A recent study by the Irish National Transport Authority (NTA) has unveiled a 6% fare evasion rate on Iarnród Éireann rail services, the national operation from Ireland, leading to an estimated annual revenue loss of €12.3 million. The study, encompassing nearly 21,000 passengers from January 2022 to March 2023, has been crucial in identifying evasion hotspots, particularly on DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit) and commuter services, with Cork’s commuter lines showing the highest evasion rates.
The analysis reveals that fare evasion is predominantly a behaviour observed among younger passengers, with rates decreasing consistently with age. Additionally, certain stations have been identified as high-incidence areas, experiencing evasion rates above 20%.
In parallel, Iarnród Éireann’s Revenue Protection Unit (RPU), who is actively patrolling trains and stations, reports a reduced rate in fare evasion of 3% for 2023.
The TRAINSFARE team believes the difference in numbers between the NTA survey and RPU might stem from different measurement methods. NTA uses observational techniques, without intervention, often ensuring higher objectivity, while RPU’s data probably comes from ticket inspections, which fare evaders can sometimes detect and avoid.
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