Fare dodging

South West Trains really are keen to stop fare dodgers.

You get on the train. Within minutes, there will be an announcement that says “you must buy a ticket before you get on one of our trains, if you do not show a valid ticket when you are asked, you must pay a penalty fare”. The scrolling announcement in the ceiling is synchronised to say the same thing at the same time.

Then, there will be an announcement that “there is about to be a full ticket check, please have your tickets ready”.

Just to make sure you’re fully indoctrinated, this happens after every stop, and if you are travelling up and down to London on a daily basis, you’ll hear it probably 12 times a day.

… and, ironically, as I type this, the guard just came to check my ticket.

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4 responses to “Fare dodging

  1. I’m still curious about how those announcements work. At the least, there are:

    1. The one you just mentioned.

    2. The scaremongering one to encourage you to report the crisp packet that the dodgy looking bloke opposite you left on the seat to the British Transport Police and cause the network to grind to a halt.

    3. Waffle about where the train stops that’s often wrong or confusing (have you noticed that this announcement breaks when the train separates at a particular station along the route?)

    … and probably others I’ve forgotten.

    However, I think the announcement system is stochastic. The security-related ones seem to occur at random intervals. It’s either that or sometimes the guard gets bored and presses one of the buttons in his cubbyhole.

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  2. As I implied in the tags, I’m convinced this is some kind of subliminal thing. Say it enough, and we’ll start to believe it. Unless we are listening to music.

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  3. I know exactly what Andrew means about the announcement system just breaking in between certain stations… there’ll be a really long pause before it can continue.

    And as for ticket checking, I never get those announcements when I’m on a (relatively) short train from Chiswick (west London) into Waterloo. Though as I know the voice, I can imagine how irritating they’d be.

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  4. When they divert trains from the South Coast via Brighton, you get a 5 minutes pause in the station readout. And sometimes you stop at stations and get announcements like “Would the Guard contact the Driver”, 3 times in a row. A bit concerning…

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