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FTP Journey's up 16% Last Year

  • 31-08-2019 9:29am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 10,484 ✭✭✭✭ Jamie2k9


    The sustainability of current funding levels for the free travel scheme has been questioned after a 16 per cent increase in journeys taken by pass holders on public and private transport services was recorded last year.

    Figures published by the National Transport Authority show 30.4 million trips were made under the scheme in 2018 – 4.2 million more journeys than the previous year.

    There are currently about 948,000 individuals who have been issued with free travel passes – up from 813,000 five years ago.

    According to the NTA, a total of 166,150 new passes were issued last year – up 3 per cent on 2017 figures.

    Full Article:
    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/future-of-free-travel-scheme-in-doubt-amid-fears-too-many-people-use-it-1.4002887

    Better recording is probally a major part.

    How ironic of FF to made such a statement, the burden has been on fare payers since introduced.


Comments

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 61,806 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011


    Higher % using smartcard PSCs and hence recorded properly is going to have a major impact on this


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,998 ✭✭✭✭ AlekSmart


    Jamie2k9 wrote: »
    Full Article:
    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/future-of-free-travel-scheme-in-doubt-amid-fears-too-many-people-use-it-1.4002887

    Better recording is probally a major part.

    How ironic of FF to made such a statement, the burden has been on fare payers since introduced.

    It's worth noting that the 948,000 figure does not represent the entirety of the FTP scheme's exposure.

    When Spousal and Companion elements are included,the numbers covered are in excess of 1.2 Million (Oddly enough the exact figure is not available,apparently due to "difficulties" accessing the revelant data ;) )
    There remains also,a significant rump of FTP holders who are refusing to transfer to the Electronic Card,and who have now been emboldened by the ongoing "issues" relating to the Data Commissioners concerns about the greater DSP card scheme.
    Given that the original Cardboard FTP did not have any expiry date,this has allowed a rather loose situation to prevail in relation to exactly how many FT passes are in circulation,something first alluded to be the Northern Irish authorities during the negotations to extend Free Travel to the 32 Counties,where such concessions have always been somewhat more tightly monitored.

    The use of the term "concession" rather than "entitlement" points to the difference in thinking....;)

    The only real study of the FT Scheme was conducted by Prof Orlaigh Quinn of TCD's Policy Institute in 2000 which remains a very interesting read,even today.

    https://www.tcd.ie/policy-institute/assets/pdf/BP5_Quinn_Free_Schemes.pdf

    My personal favorite element of the Free Travel Scheme is this.....:D

    http://www.welfare.ie/en/Pages/Can-I-use-it-on-any-air-services.aspx

    Lastly,it is of some note that the Free Travel Scheme is not,and has never been,a Statutory Scheme,and exists totally at the whim of the Minister of the Day,who could,at the stroke of a pen and without reference to the Oireachtas,decide to abolish it tomorrow :eek: !


    Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.

    Charles Mackay (1812-1889)



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,201 ✭✭✭ ongarboy


    Out of interest, per the comment on the cohort refusing to transfer to Electronic Card, if you are getting free travel, why would you object to being issued an electronic card that fits snugly in a wallet and is robust vs a tattery over sized paper version on the verge of falling apart???


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,484 ✭✭✭✭ Jamie2k9


    ongarboy wrote: »
    Out of interest, per the comment on the cohort refusing to transfer to Electronic Card, if you are getting free travel, why would you object to being issued an electronic card that fits snugly in a wallet and is robust vs a tattery over sized paper version on the verge of falling apart???

    Refusing PSC for free travel or social welfare means you forgo the entitlement.

    The issue with PSC was related to other departments.

