Report warns students over rail tickets

Report warns students over rail tickets
March 29, 2008

The national rail users group, Rail Users Ireland, have released a report saying the Irish Rail ticketing system has widespread abnormalities where passengers are overcharged, including cases where student tickets cost more then the adult fare.

For students using the Student Travel Card which cost €15 and is the only student ID recognised by Irish Rail the report outlines that fares can often be more expensive then adult tickets. It says that the lowest adult single fare is €4.70 but the student single fare is a minimum of €6.

The discrepancies are most likely to be found on short train journeys and on single or day returns at off peek days (Monday to Thursday and Saturday) and it goes on to state: “For short intercity journeys adult singles are nearly always cheaper.”

Elsewhere in the report, Rail Users Ireland says that travellers are being overcharged by up to €19.00 for using ticket vending machines, and problems with means it often does not display the cheapest tickets.

It points out that when a journey is started on Commuter or Dart services and also includes an Intercity services, users are unfairly charged the higher intercity rate for the whole journey even where the suburban services accounted for most of the journey.

The rail users group highlights that the report was undertaken because Irish Rail are not willing to discuss the ticket pricing.

“As the fares themselves are not up for discussion, we at Rail Users Ireland conducted an investigation into how fares were actually calculated and we were shocked to find widespread abnormalities where passengers are overcharged,” the ‘Irish Rail Cannot Add’ reports says.

In general, it notes that the calculation system used by Irish Rail is an “archaic distance band system” while the European practice is what they describe as the fairer per km travelled model.

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