Fare evaders against their will? From defective machines and validators

Norbert Vobing and Philipp Kanka show the complicated inner workings of a module for banknote processing

Everyone has experienced it. You get to the H-station in time. The train will be here in 2 minutes, says the EVAG app. So quickly buy a ticket at the machine – after all, you don’t want to ride without a ticket. But then this: The machine does not accept coins. They all fall through. Crap, one more minute. So he takes out the 20 Euro bill. It doesn’t want to accept the bill either. Sh… vending machine. Another 30 seconds. Back there, the 101 is already coming around the bend. What to do?

But let’s start with the facts, which Norbert Vobing, Head of Sales Systems at EVAG, can answer best: "In Essen, we have 218 ticket vending machines at the stops. All vending machines are from the company ICA and accept both coins and bills up to a change of 9.95 euros in coins. In 2011, we started replacing all the old ticket vending machines and modernizing them, and in December of last year, we installed the last 218th ticket vending machine. At the busiest stops, the vending machines are equipped with additional so-called "recyclers" that also give five or ten euro bills as change. Customers can also pay with debit or cash cards at all 218 vending machines. However, most do not want that at all. Less than five percent of passengers use this option."

And how often do they break and what does EVAG earn with it??

The ticket vending machines are less often defective than one might think. Mostly it is noticed when you are standing in front of a broken one and are annoyed about it. The malfunction frequency of all vending machines is 90 days on average. This means that a ticket machine is free of malfunctions for 90 days until a new malfunction occurs.. The most common cause is vandalism and tampering. The latter is not worthwhile at all, because the machines are emptied regularly. And vandalism costs EVAG and thus all taxpayers dearly, because well 23.000 Euro is the price for such a machine. EVAG takes around 10 million. euros in revenue each year through this distribution channel, with a good 65 percent being banknotes and the rest coins.

Dualis 2000 E is the name of the new ticket vending machine. Via will receive a total of 115 of these new machines. The manufacturer is ICA Traffic from Dortmund. The first 45 machines for MVG have already been installed and put into operation by November 2010. Walter Schoeneck tests the new vending machine shortly after it was put into operation

Dualis 2000 E is the name of the new ticket vending machine.

What to do if the machine is broken and I can’t buy a ticket?

Every passenger is entitled to transportation, say the VRR transportation guidelines, if he has a valid ticket. For a defective machine can but yes the passenger nothing. Boarding and riding to the next junction is allowed. Then you have to buy a ticket. If one is controlled on the way, then one receives a so-called EBE voucher. (Increased transportation fee) Then you simply go to the CustomerCenter and if the statement is correct and the machine was really defective, then no penalty is due for fare evasion. And if you want to do Norbert Vobing a favor, inform the EVAG and report the defective machine. Preferably with information about the H-place and why or what didn’t work. The vending machine number also helps and can be found at the bottom right of the touch display.

Fare evaders against their will, case 2.

The vending machine works. You have bought a ticket and optimistically get on the train and want to stamp it. Oops, what is this. The devaluated one does not work. Annoying. So through the crowded streetcar to the next ticket validator. Shit, it doesn’t work either. Is there still a validator? At that very moment, the familiar voice already sounds: "Good afternoon, ticket control, your tickets please."

Ticket thus in the hand, but not stamped, because the validator is defective. Is one then a fare dodger?

Jurgen Sterzl, responsible at EVAG for revenue assurance and ticket controls: "Every tram and subway has four validators. There are two validators in an articulated bus and one in a solo bus. The ticket inspectors can check directly and immediately in the vehicle whether the validators are defective. In the unlikely event that all validators are defective, please have the ticket inspector write it down and bring the receipt to the CustomerCenter. A goodwill arrangement can usually be made afterwards."

Note at the end: Actually the blog author does not have the described problems, because he owns a ticket 1000, price level A of the EVAG. The plastic card is always in the wallet and that is always at the man. Good trick, actually, if you ride the EVAG every day.

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