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Old February 2nd, 2013, 02:20 PM   #2661
vladjack
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In order to make it clear how I feel about my incident, let me tell one very normal experience from Milano, Italy. I was riding in the tram. I bought the ticket and I knew I am supposed to convalidate it. So, I was standing by the machine, trying to press it somehow to convalidate my ticket, but could not figure out how the machine is functioning. After couple of trials, I thought that convalidating machine may be broken and went throughout the tram to another. I was trying to convalidate my ticket, as controllers came into the tram. They found me pulling mye ticket in the machine and guess what they did? Helped me to convalidate the ticket.
Normal? Reasonable? Understandable? Human behavior?
Against the law? Supporting delinquency? Unprofessional?
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Old February 2nd, 2013, 02:26 PM   #2662
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Originally Posted by vladjack View Post
In order to make it clear how I feel about my incident, let me tell one very normal experience from Milano, Italy. I was riding in the tram. I bought the ticket and I knew I am supposed to convalidate it. So, I was standing by the machine, trying to press it somehow to convalidate my ticket, but could not figure out how the machine is functioning. After couple of trials, I thought that convalidating machine may be broken and went throughout the tram to another. I was trying to convalidate my ticket, as controllers came into the tram. They found me pulling mye ticket in the machine and guess what they did? Helped me to convalidate the ticket.
Normal? Reasonable? Understandable? Human behavior?
Against the law? Supporting delinquency? Unprofessional?
I think the Italian inspectors who helped you to validate your ticket were reasonable and did the right thing. I lived in Vienna for a year and I know a few Austrians who would think that the Italian ticket inspectors who helped you committed a serious crime against the state and should be punished. However, not all Austrians have such a mentality. Some are very reasonable.
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Old February 2nd, 2013, 03:53 PM   #2663
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I am happy you come up with that example because I wanted to use a similar one as a comparison. For example if you want to ride a tram but you dont know where to buy the ticket and enter it without ticket because you thought you would find a ticket machine inside the tram - but then it turns out there is no ticket machine, but you see a tobacco shop (where they sell tickets) right at the next stop and you decide to leave the tram and enter that tobacco store. The same moment officers from public transportations see you leaving and stop you, give you a fine for using the tram without ticket.
Some would understand and support you being fined, some wouldnt agree with the officers and find that unfair. One would think you tried to be honest, another one would think you tried to ride without paying. Law would say you did wrong because you entered the tram without knowing whether you could buy a ticket there or not. Same for the highways of stupid ASFINAG. In case you dont have a valid ticket BEFORE entering the autobahn you are not even allowed to use it, not even if you stop at the next gas station to buy one. It is even more clever not to stop because the chance of being caught is much lower then. I myself find the methods of ASFINAG extremly disgusting and since I had that incident in 2007 I kinda hate that company.

The vignette-system is quite tricky. You have the chance to use the autobahn without paying (and many people actually do that) but if they catch you there is absolutely no mercy.
In other countries there are toll stations and you have absolutely no chance but to pay.
Both have advantages and disadvantages.

