for parking meters.

Most of the time these days I simply "tap" - and earn 2 Avios from Amex or 1 Avios for Visa.
 

cf111

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Do they include journeys where it is impossible to buy w a ticket?

It was reported in a previous thread that 'buy before you board ' signs have gone up at stations with no facility to purchase tickets.

Even where facilities are provided, they often don't accept all payment methods, so people paying by card for example may have no opportunity to buy before boarding.

This is the sort of nonsense Northern get up to, but without being as threatening .

The thing is the "nonsense" is actually far less threatening because unlike Northern, ScotRail can't issue anyone with a penalty fare nor can they themselves prosecute anyone through the criminal courts.
 
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