    Hopefully a final date for paper cards is set soon.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 43,477 Mod ✭✭✭✭ magicbastarder


    my folks (early 70s) recently went to the aran islands. €15 each, return - and that was only because they took the plane from galway. the entire journey would have been free had they taken the ferry.
    would be very interesting to see what proportion of domestic tourism makes use of free travel in this way.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,045 ✭✭✭ theguzman


    Doesn't the Free Travel Pass allow the Govt to effectively subside CIE far more that the EU would allow them to? I see nothing wrong with it, most of these journeys would not be taken were it not for the FTP and the resultant tax revenue from this spending more than covers the trip in my view. Both my parents recently became pensioners and they have gone up to Dublin and Galway using the train and bus, they have stayed in hotels, eat out etc, none of these journeys would likely have happened as my father wouldn't drive and they would not pay the excessive train fares, it is bad enough you get ripped off in every hotel and restaurant and their spend recycles in taxation. These type of people would just go abroad instead most likely were it not for the FTP.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,279 ✭✭✭ dowlingm


    theguzman wrote: »
    Doesn't the Free Travel Pass allow the Govt to effectively subside CIE far more that the EU would allow them to? I see nothing wrong with it, most of these journeys would not be taken were it not for the FTP and the resultant tax revenue from this spending more than covers the trip in my view. Both my parents recently became pensioners and they have gone up to Dublin and Galway using the train and bus, they have stayed in hotels, eat out etc, none of these journeys would likely have happened as my father wouldn't drive and they would not pay the excessive train fares, it is bad enough you get ripped off in every hotel and restaurant and their spend recycles in taxation. These type of people would just go abroad instead most likely were it not for the FTP.
    the old free travel pass was a subsidy in part because it allowed CIE to fill empty seats and justify off peak frequencies. Seamus Brennan extending FTP to all services took up seats already full and reduced the attractiveness of services to those paying full fare. Because of how the FTP programme worked, it did not track usage numbers so Social Welfare could invent a lowball subsidy which CIE had to accept. The winds are changing with private operators in the market as well as the electronic card tracking trips with more granularity.

    Taxsaver redressed the balance (but only in part since only a subset of non OAP trips get that subsidy) but capital refresh has not kept pace so 29000s are being flogged around the network without proper refurbishment being done in due time since the alternative is not being able to meet the needed number of services.


  • Registered Users Posts: 36,084 ✭✭✭✭ ED E


    There are two really important changes that need to be made to pub trans that OAPs will hate and thus will never happen thus deterring paying pax.

    1) DB/GA and possibly others in Cork/Galway need to decommission some stops. Three in 150 meters is crazy. The 27B going through a hospital campus (ok) then looping around the narrowest estate is crazy.

    2) FTP needs to be invalid at peak


    Neither will ever happen.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Music Moderators, Politics Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 22,315 CMod ✭✭✭✭ Dravokivich


    I'd be more interested if they actually started proper tracking of the costs, distances, usage periods and user profile.

    Theres no point in saying they cant avail of it in peak, if you dont know who is using it, how much and when. Who cares how many is issued if we dont know how much it costs and what that means for the actual journeys they've been used for?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 876 ✭✭✭ Lord Glentoran


    What we need is are Ayn Rand fans, fresh out of UCD, to be National Ambassadors going door to door to every pensioner in the country to persuade them nort to use their FTPs.

    :popcorn


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  • Registered Users Posts: 12,657 ✭✭✭✭ ninebeanrows


    The misuse of the FTP is a disgrace

    I feel stupid paying 2000€ a year whilst some jokers just use their parents card and brazenly as-well

    The amount of able bodied under 60s using them is sickening


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,595 ✭✭✭✭ end of the road


    ED E wrote: »
    There are two really important changes that need to be made to pub trans that OAPs will hate and thus will never happen thus deterring paying pax.

    1) DB/GA and possibly others in Cork/Galway need to decommission some stops. Three in 150 meters is crazy. The 27B going through a hospital campus (ok) then looping around the narrowest estate is crazy.

    2) FTP needs to be invalid at peak


    Neither will ever happen.

    and rightly so, at least for the second one, which delivers very very little to nothing in return. for ftp to be unavailable at peak, a serious amount would have to be delivered in return, which it won't.
    as for the first one, the whole point of such bus services is to be user-friendly and accessable to everybody. 3 stops in 150m is crazy to you and me, because a walk to another is a complete non-issue. however that doesn't mean it is crazy to others, or even crazy at all.

    julian the journalist asange is innocent, free julian the journalist.



