Transport Crackdowns in Paris...

Old Nov 12th, 2015, 12:07 PM
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Transport Crackdowns in Paris...

The Parisian Transport Authorities have really stepped up enforcement - to the tune of issuing fines to 5,000 people during a 12-hour period on November 5th. Enforcement on this level will continue throughout the month of November for certain, and will likely continue to a lesser degree throughout the year. In the very near future, agents will be able to track your real address, so recuperating unpaid fines will be much easier. Within the next 3 years, automatic gates will be installed at the busiest RER and SNCF stations, to help curtail the level of passenger fraud (meaning people who just want to ride for free will find it much more difficult).

Agents in uniform carrying validation machines (like credit card machines) are currently checking the exits in different neighborhoods and different Metro/RER and SNCF stations - anyone who claims to not know how the system works, does not have a valid ticket, "forgot" to top up a Navigo card, doesn't write their name and date on a pass, tries to jump the turnstyle or do anything else dumb will receive a fine. Nothing was mentioned about the bus, though I'm sure that will be covered, as well.

Unfortunately, there are always a few reports from people who have been scammed by people posing as Transit Agents. If you are stopped and aren't sure why, you have the right to ask for identification, and should do so in a calm manner. If you think it's a scam, you should ask to take several photos of the agents and their ID's, which will probably put a quick end to things. Or, look around for someone in a nearby booth and ask for assistance. If you do get scammed, it's a good idea to make a police report - security checks are only beefed up when people report incidents such as these.

You have the right to contest a genuine fine, even though you must generally pay on the spot. Here is a French website with the information, including a model letter:
http://droit-finances.commentcamarch...dele-de-lettre

Remember to always validate your ticket or pass, keep your current ticket handy, then toss it in the trash only after your trip is completed and you reach the safety of street level.
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Old Nov 12th, 2015, 12:40 PM
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Good for them, they need the funds to keep such a good system running! Too much waste allowing fraud.

I thin it is easiest to get away with it on buses due to entry from the rear and the system. The bus driver does have more things to do with his time than police people on the bus -- like it would be difficult for him to even see when you put in your ticket if the machine says it is valid or not. But for the metro, some jump the stiles or whatever. I often wonder how much money is wasted in cities where there aren't even turnstiles to enter, I seem to recall Vienna was like that.
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Old Nov 12th, 2015, 12:47 PM
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The bus driver doesn't enforce the rules on buses - teams of usually 3 controlleurs get on the bus and ask to see tickets from every rider. It happens to us at least 50% of the time we take buses in Paris, and there are always people who are fined, and not usually tourists, either. That's why it's essential to keep your ticket on your person after you validate it, until you exit the bus.
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Old Nov 12th, 2015, 12:47 PM
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I often wonder how much money is wasted in cities where there aren't even turnstiles to enter, I seem to recall Vienna was like that.

Berlin (at least S-Bahn) and Budapest
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Old Nov 12th, 2015, 12:51 PM
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Some French friends went to Basel for a few days and came back and said the trams and buses were free! I questioned this and they said yes no one had any tickets so they just hopped on too - of course most folks were habitual travelers with passes they could show controllers - can't believe they could be so naive - there is no free ride - tourists may get innocently nabbed sans turnstiles I guess but anyone with any brains knows there ain't no free rides.
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Old Nov 12th, 2015, 12:54 PM
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I read that ticket sales went up 80% in one suburban station where ticket checks were in effect for a couple of hours.
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Old Nov 12th, 2015, 12:56 PM
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Basel is definitely not free. My wife and I were on two different tram cars and I happened to hold her daily pass (provided by the hotel for free) and she was checked and taken off the tram. I also got off and rescued her from a possible fine.
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Old Nov 12th, 2015, 01:52 PM
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Michael - the irony with these clueless Franch gals - they could have gotten a free pass from their hotel but when I asked later about that (after reading about it on Fodor's) they were equally clueless - Americans ain't the only naive travelers in Europe.
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Old Nov 12th, 2015, 03:37 PM
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We returned on Sept 18 from 2+ weeks in Paris. We must have taken 30 bus trips. For many days - that's pretty much all we did!! Got on a bus, traveled for 1 hr to check out a neighborhood through the windows of the bus, transferred to another bus, rode for 1 hr, transferred to a third bus for 1 hr. Many people got on the bus without a ticket or swiping a pass. We never saw a single uniformed transit cop. Are they in "plain clothes"?

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Old Nov 12th, 2015, 03:39 PM
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>>We returned on Sept 18 from 2+ weeks in Paris
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Old Nov 12th, 2015, 05:37 PM
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Our experience in June -- same duration, same frequency of bus riding -- parallels Stu Dudley's. Never saw an inspector or inspection taking place. But it doesn't surprise me. This is an enforcement directed more at locals than at visitors, though visitors should expect no mercy.
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Old Nov 12th, 2015, 08:13 PM
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Stu, ticket checkers are in plain clothes more and more often. However, they put on armbands when the checking begins.
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Old Nov 12th, 2015, 09:57 PM
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I ride the bus quite frequently in Paris and rarely see anyone who doesn't either validate a Navigo or a ticket.

I have seen inspectors on busses too, and they are either wearing uniforms or orange armbands.
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Old Nov 12th, 2015, 10:33 PM
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I´m a daily bus rider. I don´t see every passenger who boards but I´ve not notice many who do so without a ticket or a pass. The problem is more in the métro where it´s possible to see a number of people jumping over the turnstiles or otherwise not using tickets/passes.

Perhaps the RATP is clamping down on those who do not pay because they need to replace the revenue they lost with the recent dezonage of the Navigo fares.
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Old Nov 13th, 2015, 12:21 AM
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We were on the RER last spring heading to the Val d'Europe station. When we boarded at Chatelet, there was a group of young people in the car, most wearing mostly empty looking backpacks. They too got off at Val d'Europe, none of them with a ticket or pass in hand. All seven were corralled by police, in uniform, at the top of the escalator.
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Old Nov 13th, 2015, 03:39 AM
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I was checked at Chatelet on Monday.
The RATP guys may have been in plainclothes but they were no cops and didn't look like cops I think they had some gray overalls I guess it may explain why some tourists mistake them for scammers.

Bus chauffeurs don't control they drive.
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Old Nov 13th, 2015, 04:01 AM
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But they do use the automatic push button announcement regularly when somebody just walks by them or boards at the exit: "All tickets must be validated."
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Old Nov 13th, 2015, 04:21 AM
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Question..lI haven't been to Paris for eight or nine months and last time I was there, I didn't ride the bus although I have in the past. In general, I use carnets and understand individual tickets have to be validated when entering the bus.

But every so often, on a day I'm doing a lot of back and forthing, I buy a daily ticket knows as a mobilis. It was my understanding then that this ticket is not entered in the validator machine. I just walk on and have it ready for an inspection. And most locals have navigo the successor to carte orange which also, at least in the past, were not validated each bus trip. Isn't that still the system?
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Old Nov 13th, 2015, 06:19 AM
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You are required to "swipe" a Navigo at a machine at the front or back entrances to the bus. Many people (5% to 10%?) entered the back entrance and neither swiped anything or validated a paper ticket when we were in Paris last month. Same where we live in San Francisco on the Muni buses - except it is a higher %.

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Old Nov 13th, 2015, 07:35 AM
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You are supposed to validate the Mobilis and Visite passes with each journey, even on buses. You stick them in the machine just like the ordinary t+ tickets.
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