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Old September 14th, 2015, 08:38 PM   #2841
suasion
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Just saw a sign in Haarlem station about works for gates taking place in October/ November
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Old September 15th, 2015, 07:51 AM   #2842
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Escalation is always possible, of course.

1) If you're caught on board a train or at a train station (sometimes only the platforms) without a valid ticket, you have to pay the fare + 35 euros.
I wonder what will happen now NS is putting up gates everywhere. With the gates there is a huge potential for abuse.
What if a passenger says "yes, but the gates opened, and let me in, so I asumed I had a valid ticket". The burden of proof that the passenger is not the victim of a malfunctioning gate now lies with the railways...

Closed, gated systems don't do on board inspections AFAIK. They concentrate their fare enforcement on the gates themselves. NS however has a mixed system, with partly open and partly closed stations, and with now tickets that a passenger cannot inspect himself. I think this will end up badly for the NS the first time someone takes them to court over an alledged fare evasion.
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Old September 15th, 2015, 11:38 AM   #2843
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I wonder what will happen now NS is putting up gates everywhere. With the gates there is a huge potential for abuse.
What if a passenger says "yes, but the gates opened, and let me in, so I asumed I had a valid ticket". The burden of proof that the passenger is not the victim of a malfunctioning gate now lies with the railways...

Closed, gated systems don't do on board inspections AFAIK. They concentrate their fare enforcement on the gates themselves. NS however has a mixed system, with partly open and partly closed stations, and with now tickets that a passenger cannot inspect himself. I think this will end up badly for the NS the first time someone takes them to court over an alledged fare evasion.
Interesting thought experiment, but I think you may have taken a leap there. I'm not sure the burden of proof falls with NS. In The Hague, for example, there are signs everywhere to alert the traveler that it is, at all times, his/her responsibility to have a ticket. Even if the ticket machine on board the tram in question is broken.

Also, there is the added complicating factor that a lot of commuter stations won't be gated shut. Many of them simply can't be. So in theory, there will always be a few stations where passengers could simply stroll onto the train without passing through a gate. That would surely mean the legal burden of proof would still fall on the passenger at all times.
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Old September 15th, 2015, 11:42 AM   #2844
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Originally Posted by Slagathor View Post
1) If you're caught on board a train or at a train station (sometimes only the platforms) without a valid ticket, you have to pay the fare + 35 euros.
I have been commuting by train for two years now and I have seen quite a few people who forgot or "forgot" to check-in. The worst the guard did was to ask them to step out on the closest station (a very small one usually, with check-in/out poles directly on the platform), check-in and come back onto the train. The guard waited for them before closing the doors. In most cases it was "next time please remember to check-in". I have never seen anyone getting a fine.
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Old September 15th, 2015, 12:12 PM   #2845
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I have been commuting by train for two years now and I have seen quite a few people who forgot or "forgot" to check-in. The worst the guard did was to ask them to step out on the closest station (a very small one usually, with check-in/out poles directly on the platform), check-in and come back onto the train. The guard waited for them before closing the doors. In most cases it was "next time please remember to check-in". I have never seen anyone getting a fine.
Yeah that happens a lot and it's become more frequent since conductors have faced more physical violence in recent years. A lot of them just can't be bothered and prefer to avoid confrontation. It's not an official guideline or anything though; they're supposed to make you buy a ticket + surcharge.
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Old September 15th, 2015, 02:58 PM   #2846
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I think there is an element of understanding with the conductors about the system. It's an easy thing to forget to check in or out if you are distracted. When somebody offers their card and there is money loaded on it, depending on circumstances and appearances I think they choose to assume it was an accident. I see people getting fines often enough to know there is no policy of ignoring fare evasion. in my experience old women who are less likely to assault a conductor are more likely to escape fines. Also when checks are done the checkers operate in pairs.

A few weeks ago I thought I had checked in but hadn't, the guy let me off because I was with my son and had bought him a railrunner ticket.
On another occasion I checked out leaving the station only to find I was checking in. I'm 100% certiain that I got the check in beep before boarding that train.

Last edited by suasion; September 15th, 2015 at 03:11 PM.
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Old September 16th, 2015, 04:05 AM   #2847
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Interesting thought experiment, but I think you may have taken a leap there. I'm not sure the burden of proof falls with NS. In The Hague, for example, there are signs everywhere to alert the traveler that it is, at all times, his/her responsibility to have a ticket. Even if the ticket machine on board the tram in question is broken.

