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How come no one ever sees to pay for the bus in Poland?


calikent 2 | 12    
18 Jun 2012  #1
I've been in Gdansk for 2 weeks now and have only seen a handful of people (all tourist looking) ever pay for the bus (which i ride virtually every day)

the driver doesn't seem to care....

are there no consequences for nabbing a free ride?
InWroclaw 89 | 1,919    
18 Jun 2012  #2
You mean they don't validate their ticket in the machine or have a bus pass which they carry in case an inspector wants to see it? They can't not have a ticket if it's pay on entry to the bus, as the driver will just switch off the engine if someone refuses to buy a ticket and boards anyway.
Gregrog 4 | 100    
18 Jun 2012  #3
Maybe people are buying tickets before ride? Have you noticed validating?

Consequences of not having validated ticket or documents are quite high - 100-300zł.
SeanBM 35 | 5,817    
18 Jun 2012  #4
Monthly or weekly tickets is the answer.
sofijufka 2 | 191    
18 Jun 2012  #5
most of them have monthly season ticket
OP calikent 2 | 12    
18 Jun 2012  #6
You mean they don't validate their ticket in the machine or have a bus pass which they carry in case an inspector wants to see it? They can't not have a ticket if it's pay on entry to the bus, as the driver will just switch off the engine if someone refuses to buy a ticket and boards anyway.

I've seen very few people validate a ticket (less than 10%. mostly, like i said, elderly and tourists).

i went to buy a ticket from the driver the 1st day and he seemed surprised....

most people just walk on (in the middle or back) and grab a seat.
i've never seen an "inspector"

i assume you guys are right, most must have passes in their possession....

just much different from States, where everyone has to enter up front and pay the driver immediately before sitting....

i thought maybe there was a "ride free during the Euros" promotion or something, but a guy next to me who spoke English said, no, you're "supposed" to pay....

not complaining... was just curious
Ziemowit 12 | 3,201    
  18 Jun 2012  #7
Not sure about Gdańsk, but in Warsaw most people travel with their passes on a bus or tram. Those who validate an all-day or a 3-day ticket, do it only once when starting their first ride; the validator prints the date and hour of expiry on the back of the ticket (but also codes them on a magnetic strip imprinted within the ticket in case the validator runs out of ink).
InWroclaw 89 | 1,919    
18 Jun 2012  #8
not complaining... was just curious

You're right to be curious actually, I used to notice that in London a lot on the bendy-buses there and, guess what, they weren't paying at all, they were taking free rides for sure! It was in the newspapers - fare dodging on those buses was rife. In the UK that's a criminal offence, obtaining a service by deception.

I carry a card that has a chip and inspectors inspect usually once a week or once a fortnight when they get on the bus or tram disguised as little old ladies (well some of them are little old ladies) and aged Magnum PI lookalikes. Once, my card lost its encoding and the inspector went into 'shout and demand the fine mode' until I produced the receipt calmly and he re-encoded the card and went away with his tail between his legs. So, if you're in Poland and buy a card to travel that has a chip or magnetic strip, always keep the paper receipt with the card.
OP calikent 2 | 12    
18 Jun 2012  #9
I carry a card that has a chip and inspectors inspect usually once a week or once a fortnight when they get on the bus or tram disguised as little old ladies.

well, i must say i've gone about the last week without paying at all, as i thought that's what everyone else was doing..... on the 167 line to the City Center (Fan Zone) and back....

of course today, i don't HAVE to pay, or at least that's what i've been told, because it's a match day and i have a ticket to SPAIN-CROATIA! i figure the fare dodging caught up with me the other night when some meathead taxi driver gave me a set price of 100 zloty to take me from the Parliament club back to my hotel (on Kartusky).... then pulled over about halfway, or maybe 3/4 way there and demanded i paid more....

when i told him that's all the cash i had left (100 i gave him already), he said to take off my Spain shirt and give it to him. i told him what he could do with that offer and pleaded with him to finish the ride he agreed to....

he didn't. he demanded cash or the shirt.

i got out and walked what was at least 30 minutes the rest of the way home....
Ziemowit 12 | 3,201    
18 Jun 2012  #10
always keep the paper receipt with the card.

