Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Vienna and Public Transportation

Traveling across Europe, you occasionally come across methods of improvement that most people simply miss and never notice.

In Vienna....they run a slightly different method of public transportation.  I came to note on day one of my trip....that the subway stations are fairly clean, without beggars, and you don't have homeless guys continually around the stations.  There's a simple reason.

At the top of the stairs or escalator.....there's a machine to buy your ticket.  Then you turn around, and face the stairway or escalator....seeing this blue-colored validation machine.  You have to validate your ticket.  And after cross this mythical line.  Once past that line....audit checkers can stop you at the stairway or the subway station....or on the train. No valid ticket?  You get fined.  You act hostile...they call the cops and you get real jail attention.

Over the week there, I noticed the audit folks on several occasions....once even at the bottom of the escalator....waiting on me and asking me to show the ticket even before I got on the subway car.  That's a bit different from the German or Dutch methods.

It forces you to have a valid ticket and a purpose for using the subway tunnel.  Just going down to stay warm or urinate for the pleasure of some do....won't happen in a Vienna.

I kinda wondered how many audit checkers are on the payroll in Vienna.  There's probably dozens, and they probably roam their territory seven days a week.  In return, I have to say that I rated the Vienna network of subway traffic one of the better ones in Europe....not just for service and clean conditions.....but freedom from the beggar crowd or nuts.

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