Yesterday, in mid-town Mainz....I had to hop on a city bus to get back home. Ten seconds after the door shut....a ticket-audit guy is upon me. I turned and could see a total of three audit guys making their rounds through the bus. No big deal....I pull out my ticket and he checks it out carefully.
The odds of getting an audit on a bus? Probably ten percent of all trips around the Rhine region will result in an audit. I would agree....prior to 8AM, it just never occurs, and after 5PM....it's almost never.
But there's an piece to this story. I get on this bus and there's only three stops before we cross the Rhine River and reach the 'tent' at Mainz-Kastel.....a major hub and dividing line between Mainz and Wiesbaden. It's at this point that the three Mainz audit guys get off. Oddly, two Wiesbaden audit guys get onboard the bus and then repeat the whole process again.
The odds of getting audited twice in one day? First time ever for me.....and it's amusing that it's the same bus and only five minutes since the last ticket check.
A month ago in Frankfurt news.....I noticed a police story. Frankfurt audit guys were on some subway train and instead of the typical hands-on or eyes-on check of the day ticket/monthly pass....they scanned it. It was an active monthly pass, but the date on the card was totally wrong and that's practically impossible to occur.
They end up confiscating the ticket and getting personal information on this holder. Cops get involved and they end looking over at a couple of non-Germans operating out of Frankfurt a small counterfeit Bahn monthly pass program. They were fairly smart about the monthly passes and knew they could sell the fake passes for a small sum of money. Cops won't say how much they made or how long they had been going on....but it's obvious now that counterfeit tickets/monthly passes are being used.