I never keep the paper receit with the card. Surely, I keep it at home, so in case the strip gets de-magnetised (never happened to me), the inspector would hand me a call for paying which I may disclaim by producing the receit later on at a ticket office.

You can always check if your pass or ticket is valid by inserting it into the validator at any time.
InWroclaw 89 | 1,919    
  18 Jun 2012  #11
i got out and walked what was at least 30 minutes the rest of the way home....

I don't know what to make of that taxi driver - I'll leave it to the others who are more experienced on that to comment and help you. Don't forget, if in any danger, dial 997 for the police and if you don't speak Polish, say phonetically "Knee move ya poe pole sku" ("I don't speak Polish") and add phonetically "Movie-oh tillco poe an-gell-sku " - gell rhyming with hell, ie not gel - (means "I speak only English"). Might not be 100% right but works for me.

(If you prefer to speak Spanish, then it's "Movie-oh tillco poe hish-panskii")

Obviously, try to find out how to get the cheaper travel card now if you're there for more than just a few days.

Any nonsense from dodgy cabbies or similar, tell them to "go away now" * ("odd-ey-guz turrazz") and if they don't, then step away and dial 997 for the boys in blue.

*odejść teraz

You can always check if your pass or ticket is valid by inserting it into the validator at any time.

Yes but it's different for you because you can probably speak Polish. All I can do to get them off my back is wave the receipt in their face. If I don't have that receipt, I would get a long confrontational situation and inconvenience.
OP calikent 2 | 12    
18 Jun 2012  #12
Any nonsense from dodgy cabbies or similar, tell them to "go away now" * ("odd-ey-guz turrazz") and if they don't, then step away and dial 997 for the boys in blue.

thanks for the tips.... he pretty much had me in a no-win situation.... i brought no cell phone with me (don't have anyone to call out here) and it was past midnight so the buses were done running...

fortunately i knew that i knew the way home.... i didn't WANT to walk.... but all i had left in my wallet was another 100 zloty bill and i wasn't going to give that to him.... i was hoping that by calling his bluff he'd go ahead and give me the ride home, but he swirled around and headed back toward town...

the funny thing is he kept demanding my Spain shirt, which would NEVER fit him. he had to be pushing 300 lbs.
ah well, lesson learned to shop for a better cabbie next time...

also, the meter seemed to run at an incredibly high pace... way faster than other taxis i've been in out here...i wonder if the driver can "rig it" to rip off tourists??
InWroclaw 89 | 1,919    
  18 Jun 2012  #13
i wonder if the driver can "rig it" to rip off tourists??

Try to find a taxi firm that speaks English and will come if you phone them from a phone box rather than just getting in an Anycab. If you are staying for a little while, get a £15 cheap handset from Tesco or Auchan and a SIM card "Starter" pack for about £2 from any supermarket. Once you put the SIM card in, you have only a limited time to use the included credit, typically a month. One of the mobile phone operators used to allow unused credit for a whole year but not sure that is still applicable. My advice is not to be without a mobile while here, for £15 it's worth it rather than taking pot luck on a strange taxi.

He probably wanted your shirt so he could sell it on, people sell individual stuff in the street here willynilly anywhere, or on Polish auction sites like Allegro of course (or just to his pub or taxi mates!).

Taxi firms in Gdansk that might speak English, eg inyourpocket.com/poland/EURO-2012-Gdansk/EURO-2012/Getting-there-by-taxi/Neptun-Taxi_98959v[ or maybe autotaxivan.pl/english.html

TaxiCalling a taxi is usually about 30 percent cheaper than just hopping in one at a taxi stand. The main taxi operator in Gdansk is City Plus Taxi. The company employs a number of English and German speaking drivers who will be able to get you where you want to go. Call the toll-free number, 9686 from a mobile or land line, 0-800-400-400 from a pay phone.

