Rail operator reinforces Buy Before You Board campaign to back fair treatment for all fare paying customers
ScotRail says it’s taking action to tackle premeditated fare fraud, as part of its Buy Before You Board campaign, to encourage customers to buy their tickets before getting on the train.
The move follows a number of customer surveys, which have revealed that passengers are fed-up with long queues at destination stations, with people waiting to buy tickets during the morning peak. They also cited deliberate fare fraud as frustrating for the majority of honest fare-paying customers.
Recent ticket monitoring exercises revealed:
On arrival at Glasgow Central, 19 customers declared a shorter journey – than the one they had actually travelled – during one morning peak-time focus on the East Kilbride and Barrhead lines
132 people travelled without a ticket on 10 services monitored.
450 flexible journey tickets being used incorrectly during four days of monitoring at Glasgow Queen Street station
According to ScotRail, it’s estimated that 900,000 rail journeys are made in Scotland every year where the customer deliberately tries to avoid paying their fare.
To help customers buy tickets in advance, ScotRail has invested in Ticket Vending Machines (TVMs) at 26 new sites, as well as upgrading the machines at a further 100 sites. In total there are now 260 TVMs across the network. A further 20 will be installed by the end of 2016.
The rollout of SMART ticketing across all routes gives customers the option to load season tickets onto the card by validating their purchase at any of the 417 platform validators or via a TVM. Further ticket types will be introduced to SMART ticketing over this winter.
Phil Campbell, ScotRail’s head of revenue protection, said: “We provide a service and it’s only fair that everyone pays the correct fare for the service they use.
“We’ve invested heavily in facilities to make it much easier for our customers to buy tickets in advance.
“This means that staff on trains have more time to help customers with travel or other queries.
“Buying before boarding will result in much shorter queues to get through the gates at busy destination stations such as Glasgow Central.”
ScotRail says further ticket monitoring and action will continue over different parts of the rail network in the coming weeks.