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Old 11.09.2019, 11:01
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Train inspector asking about trip details

I have a GA (I commute Monday through Thursdays from Sargans to Zürich). I've been doing this for some 2 months only, but today is the 3rd time that a train inspector validates my GA, and then proceeds to ask me about my trip details: where I boarded, and where I'm going. My guess is that it's for statistical purposes, as they usually write my answer in the app they use to scan tickets/abos.

Has this heppened to any commuters lately? Any ideas why they ask?
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Old 11.09.2019, 11:21
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Re: Train inspector asking about trip details

Happens to me almost every trip. But then, I rarely travel by train, so my 'every trip' is likely a statistical anomaly.

I would also expect it is to gather ridership information, hopefully with an eye to improving service or better deploying resources. *Hopefully* I have an all-zone 9Uhr multiride ticket, so it is not apparent where I begin or end my journey - hence the questions.
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Old 11.09.2019, 11:23
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Re: Train inspector asking about trip details

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I have a GA (I commute Monday through Thursdays from Sargans to Zürich). I've been doing this for some 2 months only, but today is the 3rd time that a train inspector validates my GA, and then proceeds to ask me about my trip details: where I boarded, and where I'm going. My guess is that it's for statistical purposes, as they usually write my answer in the app they use to scan tickets/abos.

Has this heppened to any commuters lately? Any ideas why they ask?
i assumed it was for statistical purposes to aid future planning. i used to travel a lot by train and so was suveyed quite often. maybe next time you ask, you can ask what they do with the information?
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Old 11.09.2019, 11:26
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Re: Train inspector asking about trip details

It happens a lot on the Basel-Olten and Basel-Zurich routes as well. It is for capacity planning.

I sometimes get cute... I am travelling from Ramsgate to Durango, with some stops between...
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Old 11.09.2019, 11:27
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Re: Train inspector asking about trip details

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I have a GA (I commute Monday through Thursdays from Sargans to Zürich). I've been doing this for some 2 months only, but today is the 3rd time that a train inspector validates my GA, and then proceeds to ask me about my trip details: where I boarded, and where I'm going. My guess is that it's for statistical purposes, as they usually write my answer in the app they use to scan tickets/abos.

Has this heppened to any commuters lately? Any ideas why they ask?
They use the data to calculate the spreading key for the GA proceeds among the various transport operators. Make sure you tell them about the Sevelen bus if you use it, otherwise it may disappear with the next round of cost cutting.
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Old 11.09.2019, 11:43
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Re: Train inspector asking about trip details

It's normally announced on the train in Geneva region. . "Today there will be a passenger survey" .. And normally it's not the regular inspector who does it.
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Old 11.09.2019, 14:39
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Re: Train inspector asking about trip details

One of these days I will tell them I am going to Mornington Crescent.
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Old 11.09.2019, 14:46
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Re: Train inspector asking about trip details

It happens to me every couple of weeks. No biggie.
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Old 11.09.2019, 15:06
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Re: Train inspector asking about trip details

I kinda dislike being solicited for answers when it is up to the customer. It is not private and they act as if we owe them the data. We don't.

I think I will tell them once that their stats aren't my worries.

Otherwise, yes, they do it to see how full and used some trains are. I am not worried about the service disappearing.
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Old 11.09.2019, 15:22
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Re: Train inspector asking about trip details

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I kinda dislike being solicited for answers when it is up to the customer. It is not private and they act as if we owe them the data. We don't.

I think I will tell them once that their stats aren't my worries.

Otherwise, yes, they do it to see how full and used some trains are. I am not worried about the service disappearing.
I think you don't have to answer. If you have a valid ticket for that stretch of journey you are on at that time you can just politely decline to answer.

