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Bus Eireann ticket machines not working

  • 18-05-2022 3:36pm
    Registered Users Posts: 82 ✭✭

    I've estimated that about one in five times I get on a Bus Eireann bus that the ticket machine isn't working. They must be losing ginormous amounts of revenue. I mean it's great getting a free spin and all, but am I to assume that they're working on sorting this? Or do they just not give a sh1te because they're subsidized... or something like that?

    I was chatting to a bus driver the other day and he told me that he was able to find a bus in the yard that he knew the ticket machine didn't work in... so that he'd have an easier shift!!! Seems an utter disgrace on the company to to me?


  • Registered Users Posts: 797 ✭✭✭Burt Renaults

    The machines are so old at this stage, it's probably easier than searching around for one that actually works. As far as I know, there are plans to eventually replace them with something from the 21st Century.

  • Registered Users Posts: 82 ✭✭Christine Neville

    Losing millions is easier than having a look around??! Maybe!

    They're not even that old either as far as I know. I must look into that though.

  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 11,453 Mod ✭✭✭✭devnull

    They're using technology from the 90s. Bus Eireann haven't had then that long but the machines were past it when they rolled them out. Dublin bus have had same machines for over 15 years and they had been out a while then.

  • Registered Users Posts: 82 ✭✭Christine Neville

    TGX machines are from the 90s? Did people scan cards back then? Yeah, that same bus driver I was talking to said that "since they moved over to these new machines that they've been giving trouble". I wonder what was behind the decision in deciding to purchase these ticket machines that were already past it?

    Post edited by Christine Neville on

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,189 ✭✭✭Brid Hegarty

    So the NTA have that much power over bus eireann, that they even get to decide what ticket machines they have, and bus eireann can't complain about it even if it means they're losing a 5th of all their money? How do you know this by the way? I can't seem to find much about it on the internet.

  • Registered Users Posts: 273 ✭✭TranslatorPS

    Bus Eireann aren't losing any revenue money over ticket machines not functioning because the ticket revenue on PSO services now goes to the NTA, and the Operators are paid an operating fee regardless of pax carried or revenues collected in a net contract model rather than having their revenue topped up to meet operating costs in a gross contract model. This has been the case for nearly a year and a half...

    And yes, the NTA decide on the ticket machines on the PSO services because as far as I know, they own at least some of the machines (not a small portion of the DB, BE, and GAI PSO contracts is dedicated to the renting of NTA-owned AVL, ticket issuing, and WiFi equipment).

  • Registered Users Posts: 16,745 ✭✭✭✭LXFlyer

    The PSO contracts are available to read on the NTA website here:

    The operating companies are now just that, operators for PSO routes.

    The NTA now decide everything for PSO routes - service levels, bus types, bus livery, fares, ticketing and equipment, route networks etc.

    The ticketing equipment across PSO is services is due for a complete overhaul - but it won't happen until 2024.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,582 ✭✭✭✭Jamie2k9

    The OP is talking about the new on board ticket machines which replaced these. The simple answer is yes the rolllout has been poor and there Expressway service has also lose revenue over it. I have seen cases where over 10 people got a free spin over it.

    If the ticket machine dosn't work you travel for free and if the card option isn't working well that seems to depend on the driver...

    I don't think the PSO buses have the new machines but they launched over a year ago on Expressqay and there is still problems.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 16,745 ✭✭✭✭LXFlyer


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 64,233 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011

    Where are they even finding TGX150 machines to install now? They have to be grave robbing from other operators by now

    The 386EX itself came out in 1994 but is just a single board version of the 386SX. From 1988!

  • Registered Users Posts: 82 ✭✭Christine Neville

    So does that mean that the NTA is taking the bullet instead of Bus Eireann? Do BE get to submit an estimated lose of money bill to the NTA each time the ticket machines don't work... which is then paid for by the tax payer?

    I don't know if there's anything in that link which says that the NTA made BE use the TGX machines. It's surely more than stupidity, as the reason for why the NTA insisted on the TGX machines. I know you mightn't have all these answers!

