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The solution to CIE's financial issues? Nominal charge for FTP holders?

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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,912 ✭✭✭ dashcamdanny


    The left would rise up and claim that the 30.4 million journeys are to important medical appointments that would have to be canceled if they had to pay.

    Which would be a result in people dieing.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,488 ✭✭✭✭ fritzelly


    Why not increase the fare by 20c and hey presto debt wiped out.


  • Registered Users Posts: 73,695 ✭✭✭✭ Atlantic Dawn


    A big problem is it's not just the elderly or disabled getting the passes it's also junkies who actually deter fee paying users from the services offered.

    The solution is free travel for all, it was costed at €500 million a year. I'd certainly be more conscious of using the car if I knew I could travel for free.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,528 ✭✭✭✭ Idbatterim


    It’s laughable. Free travel on top of the worlds most obscene welfare state. Appalling transport system too , what a surprise !


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,062 ✭✭✭ joeysoap


    I am 70 and have FT. I use it about 15 times a year, sometimes for hospital appointments, some times for leisure, I have a car which is mainly used for shopping and short hops. I don’t enjoy driving any more, and find it quite stressful.
    FT differs with location. Obviously Dublin is well served, some parts of Ireland less so. I am fairly well served, with frequent trains and busses to Dublin. Though I have never used Dublin bus, I find the Lucas and Dart terrific.

    I think I read somewhere that pensioners make up the minority of pass holders, though I find that hard to believe. I have seen passes used by younger people, so I assume they are entitled to them.


    €1 per train journey per passenger, 50c per bus journey over 25 Kms and maybe an opt in/ opt out small payment scheme for Dart, Luas and Dublin bus. Yearly. But that might cost more in administration than its worth. FWIW I appreciate the pass and life would be a lot more restrictive without it.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 13,840 ✭✭✭✭ whisky_galore


    A big problem is it's not just the elderly or disabled getting the passes it's also junkies who actually deter fee paying users from the services offered.

    The solution is free travel for all, it was costed at €500 million a year. I'd certainly be more conscious of using the car if I knew I could travel for free.

    Dublin- Cork service is a free drugs shipment corridor for the "most vulnerable".


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,078 ✭✭✭ Tails142


    joeysoap wrote: »
    FWIW I appreciate the pass and life would be a lot more restrictive without it.

    Why? Could you not afford to buy ticket?


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,802 ✭✭✭✭ suicide_circus


    As an example, Austria has a world class public transport system, probably the best i've ever used. This is a country that give 2/3 years paid parental leave and hospital waiting lists are almost unheard of. Do they offer free travel passes? No. Why? Because that would be insane. They offer discounts but thats it.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 43,402 Mod ✭✭✭✭ magicbastarder


    Idbatterim wrote: »
    the worlds most obscene welfare state.
    that's quite a claim, and weirdly, one i have no interest in hearing a justification for it proffered.


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,564 ✭✭✭✭ end of the road


    The left would rise up and claim that the 30.4 million journeys are to important medical appointments that would have to be canceled if they had to pay.

    Which would be a result in people dieing.

    it's nothing to do with the left, it's to do with cost, for which it would likely cost more to administrate it and pay for extra staff then it would likely bring in.
    the scheme is the free travel scheme, if you are going to start charging those who are entitled to avail of the scheme then you may as well just abolish it.
    Idbatterim wrote: »
    It’s laughable. Free travel on top of the worlds most obscene welfare state. Appalling transport system too , what a surprise !

    nope wrong, ireland's wellfare state is not the world's most anything wellfare state.
    it is a very basic service to insure basic living standards for those who need supports.
    i am happy that it exists and i am in all likely hood having less of my tax going to it, then if it didn't exist for which i would probably end up having quite a bit of my taxes going to sort out the fall out.

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



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  • Registered Users Posts: 24,744 ✭✭✭✭ Wishbone Ash


    TK Lemon wrote: »
    ...If everyone with a free travel pass was charged a nominal €0.20 (twenty cent!) per week...
    Claims would be made that it's the thin edge of the wedge and it would quickly rise (like the prescription charge).

    It would also probably cost more to administer than it would take it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,229 ✭✭✭ LeinsterDub


    Give CIE the same subventions we give roads ?


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,129 ✭✭✭ GerardKeating


    TK Lemon wrote: »
    If everyone with a free travel pass was charged a nominal €0.20 (twenty cent!) per week

    Would this replace the existing money CIÉ recieved for the Free Travel Pass ?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,912 ✭✭✭ Vic_08


    Would this replace the existing money CIÉ recieved for the Free Travel Pass ?

    You mean the money that has not increased with inflation, rising numbers of issued passes or rising numbers of passengers, the scheme that a senior official in the DSP described as a very good deal for them?

    The same scheme that was considered so open to fraud and misuse that the Northern Ireland office preferred at considerable expense to themselves to issue their own passes to qualifying ROI applicants instead of allowing acceptance of the ROI pass north of the border.