  • Registered Users Posts: 10,399 ✭✭✭✭ ThunbergsAreGo


    The misuse of the FTP is a disgrace

    I feel stupid paying 2000€ a year whilst some jokers just use their parents card and brazenly as-well

    The amount of able bodied under 60s using them is sickening

    Yeah the article tires its best to gloss over that

    "National Transport Authority reveals 4.2 million more trips taken by over-66s in 2018....Some people under 66 also qualify."

    Almost 1 million people have a FTP, 300k approx of this is made up of non over 60s.

    Allowing 1 in 5 people to travel for free all the time is unsustainable


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 91 ✭✭✭ interactive


    ED E wrote: »
    There are two really important changes that need to be made to pub trans that OAPs will hate and thus will never happen thus deterring paying pax.

    1) DB/GA and possibly others in Cork/Galway need to decommission some stops. Three in 150 meters is crazy. The 27B going through a hospital campus (ok) then looping around the narrowest estate is crazy.

    2) FTP needs to be invalid at peak


    Neither will ever happen.

    1, a modern bus is very fuel efficient once it is moving, but because it has a small engine it has to pour diesel into the engine to get it moving. removing stops will hugely increase fuel efficiency .
    2, minimum fare on DB is €1.50 so one journey per week is €78 per year.
    The entire budget for free travel is 70 million per year.
    So do the math, 1 million passes + their companions.
    Now include all DB/BE/LUAS/Aircoach and many other private operators.
    Is it any wonder prices are so high for fare paying passengers and that fare will rise in December.


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,595 ✭✭✭✭ end of the road


    naughtb4 wrote: »
    Yeah the article tires its best to gloss over that

    "National Transport Authority reveals 4.2 million more trips taken by over-66s in 2018....Some people under 66 also qualify."

    Almost 1 million people have a FTP, 300k approx of this is made up of non over 60s.

    Allowing 1 in 5 people to travel for free all the time is unsustainable


    it really isn't when everything else is taken into account.
    if there are people using it who shouldn't be then that needs to be dealt with but that is up to the relevant authorities to do.
    1, a modern bus is very fuel efficient once it is moving, but because it has a small engine it has to pour diesel into the engine to get it moving. removing stops will hugely increase fuel efficiency .
    2, minimum fare on DB is €1.50 so one journey per week is €78 per year.
    The entire budget for free travel is 70 million per year.
    So do the math, 1 million passes + their companions.
    Now include all DB/BE/LUAS/Aircoach and many other private operators.
    Is it any wonder prices are so high for fare paying passengers and that fare will rise in December.

    fare rises have nothing to do with the ftp scheme. fares would be rising in december even if the scheme didn't exist at all. fare rises are unfortunately the nature of the game for the most part with public transport.
    the government's policy is for the passenger to ultimately pay as much as is possible so they can subsidize it as little as they can. that means fare rises.

    julian the journalist asange is innocent, free julian the journalist.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,253 ✭✭✭ john boye


    the government's policy is for the passenger to ultimately pay as much as is possible so they can subsidize it as little as they can. that means fare rises.

    That's true so clearly the paying passenger is subsidising FTP use too if the government aren't.


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,595 ✭✭✭✭ end of the road


    john boye wrote: »
    That's true so clearly the paying passenger is subsidising FTP use too if the government aren't.


    we very well may be. but again, if the scheme went in the morning nothing would change for those of us who pay.

    julian the journalist asange is innocent, free julian the journalist.



  • Registered Users Posts: 22,019 ✭✭✭✭ AndrewJRenko


    The misuse of the FTP is a disgrace

    I feel stupid paying 2000€ a year whilst some jokers just use their parents card and brazenly as-well

    The amount of able bodied under 60s using them is sickening
    Tell us more about where this is happening. Do these people look remarkably like their parent's photo on the card even though they are 20 or 30 years younger?


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,998 ✭✭✭✭ AlekSmart


    Tell us more about where this is happening. Do these people look remarkably like their parent's photo on the card even though they are 20 or 30 years younger?

