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Unread 26-03-2010, 10:19   #1
Ron Burgundy
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Default The barrier system in Heuston

Below you will find an e mail i have just sent to Irish Rail. It relates to the fact they are now making every person put their ticket into the barrier machine when they know full well that A LOT of them don't work and never have.

Its the same staff members every day and i have the same conversation. Its causing me to miss a bus some mornings and the knock on is that i am in work late, have to stay late, have to get a later train and am home late. Its just a complete joke and all the staff to is say the mantra "talk to customer services" when they know well you are either in a hurry to get to work or get a train to go home.

Here is what i sent them............

I am sick to the teeth of the my ticket not working in the barriers in Heuston.

This morning 6 staff members stood around 1 barrier to get people who's tickets did not work ( at least 50 )to put theit tickets in the machine 1 by 1.

This is fine if you want to check that the customers ticket is valid. But 1 machine and 6 staff memebers.

One of these staff members named ****** ( sorry i do not have his surname ) personally told me "to have some manners" when i questioned why this idiotic shambles of a system is still being used when months its clearly not working.

Perhaps the staff member in question should look at the customer charter on how to treat customers.

With the above in mind i am due to collect my new ticket which will be valid from April 1 of this year ( great date to go with the level of service you provide 0) and i want to know how i go about getting the plastic card and not the pointless paper one i will be given that WILL NOT WORK in the barrier system in Heuston.
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Unread 26-03-2010, 10:29   #2
Mark Gleeson
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If you hold a rail only short hop zone ticket i.e the 1030 one it will be replaced with a smartcard either on request or on renewal. Several thousand annual smartcard tickets have been issued. Due to restrictions imposed by the DoT no smartcard with luas/bus may be issued.

Any ticket which is refused is as a result of the ticket being defective, the software glitches last year have been sorted, though it is likely the ticket will need to be replaced before it will work again.

The level of ticket failures at Heuston massively exceeds that seen elsewhere. What error message does the barrier give?
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Unread 26-03-2010, 11:38   #3
Thomas Ralph
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If your ticket is a rail-only, as Mark said, you will get the smartcard ticket when you renew. Current holders of rail-only tickets can exchange them for smartcards by request to the Taxsaver office.

If your ticket is rail and Dublin Bus, or any other non-rail-only ticket, the new ticket will be magnetic stripe for rail. This is expected to change to smartcard "soon".
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Unread 26-03-2010, 12:07   #4
Mark Gleeson
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We have noted increased reports of poor staff attitude at Heuston

There doesn't appear to be any major hassles in Tara, Pearse and Connolly

Anyone who holds a Dublin bus issued annual ticket, the one with the separate ID card, there is a known issue with the barriers since the gate reads the smartcard on the ticket and rejects it as you insert it into the ticket reader
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Unread 26-03-2010, 12:16   #5
ACustomer
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Mark Gleeson: you say: "Due to restrictions imposed by the DoT no smartcard with luas/bus may be issued".

I can understand why incompatible systems might lead one operator not to issue smartcards until the technical glitches get sorted. But what on earth does this have to do with the DoT? I thought the department was responsible for policy (God help us!) and not technical issues.
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Unread 26-03-2010, 12:19   #6
markpb
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But what on earth does this have to do with the DoT? I thought the department was responsible for policy (God help us!) and not technical issues.
DoT told DB and IR that they could not make their tickets interoperable because it would impede the work of the PRA in developing the full integrated ticket. God knows why.
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Unread 26-03-2010, 12:36   #7
Mark Gleeson
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The systems are fully compatible with each other, it politics which stand in the way
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Unread 26-03-2010, 14:09   #8
Ron Burgundy
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My ticket is for rail and feeder bus ( 92 )

I really am sick of this, i pay 2640 for this rubbish.

I don't want excuses etc, i want a system that works before its launched or don't have it at all.
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Unread 26-03-2010, 14:31   #9
Maire
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I thoroughly agree.

My ticket didn't work last year and the new ticket doesn't work either. Staff in Heuston stand around chatting or on their phones. Some are mannerly but you get the occasional rude one whom you feel like you're asking them a favour to let you through the barrier...One of them said to me last week that "you have to put the ticket into the machine (I had told him it gets stuck etc) because the managers are around and are watching us"....I really don't want to hear excuses etc. I just want to get to work and get out of the frigging station!!!

Why are we paying over 2,500 euro for annual passes that don't work?
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Unread 26-03-2010, 15:59   #10
TGV
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I would agree. If the ticket machines don't work with a lot of valid tickets then the ticket machines shouldn't be used. Simple.

On a related note...I have been on board quite a few trains on which the next and only stop is Heuston and before stopping at Heuston with its brand new automatic ticket validation system a ticket inspector - possibly jealous of the new ticket machines? - comes around checking for tickets anyway.
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Unread 26-03-2010, 21:43   #11
iridium
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I would agree. If the ticket machines don't work with a lot of valid tickets then the ticket machines shouldn't be used. Simple.

On a related note...I have been on board quite a few trains on which the next and only stop is Heuston and before stopping at Heuston with its brand new automatic ticket validation system a ticket inspector - possibly jealous of the new ticket machines? - comes around checking for tickets anyway.
Same here. That's been going on since before the automatic checks in Heuston though. They wait until after the last stop before Heuston to do a sweep cause they're lazy. I'd say it's easy to get from the likes of Kildare to Portlaoise without having a ticket.