    I cannot speak for other operators but the 3 CIE companies are grossly under paid for the carriage of passholders and have been for a very long time and that is not counting the lost revenue from fare paying passengers choosing not to spend time in close proximity to the anti social element that travel extensively on CIE services using passes.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,488 ✭✭✭✭ fritzelly


    Free travel pass is a free for all - shouldn't be a free pass for everyone on disability unless your disability impairs your movement or you're over 66. Know a couple of people who are full of health on disability but due to their condition have a free pass - no reason at all for it.
    The number of people getting buses to work with passes is unreal
    Regardless it wouldn't help CIE as it wouldn't affect their income, just a few less passengers


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,657 ✭✭✭ AulWan


    Just so you're clear on who, exactly, gets Free Travel Passes

    https://www.gov.ie/en/service/9bba61-free-travel-scheme/

    For example, those on Jobseekers do not automatically get free travel passes, so it would hardly be fair to cut money from their payment for this!


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,912 ✭✭✭ Vic_08


    fritzelly wrote: »
    Regardless it wouldn't help CIE as it wouldn't affect their income, just a few less passengers


    Yes it would. These people wouldn't suddenly stop travelling if the pass was taken away. The amount of journeys made would reduce and some would use cars instead but it would only take a small % to pay for their travel to be revenue positive because the rate of pay for the FT scheme is so low.

    I don't know where the idea has propagated from that the free travel scheme is just a harmless addition of a few people taking up empty seats who otherwise wouldn't travel. It covers a significant % of the population and in the demographics who would be heavier users of public transport it is significantly higher.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 61,702 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011


    Pandoras Box is opened. No controls on FTP availability will ever be publicly acceptable; but going to a Luxembourg/Tallinn citizen free transit option is semi viable in the medium term - probably only when there is a significant increase in local property taxation to fund it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,488 ✭✭✭✭ fritzelly


    You seriously think there are that many FTP users on CIE that if they curtailed the qualification it would make that much of a difference?
    Wouldn't come close to their clearing their debts - the debts which have more underlying causes.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,488 ✭✭✭✭ fritzelly


    L1011 wrote: »
    Pandoras Box is opened. No controls on FTP availability will ever be publicly acceptable; but going to a Luxembourg/Tallinn citizen free transit option is semi viable in the medium term - probably only when there is a significant increase in local property taxation to fund it.

    Since bus routes are a known cost why is it not looked at?
    Not just Tallin but the whole country isn't it?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,811 ✭✭✭ Addle


    Medical card holders got used to paying a nominal fee for prescriptions, I think ftp holders should pay a seat reservation fee.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,912 ✭✭✭ Vic_08


    fritzelly wrote: »
    You seriously think there are that many FTP users on CIE that if they curtailed the qualification it would make that much of a difference?
    Wouldn't come close to their clearing their debts - the debts which have more underlying causes.

    You really have no idea, most people don't, the FT usage here is huge, especially notable are the amount of working age people with no serious mobility issues using them.

    The amount of fraudulent use is also far higher than most people imagine, it is constant heavy use by a sizeable % of pass presenters in various forms, fake passes, fraudulently obtained passes, stolen passes, passes used beyond the end of the holder's valid claim (mainly because the DSP couldn't be arsed to put an expiry date on them), and the biggest of them all hand-me-down or reported lost passes being used by relatives/friends of the legitimate holder.

    I drove a mix of Bus Eireann service types for 10 years. The amount of FT use varied massively from journey to journey and route but it could be as high as 4 or 5 free travel to every 1 paying passenger day in day out on some duties.

    Some towns were so heavy with FT use that you could almost put away the ticket machine even if there was a dozen under 65s waiting to board.

    As for clearing CIE debts, if the FT scheme hadn't been so out of control then their finances would look very different now anyway, it is no coincidence that the deficits mushroomed after the recession had hit, the numbers paying declined sharply but if anything the FT usage increased. Most notable (to me anyway) was the drop in Eastern Europeans who had been heavy fare-paying users up to 2010-11, maybe it was more noticeable due to the absence of fare-payers but the numbers of foreign nationals presenting FT increased considerably also.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,488 ✭✭✭✭ fritzelly


    I've heard that story before and if it is so true then why is CIE not putting forward a case for limitations on its use? Hey we're losing millions because no one is paying for the service!
    Personally I don't see a reason for FTP to be used at any peak times - and before people come and say people have appointments, well hospitals are open all day long not just at 9am


  • Registered Users Posts: 705 ✭✭✭ Caquas


    Now you can always bring a pal on your free trip, just claim you’re married.

    They will be on the front page of the Irish Times if they ask for proof of marriage, especially if your travelling companion is the same sex.

    http://https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/irish-rail-apologises-to-married-lesbian-couple-who-were-asked-for-proof-of-union-1.4121854


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 61,702 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011


    fritzelly wrote: »
    Since bus routes are a known cost why is it not looked at?
    Not just Tallin but the whole country isn't it?