Regarding Italy:
I was fined last year in Pisa because I turned right at one corner, saw the sign saying "Zona traffica limitata" (and additionally told that it was forbidden to enter here), turned around and drove away. But there was a camera, and the camera caught me crossing a line when turning there. Nobody stopped me but a few weeks later I got a fine from Italy. No mercy. Now thats what I call a (tourist) trap.
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Old February 2nd, 2013, 04:28 PM   #2664
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I found that German control officers are pretty reasonable. I was once riding the train from Nürnberg to Freising on a working day. This means the Bayern Ticket is only valid from 9 o'clock. I had to buy a normal ticket since leaving around 8. But behind me a young couple stepped inside some 10 minutes before 9 in Regensburg. When the controller came, he asked them if they had a ticket for those 10 miuntes before 9 besides the Bayern Ticket. They lied that they already thrown it away, don't really think the controller bought it, he was a little bitchy and explained that they should normally get a fine and all, but he will let them go this time, but not next time.
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Old February 2nd, 2013, 05:00 PM   #2665
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Thanks, guys, your answers help me to understand. I lost 120,00 EURO, but got a bit smarter.
This converstation made me remember one example that I found intriguing. First time I visited Austria was 2002. Before that I visited several Eastern European countries, Arab countries, South Korea and Southern Italy. Austria was the first really wealthy place and I was quite impressed. I enjoyed my time in Vienna and Graz.
So, I met one girl from Lithania in Graz. She was a student and additionally worked as a waitress in the evenings. I asked her how she liked Austria and she answered: "Well, yes, Austria is ok and nice, of course, but I don't really like it. In fact, I plan to move to another country after I graduate."
I asked: "Why, what's the problem? Country is beautiful, organized and your University is quite good and you get fairly paid for your work in cafe?"
"Yes, that's ok."
"People in Austria are kind and friendly? Looks like pretty good place to live."
"Well, yes."
"Do you feel any discrimination given that you are foreigner?"
"Well, no... Not really."
"So, what's the problem? Try to make me understand."
And she said: "Ok, let me give you just one example. The public transportation in Graz is quite expensive. I need to pay 1,80 EURO for the tram every morning and 1,80 in the evening when I get back to my place. After some time I noticed that controls are not frequent, so it comes out cheaper not to buy tickets, but pay fines occasionally. So, instead of paying 3,60 EURO every day, I just pay 40,00 EURO when controllers catch me and it happens approximatelly once in two months. But when I told this to my colleague and a friend who is Austrian, she said it was wrong, it was not ethical and Austrians could do the same, but they pay the tickets, because that's the rule and immigrants are supposed to do the same instead of taking advantage of holes in the system."
And I said: "Ok, I think I undestand your point. I don't say I agree, but I understand."
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Old February 2nd, 2013, 05:07 PM   #2666
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I understand and agree at the same time.
Ethical correct or not - I wouldnt focus on that thing. And I especially wouldnt focus on that "immigrant-thing" since I know many Austrians who use the public transport regularly without having a ticket (I did the same occasionally when I was younger). One thing is for sure: Public transport isnt for free. There is a price for it. Whether you pay every single ticket, buy a Monats- or Jahreskarte or pay everytime they catch you - well, do what you want. Just my two cents

Edit:
We are pretty OT now. Could someone post a highway-picture to return to topic?
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Old February 2nd, 2013, 05:09 PM   #2667
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vladjack View Post
Thanks, guys, your answers help me to understand. I lost 120,00 EURO, but got a bit smarter.
This converstation made me remember one example that I found intriguing. First time I visited Austria was 2002. Before that I visited several Eastern European countries, Arab countries, South Korea and Southern Italy. Austria was the first really wealthy place and I was quite impressed. I enjoyed my time in Vienna and Graz.
So, I met one girl from Lithania in Graz. She was a student and additionally worked as a waitress in the evenings. I asked her how she liked Austria and she answered: "Well, yes, Austria is ok and nice, of course, but I don't really like it. In fact, I plan to move to another country after I graduate."
I asked: "Why, what's the problem? Country is beautiful, organized and your University is quite good and you get fairly paid for your work in cafe?"
"Yes, that's ok."
"People in Austria are kind and friendly? Looks like pretty good place to live."
"Well, yes."
"Do you feel any discrimination given that you are foreigner?"
"Well, no... Not really."
"So, what's the problem? Try to make me understand."
And she said: "Ok, let me give you just one example. The public transportation in Graz is quite expensive. I need to pay 1,80 EURO for the tram every morning and 1,80 in the evening when I get back to my place. After some time I noticed that controls are not frequent, so it comes out cheaper not to buy tickets, but pay fines occasionally. So, instead of paying 3,60 EURO every day, I just pay 40,00 EURO when controllers catch me and it happens approximatelly once in two months. But when I told this to my colleague and a friend who is Austrian, she said it was wrong, it was not ethical and Austrians could do the same, but they pay the tickets, because that's the rule and immigrants are supposed to do the same instead of taking advantage of holes in the system."
And I said: "Ok, I think I undestand your point. I don't say I agree, but I understand."
Or rather than buying two expensive one-hour tickets a day she could have bought a monthly ticket. Having lived in Graz myself that seems a legal and not particularly more expensive thing to do than paying fines on purpose.
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Old February 2nd, 2013, 05:21 PM   #2668
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vladjack View Post
The public transportation in Graz is quite expensive. I need to pay 1,80 EURO for the tram every morning and 1,80 in the evening when I get back to my place. After some time I noticed that controls are not frequent, so it comes out cheaper not to buy tickets, but pay fines occasionally. So, instead of paying 3,60 EURO every day, I just pay 40,00 EURO when controllers catch me and it happens approximatelly once in two months. But when I told this to my colleague and a friend who is Austrian, she said it was wrong, it was not ethical and Austrians could do the same, but they pay the tickets, because that's the rule and immigrants are supposed to do the same instead of taking advantage of holes in the system."
And I said: "Ok, I think I undestand your point. I don't say I agree, but I understand."
In Italy many people reason in that way. This works only for city buses, on trains controllers are almost always present.