  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 11,453 Mod ✭✭✭✭devnull

    The TGX150 was chosen by both operators before the NTA even existed and had powers to decide such things. The fare revenue goes to the NTA not the operators, so BE are not losing out money wise on their PSO services. For their commercial services, that's BE's issue if those machines (which are not the TGX150) are having issues.

    In the case of Dublin Bus they started installing the ticket machines in 2006 and it was rolled out fairly quickly on a depot by depot basis and I believe they were the ticket machine of choice of Dublin Bus at the time. It's unclear how much, if any the Department of Transport had in this, since things were not as transparent as they are nowadays.

    The Bus Eireann situation roll-out is rather strange though, since it didn't start until 2009 and was still going on 10 years later. I'm really not sure what took them so long. Yes, there has to be training and installing of them on the vehicles but it really is questionable why such a fast roll-out could be carried out in DB and slow in BE. For example, vehicles in Tralee got them 10 years after Cork!

    I assume the reason that Go-Ahead were forced to use the machines by the NTA was to keep them in common with the other operators who were operating on the same networks (BE/DB). I'm not exactly sure when ticketing equipment came under the NTA's remit, perhaps @lxflyer knows better than I do on this?

  • Registered Users Posts: 82 ✭✭Christine Neville

    Interesting. I'm still puzzled though. LXFlyer posts say that the NTA chose the TXG machines, not BE. And Burt Renaults posted to say that BE wanted to introduce a new ticketing system in 2018 but that the NTA stopped them. Maybe BE aren't informing the NTA about how the machines don't really work!

    So if the BE roll-out of the TGX started in 2009, which is the same year that the NTA was founded, would that not imply that the NTA told them to use it?

  • Registered Users Posts: 82 ✭✭Christine Neville

    @Jamie2k9 The OP is talking about the new on board ticket machines which replaced these. 

    No, I'm actually talking about the PSO ones. Good to hear that that those ones aren't working too!

  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 11,453 Mod ✭✭✭✭devnull

    The NTA do choose the ticket machines now, but it wasn't historically the case back when Dublin Bus and Bus Eireann decided on the TGX150, at that point the NTA wasn't in existence as it was only established in December 2009 and the TGX150 machines were rolled out to Bus Eireann earlier than that and were being discussed in 2008.

    The NTA did choose the TGX150 for Go Ahead Ireland when they started in 2018, although Go Ahead Ireland (not Bus Eireann) themselves wanted to use a far newer ticket machine as they recognised what everyone knew - the TGX150 was well past it then and is even more so now.

    @LXFlyer - not sure if you know exactly when the responsibility for ticket machines transferred over to the NTA, presume it might have been when Leap was launched in around 2010/2011?

  • Registered Users Posts: 16,745 ✭✭✭✭LXFlyer

    I suspect that you’re right and that it followed on from LEAP. They certainly had to sanction the expenditure in the first place.

    But the bottom line is that the NTA now control all aspects of the PSO operation, and they are responsible for the next generation ticketing project rollout which is under the BusConnects banner.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,189 ✭✭✭Brid Hegarty

    Plot twist, I've been told that Bus Eireann get a cut of the fair revenue! I yet have to find out how much.

  • Registered Users Posts: 16,745 ✭✭✭✭LXFlyer

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,189 ✭✭✭Brid Hegarty

    Where in there does it actually say that though?

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,676 ✭✭✭thomil

    Leaving any PSO contractual issues aside for a moment, is there any replacement planned for these old machines? As it stands right now, about a quarter of the bus trips I take on a daily basis down here in Cork are "free" because the machines are not working. I do remember seeing a brand new ticket machine working but stuffed under the first row seats of a 233 service from Macroom to Cork earlier in spring, but I'm not sure what that was all about.

    Good luck trying to figure me out. I haven't managed that myself yet!

  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 21,719 Mod ✭✭✭✭bk

    I assume new machines will come as part of the rollout of the Next Generation Leap ticketing project, along with the account based leap cards and tap to pay card and smartphone (Apple/Google Pay) support.

    It is certainly LONG overdue.

    Of course I'm talking of PSO services here, Expressway isn't PSO and I assume BE can use whichever ticket machine they like on that service.