    I think it's just Tallinn city council but that could have changed. Bus driver was surprised and had difficulty remembering how to sell return tickets when we went to the Teletorn as non citizens.
    Caquas wrote: »
    Now you can always bring a pal on your free trip, just claim you’re married.

    They will be on the front page of the Irish Times if they ask for proof of marriage, especially if your travelling companion is the same sex.

    http://https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/irish-rail-apologises-to-married-lesbian-couple-who-were-asked-for-proof-of-union-1.4121854

    Feel free to suggest a way around that.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,488 ✭✭✭✭ fritzelly


    Caquas wrote: »
    Now you can always bring a pal on your free trip, just claim you’re married.

    They will be on the front page of the Irish Times if they ask for proof of marriage, especially if your travelling companion is the same sex.

    http://https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/irish-rail-apologises-to-married-lesbian-couple-who-were-asked-for-proof-of-union-1.4121854

    I thought it was a companion pass i.e. you can bring anyone with you? Didn't think it was actually a partner/husband/wife pass


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 61,702 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011


    fritzelly wrote: »
    I thought it was a companion pass i.e. you can bring anyone with you? Didn't think it was actually a partner/husband/wife pass

    There's a companion pass and a spouse pass. The one in question here is the latter.

    The latter caused a problem in the past, before civil partnerships let alone SSM, when the DSP ruled that it was OK to refuse same sex partners - which allowed a small number of people who had been refused dole due to a partner earning to challenge it as the DSP had decided they had no connection. Civil Partnership coming in fixed that.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,528 ✭✭✭✭ Idbatterim


    It’s this banana republic all over. Always the victim, never to blame. I love the welfare state defenders too , you can be damn sure they aren’t working or at least aren’t paying the outrageous marginal rate of tax!


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,912 ✭✭✭ Vic_08


    fritzelly wrote: »
    I've heard that story before and if it is so true

    I really don't appreciate the inference that I am lying.
    fritzelly wrote: »
    I thought it was a companion pass i.e. you can bring anyone with you? Didn't think it was actually a partner/husband/wife pass


    You appear not to be well informed on this topic, you are not even aware that Spousal and Companion passes are 2 separate categories but you somehow feel you know enough to dismiss what I experienced over years of checking free travel users. That is pretty insulting.
    fritzelly wrote: »
    then why is CIE not putting forward a case for limitations on its use? Hey we're losing millions because no one is paying for the service!

    CIE is not exactly a self-determining company, they have without complaint handed over the majority of their bus network to the NTA to be hived off to rival companies to the detriment of their company and staff. It is fair to say that senior CIE management know exactly who rubber stamps their generous salaries and why it is not in their best interests to bite the hand of the dog..

    Go find a public statement by any senior CIE official that is critical of government policy or operation.

    I can assure you the gaping chasm of free travel and the issues around fraud and the DSP's complete indifference to the harm it was doing to the company's revenue was brought up at every opportunity by frontline staff to both management and unions. It was stated as an area we believed they were ignoring and was particularly strongly put forward as one of the main reasons we objected to staff pay and condition cuts due to worsening company finances. The whole issue was completely ignored by them.


    Caquas wrote: »
    Now you can always bring a pal on your free trip, just claim you’re married.

    They will be on the front page of the Irish Times if they ask for proof of marriage, especially if your travelling companion is the same sex.

    http://https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/irish-rail-apologises-to-married-lesbian-couple-who-were-asked-for-proof-of-union-1.4121854

    It's not the first time that has been an issue and I'm sure won't be the last. It's fair to say that the spouse pass is wide open to abuse and the way it is set up leaves very little ability for staff to detect fraudulent use and the chancers know this.

    It is one area that the new passes are even worse than the old cardboard yokes which at least had one way to verify the person being presented as a spouse wasn't just some random person without demanding a marriage licence.

    I won't go into the time I was accused of similar when I challenged a woman attempting to bring another woman as a spouse but suffice to say I was always very careful how I spoke to people and the outcome was them pretty much admitting they were trying it on and the second person meekly paying their fare.
    L1011 wrote: »
    Feel free to suggest a way around that.

    Withdraw the stupid spouse pass entirely, it really is a throwback to when the little woman was little more than an appendage to the man of the house and couldn't be expected to pay her own way.

    Why the hell should being married or living with someone with a pass entitle you to free travel as well?

    If it must stay then stop allowing travel for 2 people on 1 pass, issue the spouse with their own pass with a clear restriction it is only valid when travelling with person YYY with pass No. 1234567.

    The only restriction on the Companion passes is that the companion is over 16 (and yes, I have had people trying to bring kiddies for free on these and getting stroppy when refused, too weak to travel unaided but strong enough to hurl abuse at a bus driver, nah there is nothing at all wrong with our handout culture) so they are appropriate for the 1 pass to validate travel for 2.


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  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 61,702 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011


    Vic_08 wrote: »


    CIE is not exactly a self-determining company, they have without complaint handed over the majority of their bus network to the NTA

    CIE had absolutely no say in this matter

    Criticising an inevitability would have been a waste of air.


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