S-Bahn fines question

59 posts in this topic

I was just taking the S-Bahn to Schönefeld airport to see off a friend visiting when we were stopped by the ticket checkers (right before we got to our stop, by the way). She had an AB ticket and apparently we were supposed to have an ABC ticket. I have a student ticket so I didn't even know the difference. He fined us the 40€, which is pretty upsetting because she did have a ticket, just the wrong type (and there's only a 0,70€ difference!) so it seems unfair to pay the same fine as someone who didn't have a ticket at all. Does anyone know if that's really the rule, and whether or not I can try to contest it or anything? I haven't paid yet (she's out of the country now so I'm going to pay).

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sorry to hear that, I am not Berliner but from what I got from my German friend is that AB ticket only valid for AB Zone thus its not valid if you want to travel to C Zone with AB Zone Ticket. As the same as, well you don't have C Zone ticket why should he bother?

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Does anyone know if that's really the rule

 

The "fine" levied against you is just an increased fare for your ride, not a real fine. You agreed to the contractual small print laying out this charge by boarding a vehicle operated by a company working for the Berlin-Brandenburg public transport association.

 

Under §9 of the contract you agreed to when boarding said vehicle (or rather already when stepping onto a public transport platform such as a bus stop or station) you'll find:

The passenger is obliged to pay an increased fare if he did not procure a valid ticket. [...] The increased fare is 40 Euro. [...] The increased fare is lowered to 7 Euro if the passenger proves within a week that he was in possession of a valid season ticket.

 

There is an exception in the contractual small print if the used vehicle was operated by DB Regio (and only then - note: not including DB Stadtverkehr, i.e. S-Bahn Berlin, as operator): In that case using it with a ticket not valid for the route results in the option of buying a ticket on the train without paying any surcharge.

 

You can still get a real fine btw. Or, in theory, jail for that matter. They don't usually bother with criminal proceedings for public service fraud for first offenders though.

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Does anyone know if that's really the rule, and whether or not I can try to contest it or anything? I haven't paid yet (she's out of the country now so I'm going to pay).

 

There's signs posted on just about every train car in Berlin that warns you about the 40 euro charge for not having a valid ticket (and only 15 for smoking!)

 

When your friend bought her ticket, you must've told her to get an AB ticket, or she looked at the map to figure out what kind of ticket to get. Either way, there is a reason Berlin has multiple ticket zones, and it's not really a secret...map shows there B ends pretty clearly

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He fined us the 40€, which is pretty upsetting because she did have a ticket, just the wrong type (and there's only a 0,70€ difference!) so it seems unfair to pay the same fine as someone who didn't have a ticket at all.

An incorrect ticket is the same as no ticket. Them's the breaks. Pay the fine and learn from your mistake.

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In Berlin you are trusted to buy your own ticket and validate it. Berlin transport is cheap and easy, and ticket checking is rare (I get checked around once a month). If you choose to abuse the system, which you did you are asked to pay a tiny fine.

 

And still you want to contest it?

 

Im sorry you bought the wrong ticket, but it really isnt too difficult to check which zone you are in and as a student I assume you have been in berlin long enough to read the map, you messed up, pay your fine, end of story.

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He fined us the 40€, which is pretty upsetting because she did have a ticket, just the wrong type (and there's only a 0,70€ difference!) so it seems unfair to pay the same fine as someone who didn't have a ticket at all.

What "just the wrong type"? The ticket she had was insufficient. You don't buy a ticket based on which price you'd prefer to pay, that's not the way it works. Schönefeld is very clearly marked in the C zone.

 

One time many moons ago I purposely bought a Kurzstrecke for a trip I knew would be longer than three U-bahn stops and decided to play the dumb foreigner card in the event that I was caught. I was caught and fined the same price as if I had had no ticket at all. Why fine people the same amount for Schwarzfahren as for having the "wrong" ticket? Because there are some people out there who do it on purpose.

 

It's not as if the machine can't speak English to you, either--even way back then the machines spoke English and French and even with my no German skillz it was pretty clear to the ticket controllers that I was trying to scam the system (they were very nice and asked me some questions about how long I'd been here etc; they didn't buy the dumb foreigner bit after making a few pertinent queries). Unlike your friend however I sucked it up and got on with my life after my genius attempt at fooling the BVG failed.

 

 

Does anyone know if that's really the rule...?

 

Why would the ticket checker make that up out of thin air?

 

Any transit system which sells tickets by the zone works this way. I'm not sure why you and your friend are so mortally shocked by this.

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Berlin transport is cheap and easy, and ticket checking is rare (I get checked around once a month).