    The old cardboard Free Travel Document,had the Age identifier removed to comply with Age Discrimination complaints,which then cleared the way for anybody to simply substitute their own Photo-ID onto the relevant Document,all of which became Red-Stripe.

    In addition,Pass holders outside of the main Urban area's were not required to have any Photo-ID when using the document,with the only proof of identity then becoming a signature.

    This situation has actually worsened with the usage of the DSP FT Card,as the user no longer has to present anything to the driver,instead simply validating the journey on the remote reader.

    All the driver will hear is a successful read tone,and therefore will have no reason to do anything.

    If it's of any relevance,Busdrivers can,& do take up FTP documents being used by a non-holder,as it is the ONLY time such action can be undertaken by a Driver.

    However,the vast scale of FTP usage,renders it realistically impossible for drivers to attempt such action in addition to the actual business of operating the service.

    Whilst some operators did introduce increased checking,which resulted in a significant increase in confiscation of documents,it appears that ther is little corporate appetitite for overt policing of the FT Scheme.

    Any attempt to question FTP misuse can rapidly escalate into a situation which could well see the Driver suffer for their attempt to carry out their work.

    https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/latenight-services-at-busras-under-threat-as-drivers-object-to-outrageous-thuggery-38475529.html
    It is understood the driver was beaten up following an exchange with a group over the validity of travel passes.


    Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.

    Charles Mackay (1812-1889)



  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 91 ✭✭✭ interactive





    fare rises have nothing to do with the ftp scheme. fares would be rising in december even if the scheme didn't exist at all.

    So fuel is the same price as last year
    Staff have not got a pay rise
    The number on FTP's issued has risen substantially
    Now i wonder why the fares are going to rise?


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  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 61,806 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011


    I'm expecting a flattening of Dublin fares this year which will only make short trips and Luas fares get dearer with everything else actually coming down. Guesswork but based off the guidance they've given in previous fare determinations.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Music Moderators, Politics Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 22,315 CMod ✭✭✭✭ Dravokivich


    So fuel is the same price as last year
    Staff have not got a pay rise
    The number on FTP's issued has risen substantially
    Now i wonder why the fares are going to rise?

    Their fares are determined by the nta, not the operators. It's the dsp who pay for the free travel pass. So ask both of them.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,484 ✭✭✭✭ Jamie2k9


    There is diffidently a major issue with fraud on DB now like before. You have also IE staff turning a blind eye to the spouse and issuing tickets no bother.

    On a separate issue I found a lost FTP Card in July and forgot where I left it for a few weeks. Anyway I contacted the DSP last week about returning the lost card. They had absolutely no interest getting it back and said the person "probably" applied again.

    So I tried the card on a ticket barrier this morning and 6+ weeks later the card is still active. My mother had a different card issues a few weeks ago and found her old one and lost one remains active.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,484 ✭✭✭✭ Jamie2k9


    Confirms cards are not cancelled. There system can notify Irish Rail but not automatically cancel the card. Makes you wonder if the expiry date on card will cancel free travel.

    https://www.google.ie/amp/s/www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/pac-head-accused-of-wholly-untrue-claims-about-public-services-card-1.4068591%3fmode=amp

    Typical FF response here.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,363 ✭✭✭✭ Del.Monte


    The misuse of the FTP is a disgrace

    I feel stupid paying 2000€ a year whilst some jokers just use their parents card and brazenly as-well

    The amount of able bodied under 60s using them is sickening


    I find this anecdotal stuff fascinating as I frequently travel by rail and have never come across this scenario. How do you know so much about other passengers tickets?


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,595 ✭✭✭✭ end of the road


    Del.Monte wrote: »
    I find this anecdotal stuff fascinating as I frequently travel by rail and have never come across this scenario. How do you know so much about other passengers tickets?

    because shur they don't look disabled, and begorra one must look disabled before they can be classed as disabled, and a random poster on boards.ie will know more then doctors, and the people effected with the disability themselves, to be sure to be sure.

    julian the journalist asange is innocent, free julian the journalist.



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