I wonder if the original poster would let us know if he ever receives a reply to his e-mail from Irish Rail. I would be very surprised if they even acknowledge it.
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Unread 26-03-2010, 22:56   #12
Kilocharlie
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Originally Posted by Mark Gleeson View Post
Any ticket which is refused is as a result of the ticket being defective, the software glitches last year have been sorted, though it is likely the ticket will need to be replaced before it will work again.
No so; on many occasions my ticket is refused - actually the machine will not even ingest the ticket despite the green light - but works happily for the next dozen occasions. In general, if no-one is using a gate it does not work, if someone else has just gone through, it never fails. If it is refused, it has always worked at another gate.

I have a point to point with Luas/90 addon so it is still the magnetic strip type.

I notice this morning a group of staff dirercting everyone to machines when previously they frequently let people through without checking.
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Unread 27-03-2010, 00:40   #13
Mark Gleeson
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If you look carefully you will see that the machine is likely displaying 'smartcard only' or some other message It does that when the mechanism is jammed.

The key to getting this resolved is to get the exact text which is displayed by the turnstile when it refuses the ticket. From that we can find out if

1. Is it the software in the gate
2. The ticket is unreadable
3. The ticket is encoded wrongly

We have put a fair few ticket scenarios to IE which tripped up the gates and they did get fixed. Irish Rail did issue a batch of annuals with the wrong expiry date a while back. The software was changed and a number of defective readers replaced and from experience the gates in Heuston have a very permissive set of rules compared to elsewhere.

The biggest tip, do not insert the ticket into the validator on the bus, thats a very common point at which the ticket becomes unreadable. If a ticket is refused it was probably damaged by the previous validation.

If you do have a rail only Dublin Short Hop zone ticket, get it replaced with a smartcard for free. There is a proactive program on going to swap these tickets out which has included IE staff showing up at large taxsaver customers to swap the tickets. The smartcard solution is the best as the magstripe option is never going to be 100% robust plus it eliminates the excessive resissue charge following loss/theft.
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Unread 29-03-2010, 19:15   #14
Kilocharlie
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In Heuston: Gate with green arrow illuminated:-
  • Display says 'Please wait' - ticket cannot be inserted into the ticket slot.
  • Display says 'Ready' - the ticket passes throught and the gate opens.

I think a more positive signal is required if the machine is not accepting magnetic stripe tickets than the display saying 'Please wait'. Perhaps if a yellow light was displayed to indicate smartcard only or, if the machine is faulty, a red light.
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Unread 29-03-2010, 19:57   #15
Mark Gleeson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilocharlie View Post
In Heuston: Gate with green arrow illuminated:-
  • Display says 'Please wait' - ticket cannot be inserted into the ticket slot.
  • Display says 'Ready' - the ticket passes throught and the gate opens.

I think a more positive signal is required if the machine is not accepting magnetic stripe tickets than the display saying 'Please wait'. Perhaps if a yellow light was displayed to indicate smartcard only or, if the machine is faulty, a red light.
The yellow light request is in for several months
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Unread 29-03-2010, 22:23   #16
PLUMB LOCO
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I don't know how old any of the other posters here are but I have been travelling on CIE trains since the mid-1960s and have seen more different ticket barriers than you can shake a big stick at. The one thing they have all had in common is that they do not work! They are the product of a management obsessed with shedding staff at whatever cost. Why have a team of ticket checkers who can check tickets/provide a level of security and perform other useful tasks when you can spend thousands on the latest useless barrier technology. The pic below shows crowds arriving in London in 1934 for a football match - how many barriers did they pass through? And don't give me the bull about the cost of wages back then.
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Unread 31-03-2010, 08:49   #17
Maire
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When my annual pass goes into the machine, the machine gives the message "Ticket invalid". The pass goes in and out of the reader section a few times and eventually the machine just spews it back at me!!! The ticket is valid since January so it's not invalid and it didn't work from the first day it was valid from. One of the guys at the gate, told me I must have had it in with my mobile phone! Which I didn't...

Is it possible that my ticket can't be read by a machine at Heuston because of the bus/luas add on? In order to get this option on the pass, I had to get it vaild to Connolly. At least that's what I understood when ordering it through work.
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Unread 31-03-2010, 08:56   #18
Mark Gleeson
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Does your ticket state

X to Heuston
Valid Bus 90/Luas

OR

X to Connolly
Valid Bus 90/Luas

That sounds like a software validity error, if the ticket was damaged you get the wrong side up error normally. Normally through Heuston the ticket is to Heuston plus the 90/luas add on, so to Connolly despite being valid could be confusing the system. We have asked for an elimination of Heuston/Connolly/Tara/Pearse/Docklands into a single destination of Dublin Central either with or without the 90/Luas
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Unread 31-03-2010, 09:09   #19
Maire
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Hi Mark,

It's :

Athy to Connolly
Valid Bus 90/Luas


When ordering it to Heuston with a city centre bus/luas add-on, that's the ticket I got...
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Unread 31-03-2010, 09:21   #20
Mark Gleeson
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Hmm

Thats a software glitch, I'll forward it up the tree and find out what the solution is, either software fix or replace with Athy-Heuston bus90/luas which is exactly the same. Hopefully the ticket will just magically work.
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