OP calikent 2 | 12    
  18 Jun 2012  #14
Try to find a taxi firm that speaks English and will come if you phone them from a phone box rather than just getting in an Anycab.

what's a L with a line thru it? ;)
I'm American, we don't do pounds.... :)

yeah, well i survived.... i'm flying home Weds morning. was here for all 3 Spain group matches, heading out to the final one tonight....

if i come back..... ah, let's be serious, i very likely will not be back. spain, italy, germany, france on my "next up" list in Europe... and of course BRAZIL in 2014!

enjoyed Poland.... but without the draw of the Euros... not sure i'd come just for "vacation" when there are so many other options of greater interest. No offense :)
InWroclaw 89 | 1,919    
18 Jun 2012  #15
That sort of L " £ " is how Polish people include the sound of our W into a word. Their W sounds like a V (it's 'voo' I think). So Wrocław is pronounced 'Vrotzwuv' or something like that. A proper Pole will probably correct me if I'm drifiting too far off course, but that's my understanding of it as the UK equivalent of a New Jersey boy :o)

Sorry, £15 would be about US$24, Tesco is a well-known British supermarket with branches in Poland, Auchan a French one.

Well, I hope you do come back to Poland one day soon - sorry about the less than good experiences but generally it's safer and better than many other places I could list.

Any other help you need - just don't hesitate to ask me - or the board's native Poles :o)

Y'all have a nice day now !
OP calikent 2 | 12    
18 Jun 2012  #16
you watch too much Green Street Hooligans.... only Texans talk like that!

got a lot of help from this board since i booked my trip back in january....
for the most part, Polish people have been quite nice ONCE YOU TALK TO THEM.... they certainly do not go out of their way to initiate conversation (quite the opposite of Jamaica where they bug the hell out of you every 5 steps....)

and i noticed that even walking down the street or in a grocery store, the common smile and "Hi" us Americans give to perfect strangers is non-existent here.... stare straight ahead or look down as you pass by a stranger seems to be the norm....

that being said, the 20-somethings were totally friendly and agreed with my assessment of older Poles and said they wished it was different....

had a GOOD (not great) time out here..... weather was OK (remember, I'm from California, so high standards there), food was good, beer was cheap (costing and tasting), but flowing.... soccer was GREAT..... but after 15 days here.... u kinda run out of things to do on non-game days (after tonight ill have been to 3 matches in 15 days), other than eat and drink and drink and eat..... I'm gonna have to go home and shed the 10-15 lbs i must have put on here!

my hotel (Walewscy) is awesome (you could survive on the free daily breakfast buffet alone) , and I'm trying to convince the guy he needs to put up a Facebook page to promote it to foreigners.... he thinks he has to "update it all the time" ... but i'll give him one more pitch on the way out to get some photos and a page up , and that's all he needs to do. ill provide the first sparking review!

anyway, off to downtown for a few Carlesburgs (what else they have here?) before the match. VAMOS ESPANA!
InWroclaw 89 | 1,919    
  18 Jun 2012  #17
and i noticed that even walking down the street or in a grocery store, the common smile and "Hi" us Americans give to perfect strangers is non-existent here.... stare straight ahead or look down as you pass by a stranger seems to be the norm....

We don't do the hi/smile to strangers in the UK either, I'm afraid. As for the older Polish ones, some are suspicious of foreigners here, I ahve heard a few unpleasant remarks in my time, some aimed at me apparently.

But what you do get here sometimes is a goodbye when someone leaves your train compartment, as if they know you, even if they haven't spoken a word to you all the trip. We don't have that in the UK.

Anyway, enjoy your beers, and very good talking with you :o)
beckski 12 | 1,619    
18 Jun 2012  #18
only seen a handful of people (all tourist looking) ever pay for the bus

I wonder if Poland imposes hefty penalty fines for fare evasion, as they do here in California and other parts of the United States...
delphiandomine 86 | 17,376    
18 Jun 2012  #19
A ticket in Poznan costs 2.60/3.40zl. The fine is 100zl on the spot, 140zl if paid within 7 days, otherwise 200zl. So yes - pretty hefty.
InWroclaw 89 | 1,919    
18 Jun 2012  #20
Two uniformed ticket inspectors with a member of the public, today in Wrocław
(many inspectors are in plain clothes, that is non-uniformed but with an ID badge
displayed only once aboard the tram or bus)




beckski 12 | 1,619    
19 Jun 2012  #21
(many inspectors are in plain clothes, that is non-uniformed but with an ID badge