When I was in Barcelona during my high school trip the teacher (!) suggest us to buy only an underground ticket for every 2 persons and pass through the turnstile in couple close together. There are no controllers onboard after you cross the turnstile. Then we went to the Picasso museum. That day was free of charge but groups weren't allowed. So our teacher told us to enter separately and no talk each other while in line.
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Old February 2nd, 2013, 05:46 PM   #2669
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Originally Posted by cinxxx View Post
I found that German control officers are pretty reasonable. I was once riding the train from Nürnberg to Freising on a working day. This means the Bayern Ticket is only valid from 9 o'clock. I had to buy a normal ticket since leaving around 8. But behind me a young couple stepped inside some 10 minutes before 9 in Regensburg. When the controller came, he asked them if they had a ticket for those 10 miuntes before 9 besides the Bayern Ticket. They lied that they already thrown it away, don't really think the controller bought it, he was a little bitchy and explained that they should normally get a fine and all, but he will let them go this time, but not next time.
I may as well weigh in at this point....

A friend and I were wandering around Europe (or Western Europe, when it still made a difference) on Eurailpasses in 1986. We were in Munich and I'd read in a sort-of travel-advice book called "How to Europe" (the author was fairly witty, actually, and usually knew what he was talking about) that the pass was valid on public transit in Munich. So off we went on the U-bahn to see I forget what...ticket inspector gets on, comes to us, we show him our passes and he says "that's not a ticket." Didn't fine us, just told us to get off at the next stop and buy tickets. Perfectly reasonable and appropriate.

What's interesting (perhaps) here is, on most American local transit systems (subways, buses, etc., as opposed to suburban trains) the issue doesn't even come up; either you have to pass through a turnstile to enter the station and it's paying your fare (swiping your card, dropping in a token...) that activates the mechanism to let you in; or in buses the driver himself takes the fares. He doesn't handle change, and such, but before the bus pulls away - you can't get on at the back - everyone getting on just drops in their token or shows him their pass. No need for inspectors because if you're on the vehicle you've presumably paid.

I got a free ride on a suburban train two Sundays ago, though. I'd dropped off my car for repairs and was taking the train back in to the city. Ticket offices at suburban train stations aren't open Sundays so the conductors (who'd otherwise just check tickets) were having to sell them to everyone. The train was a bit crowded for a Sunday and there was a family of seven at one end of the car; he was still dealing with them when we got to my stop. (I wasn't the only one he missed.)
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Old February 2nd, 2013, 05:49 PM   #2670
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Originally Posted by italystf View Post
In Italy many people reason in that way. This works only for city buses, on trains controllers are almost always present.

When I was in Barcelona during my high school trip the teacher (!) suggest us to buy only an underground ticket for every 2 persons and pass through the turnstile in couple close together. There are no controllers onboard after you cross the turnstile. Then we went to the Picasso museum. That day was free of charge but groups weren't allowed. So our teacher told us to enter separately and no talk each other while in line.
Now that's just not right!