Also, there is the added complicating factor that a lot of commuter stations won't be gated shut. Many of them simply can't be. So in theory, there will always be a few stations where passengers could simply stroll onto the train without passing through a gate. That would surely mean the legal burden of proof would still fall on the passenger at all times.
I am not really that sure. What is important here is whether the passenger has reasonable ways how to check the validity of the ticket.
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Old September 16th, 2015, 08:01 AM   #2848
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I am not really that sure. What is important here is whether the passenger has reasonable ways how to check the validity of the ticket.
Indeed. You cannot require passengers themselves to ascertain they have the right ticket if the ticket is essentially invisible.

If you look at most "gated" sytems than you see that they put the effort in revenue protection at the gates. Some systems even use tickets or tokens that are swallowed by the gates, so that when inside passengers don't have any proof of purchase.

When you have both gated and non gated stations this becomes an issue. If I commute between two non gated stations, and just systematically not check in, and then when the conductor comes just claim: "But I checked in. The machine did ping, and I boarded."
There is no way for the railways to prove that I have indeed not been the victim of a malfunctioning check in pole...
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Old September 17th, 2015, 02:00 AM   #2849
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Closed, gated systems don't do on board inspections AFAIK.
There are lots of ticket gates in the UK and Ireland but not at all stations, so it is kind of like the Dutch system, although the gates primarily accept regular paper tickets with a magnetic strip with some also accepting smartcards. There are also stations where tickets are checked by humans. Inspections still exist although in areas with a lot of gates inspections are less common. Even on the London Underground which is fully gated there are occasional inspections.

The Paris suburban network is also gated. Does that have ticket checks? Given its size I would be surprised if it didn't.
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Old September 17th, 2015, 12:19 PM   #2850
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There are lots of ticket gates in the UK and Ireland but not at all stations, so it is kind of like the Dutch system, although the gates primarily accept regular paper tickets with a magnetic strip with some also accepting smartcards. There are also stations where tickets are checked by humans. Inspections still exist although in areas with a lot of gates inspections are less common. Even on the London Underground which is fully gated there are occasional inspections.
On UK railways the tickets are still human readable. And AFAIK what the gates do is just check your ticket is valid. So if you have a valid ticket, but get on a train via a route that does not have you pass a gate you are not going to get in to trouble.

The problem I see in The Netherlands is that the gates (and the CI/CO poles) also validate your ticket. Without the magic these devices do your ticket is not valid. But as a passengers you have no way of ascertaining that the device did perorm it's magic correctly.
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Old September 17th, 2015, 01:55 PM   #2851
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On UK railways the tickets are still human readable. And AFAIK what the gates do is just check your ticket is valid. So if you have a valid ticket, but get on a train via a route that does not have you pass a gate you are not going to get in to trouble.

The problem I see in The Netherlands is that the gates (and the CI/CO poles) also validate your ticket. Without the magic these devices do your ticket is not valid. But as a passengers you have no way of ascertaining that the device did perorm it's magic correctly.
When you put a ticket in a ticket gate in Britain, the gate sometimes writes information to the magnetic strip. So if you try to use it again and the inspector is suspicious, he can scan the ticket. But yes, there is no concept of having to validate your ticket.

When you enter the NS gate or touch the pole it tells you on the display that you have checked in with NS. How much more evidence do you want? You can go to the ticket machine and check to see if the 20 euros has been deducted but you can only do that if you are not inside the gated part of the station, so that can only be done at an intermediate station or where there are no gates.

Is it possible to buy a smartcard reader like what the conductors have so you can check your own card for piece of mind?
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Old September 17th, 2015, 08:15 PM   #2852
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Is it possible to buy a smartcard reader like what the conductors have so you can check your own card for piece of mind?
You can check the balance of your OV-Chipkaart on NS app. It is not perfect as it doesn't update instantaneously all the time, but they are getting better.

Not sure about other operators (HTM, RET etc...) I don't have their apps installed and don't know about.
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Old September 17th, 2015, 08:29 PM   #2853
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You can check the balance of your OV-Chipkaart on NS app. It is not perfect as it doesn't update instantaneously all the time, but they are getting better.

