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These people really are fucking insane

Consumer groups are now urging operators to make peak fares – which are not necessarily affected by the 5.9% rise – more equitable across the country and to reduce them on less popular days to combat overcrowding.

You’re going to reduce overcrowding by reducing prices?

Sheesh.

But the real indicator that we’ve entirely gone to the dogs is that neither Jess Clark nor the subs caught this positively fucking insane comment. The Manchester Guardian often was wrong but it was at least coherent.

14 thoughts on “These people really are fucking insane”

  1. I understood it as: reduce fares on less popular days to encourage folk to travel then, rather than on busier days.

  2. How much of that travel is discretionary? It’ll work for codgers like myself with a senior Railcard but how much travel does our cohort do?

  3. No apparent thought is given in the article to the issue that lowering the fare will reduce the amount taken. So either the operator goes broke, which is not much of a solution or the prices are raised at other times — which is hardly worth fighting for.

    So, typical Guardian then.

  4. Hobson is correct. Peak fares are not peak fares, they are standard fares; the fares at other times are discount fares to try and sell the empty seats.

  5. The Meissen Bison

    Chester – it ain’t necessarily so: depending on the demand elasticity you might sell more tickets at a lower price and increase your total revenue.

  6. Railways are subject to the Laffer curve just like anything else. Charge too much, sell fewer tickets. Charge too little and you don’t make money on crowded trains. Of course, if you wanted me to use a train you’d also have the cost of bringing wild horses to drag me onto the thing.

  7. TMB,

    Exactly. Travel is quite similar to the Laffer Curve. Charge people too much and they don’t travel, or they find another way to travel. At a certain cost, you lose money.

    And a lot of trains aren’t just missing out on a few passengers, they’re as empty as the Roanoke Colony. I took an 06:30 train this morning, towards London. Effing expensive but I had to do it. And there were 5 people in the carriage. Train back at lunchtime is less than 1/4 full.

    Megabus and Ryanair at least half fill their seats. Even at weird times. The reasons trains don’t do this is that they are run by politicians and bureaucrats instead of Greed Pig Capitalists, so they don’t think about making even more f**king money. Or even cutting massive debts. They still run on “peak” or “off peak” rather than optimising prices to a particular train. Lots of people want to come home from university for Xmas, or go to a big football match? Rip out their f**king eyeballs. On the other hand, cut the price of after 6pm trains to London and some people might think about having a night in the west end.

  8. With fewer people doing five days a week in the office, and some weekdays at home preferred to others, I could see a commercial l argument for cutting prices on certain low-demand days along the lines that BoM4 was suggesting. Whether that reduces overcrowding on busy days comes down to whether people are prepared to shift their office days as a response to that price signal, or not.

  9. I think the idea is that lower prices on other days would incentivize people to make a trip on one of those days instead of the peak day.

    Of course, you’d think that if these people had the freedom to schedule their trip a other day then the fact that it is crowded would be incentive enough?

  10. it ain’t necessarily so: depending on the demand elasticity you might sell more tickets at a lower price and increase your total revenue.
    Fuck. Don’t try & introduce the Graun to optimal pricing. They’re DNA incompatible.

  11. rhoda: the only way I will go to London is by train. It’s daft going by road. The last time I drove into Central London was 10 years ago to pick up some kit and no way will I do that again. Megabus or National Express definitely don’t cut it either.

    Luckily our local provider (Greater Anglia) has recently completely modernised it’s rolling stock so the trip is even half-way pleasant so far. We are lucky though, trains elsewhere are very variable.

  12. Tractor Gent,

    “rhoda: the only way I will go to London is by train. It’s daft going by road. The last time I drove into Central London was 10 years ago to pick up some kit and no way will I do that again. Megabus or National Express definitely don’t cut it either.”

    I’ve done some coach journeys recently. Partly because of the strike thing. If I book tickets to a concert a few weeks ahead, I don’t want the RMT ruining my trip so I book my coach at the same time. I’d rather know I can get there, even if it takes longer. That’s often a bargain, like £16 return. That said, that is on leisure time, like weekends. I don’t mind if it takes longer. I’ll read a book, play with my phone.

    A mate of mine is tweeting about his Megabus experience and his savings are big. He’s doing Manchester to Bristol next. £13 instead of £35, and the journey is 20 minutes longer. So, £66/hour for leisure time.

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