EDIT: Specifically, for a teacher to actually advise petty law-breaking.
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Old February 2nd, 2013, 06:16 PM   #2671
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I have to say that I like this post from italystf.
I am not sure what to think about this teacher, but somehow I like it. I can't support it completely, but it is funny.
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Old February 2nd, 2013, 06:36 PM   #2672
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Originally Posted by pumpikatze View Post
I am happy you come up with that example because I wanted to use a similar one as a comparison. For example if you want to ride a tram but you dont know where to buy the ticket and enter it without ticket because you thought you would find a ticket machine inside the tram - but then it turns out there is no ticket machine, but you see a tobacco shop (where they sell tickets) right at the next stop and you decide to leave the tram and enter that tobacco store. The same moment officers from public transportations see you leaving and stop you, give you a fine for using the tram without ticket.
For that to be a valid analogy to the vignette case, the officers would have been waiting in the tobacconist shop to bust people who buy tram tickets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vladjack View Post
And she said: "Ok, let me give you just one example. The public transportation in Graz is quite expensive. I need to pay 1,80 EURO for the tram every morning and 1,80 in the evening when I get back to my place. After some time I noticed that controls are not frequent, so it comes out cheaper not to buy tickets, but pay fines occasionally. So, instead of paying 3,60 EURO every day, I just pay 40,00 EURO when controllers catch me and it happens approximatelly once in two months. But when I told this to my colleague and a friend who is Austrian, she said it was wrong, it was not ethical and Austrians could do the same, but they pay the tickets, because that's the rule and immigrants are supposed to do the same instead of taking advantage of holes in the system."
In Austria, students younger than 26 are entitled to very cheap monthly public transport passes. However, until recently, the government of Austria only allowed students who were Austrian citizens to buy them. The European Court of Justice ruled that was illegal discrimination (Austria gets busted by the ECJ for illegal discrimination more than any other EU member state -- does that indicate racism?) and ordered Austria make them available to students from all EU member states. Austria knew they would lose the case because they knew what they were doing was illegal, so they stopped this particular form of discrimination as soon as the ECJ decided to hear the case.
The case was: C-147/03 [2005] ECR I-5969
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Old February 2nd, 2013, 07:29 PM   #2673
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In Austria, students younger than 26 are entitled to very cheap monthly public transport passes. However, until recently, the government of Austria only allowed students who were Austrian citizens to buy them. The European Court of Justice ruled that was illegal discrimination (Austria gets busted by the ECJ for illegal discrimination more than any other EU member state -- does that indicate racism?) and ordered Austria make them available to students from all EU member states. Austria knew they would lose the case because they knew what they were doing was illegal, so they stopped this particular form of discrimination as soon as the ECJ decided to hear the case.
The case was: C-147/03 [2005] ECR I-5969
How come that the Dutch get alonge with their free student OV cards, only to the, guess who, the Dutch...? I guess it is just a legal trick. Thus perhaps if the Austrian authorities asked at the Dutch authorities, they could get along with it as well.

I guess this has to do with whether the discount is defined as non refundable discount (Austrian case), or whether it is defined as a refundable grant (Dutch case).
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Old February 2nd, 2013, 07:30 PM   #2674
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Originally Posted by Penn's Woods View Post
Now that's just not right!

EDIT: Specifically, for a teacher to actually advise petty law-breaking.
What's the problem? A group is made up of several individuals, so if you are in a group you don't stop being an individual. The rule is stupid and technically, they didn't break it.
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Old February 2nd, 2013, 08:15 PM   #2675
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The telling-kids-to-go-through-the-turnstile-two-at-a-time bit isn't right.
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Old February 2nd, 2013, 08:43 PM   #2676
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I guess this has to do with whether the discount is defined as non refundable discount (Austrian case), or whether it is defined as a refundable grant (Dutch case).
What do you mean by refundable?
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Old February 2nd, 2013, 08:55 PM   #2677
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What do you mean by refundable?

What I mean is that in Austria you get your discount and no one ever asks the money back. In the Netherlands this discount takes form of a loan that eventually doesnt have to be paid back.

In the Netherlands the students get the discount (in fact they ride for free), but this in fact means that this is done in form of a grant that is either annuled if student finishes the study, or is turned into a loan that has to be repaid if the student fails to finish the study.

EDIT: PS: maybe someone could move last posts into the rest area.

Last edited by Surel; February 2nd, 2013 at 09:02 PM.
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Old February 2nd, 2013, 10:22 PM   #2678
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For that to be a valid analogy to the vignette case, the officers would have been waiting in the tobacconist shop to bust people who buy tram tickets.
Not exactly. I would say they wouldnt be waiting in but follow him to the tobacco store where he would claim that he just wanted to buy a ticket and then continue using the tram (at the same time admitting he used it before without having a ticket).

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post
(Austria gets busted by the ECJ for illegal discrimination more than any other EU member state -- does that indicate racism?)
Suggestive question, isnt it?
Did you experience such a lot of racism during your year of living in Austria? If yes, I honestly regret that.
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Old February 2nd, 2013, 10:30 PM   #2679
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Not exactly. I would say they wouldnt be waiting in but follow him to the tobacco store where he would claim that he just wanted to buy a ticket and then continue using the tram (at the same time admitting he used it before without having a ticket).
Not really, the tobacco store would have to be in the tram (or vending machine) and you would be buying the ticked during the ride. You would be ok during the ride, but there would be a conductor standing and waiting at the vending machine that would fine you while you would be buying a ticket there (and validating it there) and would not already have validated ticket at that moment.
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Old February 2nd, 2013, 10:34 PM   #2680
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I think we are both wrong.
It has to be that way: At the very moment you are entering the tram you already need to have a validated ticket. Entering without ticket already would be fined.
Using the tram for searching for a place where you can buy a ticket of course would be fined then.

I dont say I´d find that good, but ASFINAG seems to like the idea (and it is probably the only way to handle a Vignette-system).
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