Notices

Bus fine Italy

Reply

Mar 17th, 2013, 05:15 PM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 3
Bus fine Italy

I was on a bus the other day in Bologna. I always buy tickets, but it was a Saturday and the shop was closed, so I decided I would pay a bit extra and buy a ticket from the machine on the bus. But on this particular one there wasn't a machine, only a place to validate tickets, and it was just my luck that the inspectors got on the bus. I tried to explain, but my Italian is pretty poor and a very grumpy looking woman gave me an eighty euro fine, and took my details from the only document I had, which was my university card. I think the system has changed now, and they take your details and give you a form to take to the office to pay within 5 days - you don't pay directly. When the woman left to check other tickets, one of her colleagues very quietly said to me "you don't have to pay if you're not an Italian citizen". I am so confused! I'm going to my international office tomorrow to ask them about it, but I feel pretty grudging about paying a fine when I fully intended on buying a ticket in the first place, and am toying with the idea of ignoring it. But I imagine this could get me into more trouble in the long run. Does anyone have any experience with anything like this?
Emma_7 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 17th, 2013, 05:41 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 66,592
Cavet Emprtor!
PalenQ is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 17th, 2013, 05:55 PM
  #3
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,540
"But on this particular one there wasn't a machine, only a place to validate tickets, and it was just my luck that the inspectors got on the bus." Otherwise you would have got away with it, right? I know it's a bummer but would an inspector back in your home town accept the same story? The rules are pretty generic - "No ticket, no ride". Focus on the positive experiences of your trip. Just pay the fine and avoid possible hassles should you return.
worldinabag is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 17th, 2013, 06:58 PM
  #4
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 209
This doesn't help you in your current situation with what to do about the fine, but it might help you in the future and or others:

A few weeks ago when I got on a bus in Florence with no ticket (Florence is not Bologna I know, but they most likely have the same system and others might find this helpful), I bought the ticket directly from the bus driver. And then after I bought the ticket, I went back to the machine and validated it.

Anyway I'll be interested to hear what you find out.
LunaBella is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 18th, 2013, 02:01 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,168
Don't ignore it.

I assume that you are an overseas student. You may get away without paying (asking your international office is a good idea) but ignoring stuff like this absolutely doesn't make it go away. I can't go into details without violating someone's privacy, but s/he was pursued by summonses even after returning to the US and was threatened with not being able to enter the country again. A traffic ticket in Indiana does not go away when you cross the border into Ohio.

The good news is that you have learned two important things as part of your student experience: 1. it is always better to ask, even in halting Italian, than to be mistaken; 2. never assume.
Ackislander is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 18th, 2013, 02:21 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 14,842
You got lucky, we couldn't buy a ticket for a german bus, even from the driver and three old ladies started shouting at us until we got off. It's part of being away from home and it teaches you to help visitors to your own country.
bilboburgler is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 18th, 2013, 07:32 AM
  #7
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 30,502
>>>A traffic ticket in Indiana does not go away when you cross the border into Ohio.<<<

Traffic tickets usually have agreements with bordering states. If you live two states away, it's likely never going to show up on any search (insurance/background) in your state.

Many buses in Italy don't sell tickets, but they are readily available at many shops as are Trenitalia tickets. No excuse for not having a ticket.
kybourbon is online now  
Reply With Quote
Mar 18th, 2013, 12:15 PM
  #8
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 3
Actually it was the only bus I've come across that does not have a machine, and I take buses daily. And being a Saturday the only place you can buy tickets is in the center (where I was headed), definitely not where my flat is. As soon as I realized I couldn't get one on board I was going to get off at the next stop, where the inspectors were. I'll go to the office tomorrow, but I think I'm just going to pay it so I don't have the worry hanging over me. And next time have a stash of pre-purchased tickets at home!
Emma_7 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 18th, 2013, 12:39 PM
  #9
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 66,592
"But on this particular one there wasn't a machine, only a place to validate tickets, and it was just my luck that the inspectors got on the bus." Otherwise you would have got away with it, right?>

assumededly this is a fair person who if there was no check would have simply bought a bus ticket when they could and ripped it up - otherwise I would have no sympathy with him/her. Gotta play the game both ways, of course.
PalenQ is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 18th, 2013, 08:16 PM
  #10
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 248
<<>>

Actually if this "fair person" that has just without forethought *broken the law* and gotten away with it.

And the Fine is 80e, should not he or she over the next few days/weeks with a valid ticket in their pocket seek out a ticket checker and tell him/her "I have no ticket please Fine me" to atone for their past criminal activity .
Rostra is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 18th, 2013, 08:45 PM
  #11
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 42,058
Aw, it seems to me you had no ill intentions and just got caught in an unusual situation -you weren't looking to flout the law; the circumstances conspired to make it difficult for yu=ou. I would go plead my case to the police and hope to be let off, and if not, pay the fine.
StCirq is online now  
Reply With Quote
Mar 18th, 2013, 09:43 PM
  #12
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 4,145
We were on the train in the Cinque Terre visiting with a young couple. As the inspector approached we handed over our tickets. All was fine. When the other couple handed their tickets over the inspector told them they were incorrect. They had purchased a pass of some sort for the CT that they believed was valid for the parks and transportation, but I guess it wasn't. The inspector handed them a very large fine, I believe it totaled $150. He had to pay it then and there. What a way to end a great day. Again, no ill intent on the part of the rider, but still fined none the less unfortunately.
michele_d is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 19th, 2013, 04:43 AM
  #13
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 1,254
If I'm in time.... remember not to start your explanation with "I always buy tickets" - when you so evidently don't!