In the Zurich area, it's not always about whether a service disappears, it was more down to overloading at certain times of the day and they've actually ADDED a couple of extra S-bahn trains either side of the lake to take the strain at peak times. I guess these occasional surveys are helpful in pulling in adequate data to put forward the case for development.
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Old 11.09.2019, 15:22
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Re: Train inspector asking about trip details

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Otherwise, yes, they do it to see how full and used some trains are. I am not worried about the service disappearing.
The sales system is sort of skewed towards SBB as basically SBB manages the pot that all the GA revenue flows into, and some of the smaller companies (including local bus lines etc) get a rough deal when it comes to sharing that back out.

Of course everybody likes to complain and everybody wants more money and I don't want to pass judgement on to what extent this problem is genuine or just standard moaning with a bit of anti-Bern sentiment mixed in. But if you value your local non SBB operation, you can help them by telling the inspector that you used them or will use them as part of your journey. It probably won't hurt SBB much but can make a big difference to some of these setups.
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Old 11.09.2019, 15:27
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Re: Train inspector asking about trip details

That said, it is also a question of perspective and attitude. I am a shareholder of Rigi Bahn and since they started recognizing the GA a couple of years back, overall cashflow and profitability has gone upwards, despite income per passenger being down.
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Old 11.09.2019, 15:29
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Re: Train inspector asking about trip details

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In the Zurich area, it's not always about whether a service disappears, it was more down to overloading at certain times of the day and they've actually ADDED a couple of extra S-bahn trains either side of the lake to take the strain at peak times. I guess these occasional surveys are helpful in pulling in adequate data to put forward the case for development.
Most modern trains have automatic passenger counting systems, which although pretty inaccurate will provide ballpark type figures. So they should be able to work out which trains are overloaded without doing surveys. OTOH, the survey might help them understand why a given train is overloaded, and whether providing an alternative connection might help.
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Old 11.09.2019, 15:33
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Re: Train inspector asking about trip details

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Any ideas why they ask?
I heard they use it to profile the movements of very suspicious looking people / suspects.
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Old 11.09.2019, 15:35
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Re: Train inspector asking about trip details

I don't mind answering the question, not one bit. But I was curious about the reason why, I hadn't thought about a statistical analysis to aid with income distribution of the GA pot. Seems like a very fair thing to do, to make sure that I do mention my bus connection.
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Old 11.09.2019, 15:41
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Re: Train inspector asking about trip details

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I am not worried about the service disappearing.
I am. When I first moved here, our little village had two trains per hour of four coaches each. After the surveys, our village was bumped to four trains per hour, and during peak commuting hours we have eight coaches on the trains.

I'm always happy to be checked on some random, non-peak time and to tell them my home stop. I appreciate having four trains per hour. If telling them my origin and destination keeps it from being reduced back to two, I've no problem doing it.
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Old 11.09.2019, 16:55
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Re: Train inspector asking about trip details

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I am.
Of course, that's why you willingly and happily answer. Our route is so major I wouldn't sweat it. That's why I think the survey which is in any other service sector done in a discrete and professional way, shouldn't be taken so automatically nor by CFF people who are not always super pleasant. I have seen some impatient CFF ladies.

GA is so expensive as it is.
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Old 11.09.2019, 17:43
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Re: Train inspector asking about trip details

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I don't mind answering the question, not one bit. But I was curious about the reason why, I hadn't thought about a statistical analysis to aid with income distribution of the GA pot. Seems like a very fair thing to do, to make sure that I do mention my bus connection.

Why didn't you just ask?
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Old 11.09.2019, 20:06
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Re: Train inspector asking about trip details

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Of course everybody likes to complain and everybody wants more money...
If anyone, and I mean anyone, dares to complain about SBB they should be sentenced to 8yrs of commuting to work on Northern Rail uk. That'd teach them!
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Old 11.09.2019, 20:23
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Re: Train inspector asking about trip details

Nobody, and I mean nobody, dares to complain about CFF. Everyone's busy looking for a kidney to sell to be able to afford the train service.

Actually, it's ok. Way cheaper if bought ahead and online, apparently. For some trains. I am a fan. Just don't like to be barked at "Where are you going?"

Last edited by MusicChick; 11.09.2019 at 20:35.
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