 

It is widely known that the ticket inspectors check check the S-Bahn to Schoenefeld from both the airport into town and as soon as you cross from Zone B to Zone C heading towards the airport, between Gruenbererallee and the airport.

 

I would say I get checked there at lease 50% of the times I travel that route.

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What "just the wrong type"? The ticket she had was insufficient. You don't buy a ticket based on which price you'd prefer to pay, that's not the way it works. Schönefeld is very clearly marked in the C zone.

She had a ticket for the journey to the edge of the B zone. So in effect she didn't have a ticket for the journey she was on when stopped by inspectors. That's how I see it.

 

 

Unlike your friend however I sucked it up and got on with my life after my genius attempt at fooling the BVG failed.

 

You know, I respect this. I don't have a problem with people who make mistakes, or cheat a little, cause few people are perfect. I dislike people who make mistakes and try and play down the mistake, making out the people who dealt out the consequences are being harsh and unfair jobsworths. I dislike people who do slightly bad things and then try and make out the slightly bad or incompetent things they do aren't even slightly bad because "everyone does it."

 

Just suck it up and don't try and make out the officers are being dumb because they don't bend the rules to show you leniency.

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Right. A lot of threads concerning Schwarzfahren here on TT get piled on and inundated with irrelevant finger-wagging by the moral police. For me, it's not a moral question. It's about the gamble. Is it worth saving two bucks now to potentially get fined forty later? Not really. Forget the cumulative prices. There'll never be a time I'd rather hand out forty-two yoyos than two for a single train ride, ratios be damned. You also only have to get caught an extra time or two before your "system" has seriously backfired.

 

There's another little "game" played by people here wherein you just flash any old transit ticket at a bus driver and hope s/he won't look at it, indeed, most of them don't and you usually get away with it. I've never personally done it, but I've been on the bus when the driver wanted to have a closer look at a ticket and kicked the rider right back off the bus. No real skin off her nose as all she had to do was wait for the next bus but I think I would die of embarrassment. It's not just the potential fine that deters me from not paying, it's the absolute humiliation of being dragged off a train and ousted as someone who was too cheap to buy a ticket. In the bus situation it's even worse because you got caught out trying to fool somebody who's just doing his job, how tacky is that?

 

It's kind of sucky that Schönefeld is just one station outside of the B zone, but maybe their logic is that if you have enough money to buy a plane ticket, you can afford to pay a couple extra cents for your transit pass, that and, it is actually really far away.

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So in effect she didn't have a ticket for the journey she was on when stopped by inspectors. That's how I see it.

So as you see it if I buy a cheap airline ticket to Turkey I have the right to fly all the way to Japan. After all, they're all Asia and I paid to the border.

 

woof.

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it is actually really far away.

 

It's in the C-Zone because Schönefeld is in Brandenburg, not Berlin. A is inside the S-Bahn ring, B from the S-Bahn ring to the city boundary, C from the city boundary to about another 15 km beyond the state border. Says so clearly on BVG's website too btw.

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Yes that is unfair but real. There is no difference between invalid ticket and no ticket. Info: http://www.bvg.de/index.php/en/17102/name/Tickets+%26+Fares.html

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So as you see it if I buy a cheap airline ticket to Turkey I have the right to fly all the way to Japan. After all, they're all Asia and I paid to the border.

 

woof.

 

Er no, not sure how you got that impression, that's not in line with what I said.

 

I believe the exact opposite, you have a ticket to Turkey, so have the right only to travel to Turkey. Beyond that you have no ticket. On the s-bahn if you go beyond where you have a ticket for you don't have a right to be on the train.

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Just pay the fine and chalk it up to a learning experience. It's no different than, say, getting a speeding ticket in the States for only going 5mph over the speed limit. Next time, please make sure you have a VALID ticket, otherwise, being a multiple-offender can really get you in to trouble.

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Er no, not sure how you got that impression, that's not in line with what I said.

I believe the exact opposite, you have a ticket to Turkey, so have the right only to travel to Turkey. Beyond that you have no ticket. On the s-bahn if you go beyond where you have a ticket for you don't have a right to be on the train.

ah Rankersbo, Perhaps you should ask Professor Frink to build you a sarcasm detector...

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Warning: off topic and completely trivial ... Has anyone else been controlled on the S-Bahn more than usual? I used to go weeks without being checked, but over the past two weeks, it's been almost once a day and always on the S-Bahn (my travel time is something like 14-16 hours a week, and I always take the same trains and am usually in the same car, so maybe I've just been hitting the controller jackpot recently).

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