And whilst "In the past, I've always..." might be better, there's no simple way you can prove that?

Fare evasion is clearly a problem:

http://www.bolognatoday.it/cronaca/m...c-bologna.html

But unless things have changed since that article, you do indeed seem to have 5 days to pay, during which it's just €60 - before then starting to escalate, to 80 and even as far as 240 Euro?

Have to say, that was one of the reasons we went over to buying monthly season tickets here - although I'd love to have that easy recharge-online option, to save dragging to the depot on every 15th of the month!

Peter
A_Brit_In_Ischia is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 24th, 2015, 06:17 AM
  #14
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 1
I was told by the people at the bus stop at Bologna that I could buy a ticket from a machine with coins on the bus. I got on. The bus, exceptionally, did not have a ticket machine. BEFORE I could get off at the next stop, which I was going to do, inspectors got on and asked for tickets. Several people jumped off immediately. I did not and when asked I presented presented a photocopy of my passport, expecting a reasonable fine such as in Switzerland. (Not that I have been fined but I know what the fine is.) However, 80 some euros is an excessive fine. Had I known that, I would have jumped off the bus with the other genuine and experienced fare beaters, who knew better what they were doing. In Switzerland the fine for not having a ticket for transport is much less, which is more reasonable as this could be non-deliberate. It is not that I have evaded fares in Switzerland, as some readers here, who probably are fare evaders at heart, will conclude. And if I was a fare evader why would I be writing about it? I pointed out that the bus did not have a ticket machine as expected, to which the reply was I should have done something, as perhaps informing the driver. Many people on the bus saw me look for a ticket machine, not one decided to point this out to the inspectors. My approach was to get off at the next stop, which was prevented by circumstances. However, in most countries the authorities have a policy of extending understanding courtesy to foreigners who are not familiar with the practices. I have seen this over and over again, and especially in New York, where I live and where there are many tourists. Many tourists in Paris do not know that in Paris you have to keep your metro ticket in order to leave the station. The policy in Paris is to use judgement when to issue or not issue a fine. The Bologna inspectors made a complaint against me; but they copied the wrong passport information; the photocopy I gave them had the images of two passports, that of a man and woman, with pictures. I am a man; they copied the information of the passport of the woman. When we all got out I asked the inspectors where to buy tickets and they amiably pointed out the ticket office (we were at that point at the railway station). This only showed the stupidity of the whole process; some buses without ticket machines, some with. Letting some people escape. This is stupidity in the land of confusion. In New York the inspectors (there are inspectors now on some bus lines) regularly do not harass tourists who make a mistake. The other American approach is of course to shoot to kill. But this, and the comments above, show the general mindlessness of our societies. The question is: what to do about the complaint which is now issued against the wrong person? Do I get a lawyer? Do I write to the Italian embassy? Do I sue the city of Bologna? Do I take justice into my own hands and find the inspectors and kill them?
observation is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 24th, 2015, 08:34 AM
  #15
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 14,842
You grow a pair, take you responsibility, write to the authorities and pay the bill.
bilboburgler is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 24th, 2015, 08:53 AM
  #16
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,020
I have a funny but, I swear, true story pertinent to this post. Here goes--I go to Naples very often, and I love to ride the bus, and trolley. Most Neopolitans don't bother to validate, let alone buy tickets to ride the buses, mostly because they're always crowded and sometimes it's difficult to get to the validation machine. I always do, I don't want any problems. One day, near the Galleria, the bus was loaded with high school kids going home from class, I guess. On the buses, there are allotted places for seniors and veterans . One young girl was sitting on one of these seats when an old guy got on board and wanted the seat. They got into a very heated argument, since she didn't want to give up the seat. It almost came to blows. The bus driver immediately knew what to do. When he shortly saw a cop, he pulled over, called the cop onto the bus, and explained about a mini riot going on The officer immediately yelled out, "everyone show me your validated ticket"! There was a mad dash for everyone on that bus to exit. I was the ONLY ONE left on that bus with a validated ticket. The driver, cop and I had a good laugh. ONLY IN NAPOLI!
Waldo is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 24th, 2015, 10:05 AM
  #17
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 50,282
good story Waldo. We got fined on an Italian train because we had not validated our tickets, but fortunately it was only €20 in total for 4 people. [I do cynically wonder where those fines end up, but for that I was prepared not to argue].

And I've never travelled without a validated ticket ever again.
annhig is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 24th, 2015, 04:46 PM
  #18
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 6,534
observation,

I think paying the fine would be an injustice to you. Personally, I think it is not right to confess to crimes one didn't commit or accept punishment for things one hasn't done. I don't think you can count on getting special treatment as a foreigner, but I think an Italian in this situation would be within his or her rights to protest paying the fine, even if was 80 cents rather than 80 euros.

I suggest you write to the relevant authorities in Bologna and tell them what happened. You may not win, but perhaps you will. Either way, your protest is well founded.
sandralist is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:26 AM.