Do any of the inspectors ever boot the fare evaders off the bus then & there, as opposed to issuing a monetary fine to pay?
MoOli 9 | 488    :-(
  19 Jun 2012  #22
when i told him that's all the cash i had left (100 i gave him already), he said to take off my Spain shirt and give it to him. i told him what he could do with that offer and pleaded with him to finish the ride he agreed to....he didn't. he demanded cash or the shirt.

THX LORD! Me and cpl my friends avoided coming to Poland from states during the games will be glad to be there in 2nd week of june hope all be normal then:)
scottie1113 7 | 900    
19 Jun 2012  #23
Do any of the inspectors ever boot the fare evaders off the bus then & there, as opposed to issuing a monetary fine to pay?

In Gdansk they either write the fine while moving, or both will get off with the ticketless person and threaten to extort more money from them once they're off the bus or tram.

There's a very simple way to avoid this-buy a ticket. You can buy tickets at every kiosk or from the driver. It's simple and you don't need to speak Polish to do it, although common courtesy dictates that visitors should learn at least a few words of Polish.

I've been using Dajan taxi (583 060 000) for five years. They're inexpensive and reliable.
phtoa 9 | 236    
19 Jun 2012  #24
All the inspectors have a quote, you just ask them .

It's always below 70ZL (from my experince)..
So if it does happen that you forgot to buy a ticket, just pay the bribe.
Harry    
19 Jun 2012  #25
I hear the going rate in Warsaw is more like 50zl. Although if you've got the time, just tell them that their ID is fake and you aren't even going to get your wallet out to show them your ID for them to write up the fine until a uniformed police officer tells you that the ID is real. They pretend to phone for the police before losing interest and getting on the next tram.
phtoa 9 | 236    
19 Jun 2012  #26
They pretend to phone for the police before losing interest and getting on the next tram.

Wow very good advice!
Thanks buddy, I could totally see this working if it ever happens in the future that i forget my ticket :D
Harry    
19 Jun 2012  #27
Thanks buddy, I could totally see this working if it ever happens in the future that i forget my ticket :D

I discovered it by accident when a ticket inspector tried to convince me that because I didn't have my passport with me, my valid monthly ticket was not valid: I got angry and told him to call the police, he pretended to and then gave up. Then one time when I had ID but not my monthly ticket on my I told the inspector to just write me up an order to go and show my ticket: he claimed that only Polish people can be issued with those. I told him to call the police.

The smoothest one I ever knew was my Canadian friend telling two inspectors that she had no money on her but had it at her flat so could they come back and get it there. They followed her up to her flat, she told them that it was a real mess in there and could they just give her a second, then she locked the door and settled down in front of the TV.
sa11y 5 | 332    
19 Jun 2012  #28
as opposed to issuing a monetary fine to pay

They all get out of a bus to sort out the "issue". They get bonuses for catching fare evaders, they are very unlikely to let go of their prey...
scottie1113 7 | 900    
  19 Jun 2012  #29
All the inspectors have a quote, you just ask them .

It's always below 70ZL (from my experince)..
So if it does happen that you forgot to buy a ticket, just pay the bribe.

I hear the going rate in Warsaw is more like 50zl. Although if you've got the time, just tell them that their ID is fake and you aren't even going to get your wallet out to show them your ID for them to write up the fine until a uniformed police officer tells you that the ID is real. They pretend to phone for the police before losing interest and getting on the next tram.

As I said before, if they take you off a bus or tram in Gdansk, it's going to cost at least 100zl, and usually more. And here they will call the police. It's never happened to me because I always have a ticket, but it has happened to my Polish, English and American friends. Just buy a damn ticket and avoid the whole thing.
jon357 65 | 13,898    
19 Jun 2012  #30
Don't try bribing them any more in Warsaw. It used to be normal, now it's not.


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