Not sure about other operators (HTM, RET etc...) I don't have their apps installed and don't know about.
Ooh, I didn't realise that was in (near) real time. I'll have to install the apps when I next visit NL. In London, contactless bank cards are accepted for travel on buses, Underground and national trains and you can see online when you touched in after a few minutes, even on the bus as the data is transferred over the mobile network from the bus. However, because it is not quite instantaneous, when you are checked on the train, the conductor cannot check whether you touched in, as no data is stored on the card. The best he can do is store the card number on his device. So basically you cannot be caught for fare dodging if you show a bank card on a train in London.
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Old September 17th, 2015, 09:38 PM   #2854
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There is no way for the railways to prove that I have indeed not been the victim of a malfunctioning check in pole...
They don't need to, the burden of proof is on you. When you're not checked in, regardless the cause, you don't have a valid ticket and will be 'awarded' the 35 euro penalty and the inability to exit a gated station.
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Old September 17th, 2015, 11:31 PM   #2855
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You can check the balance of your OV-Chipkaart on NS app. It is not perfect as it doesn't update instantaneously all the time, but they are getting better.

Not sure about other operators (HTM, RET etc...) I don't have their apps installed and don't know about.
The NS app only knows about your balance the last time you touched in/out on an NS validator, and it might take a couple of hours for data to replicate from the validators to their backoffice.

When traveling on any of the other operators, it sometimes takes days for your journeys to show up on ov-chipkaart.nl, and none of them offer apps that show your journeys like the NS app does. There are also no devices or apps available that allow you to read what's on your OV-chipkaart.
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Old September 18th, 2015, 01:09 AM   #2856
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Are there nfc-apps available for nfc-enabled phones to read the OV-chipkaart?
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Old September 18th, 2015, 09:52 AM   #2857
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They don't need to, the burden of proof is on you. When you're not checked in, regardless the cause, you don't have a valid ticket and will be 'awarded' the 35 euro penalty and the inability to exit a gated station.
I wonder what the judge will have to say about that if this goes to court.

Consider the following scenario:

The conductor comes and checks my chip card. Notices that it hasn't checked in.
Me: But I checked in.
Conductor: But my card reader says otherwhise:
Me: But I did check in. The check in pole must have malfunctioned. It did behave as usual when I held my chipcard against it.

So it's basically my word against the conductor, with neither me nor the conductor posessing the means of proving beyond reasonable doubt that either mine or his version of what happened is correct.

The conductor can indeed now write out a fine. And I can decide to take NS to court. Judges usually tend to put the burden of proof with those who have the most means at their disposal. So NS would have to come up with a proof that shows beyond reasonable doubt that their chipcard equipment never malfunctions...

It it only takes one court decision in favor of a disgruntled passenger and NS basically loses it's ability to collect revenue...

Someone else wrote here that in practice when a conductor encounters someone with a chipcard that hasn't been checked in they just tell people to quickly do that at the next station...
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Old September 18th, 2015, 09:54 AM   #2858
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When you enter the NS gate or touch the pole it tells you on the display that you have checked in with NS. How much more evidence do you want?
In this case I only have evidence that something was displayed on a screen. I do not have evidence that the correct bits were written to the card.
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Old September 18th, 2015, 02:27 PM   #2859
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K_, I don't understand your obsession with the issue of "can't have a system without written proof". If we were to take it seriously, virtually any application relying on RFID or other near-field communication would be dead on arrival.

For instance, in the Netherlands it is now possible at most debt card machines to make small payments touching your card on a reader for 2 seconds or so, instead of inserting it and entering a PIN. You probably wouldn't accept that because there isn't a register of an user physically entering a code (something that requires active and decisive action from the account holder) and because in a very, very limited number of circumstances a wrong card could have been read.
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Old September 18th, 2015, 03:27 PM   #2860
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K_, I don't understand your obsession with the issue of "can't have a system without written proof". If we were to take it seriously, virtually any application relying on RFID or other near-field communication would be dead on arrival.
No. That is not the case. I have actually myself no personal problem with RFID applications.

My "obsession" is more a worry. The Dutch absolutely love to game and abuse any system to their advantage. I think that the OV Chipkaart system as it exists now is vulnerable to this. And this will reduce revenu for the PT companies.
That is not a good thing.
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