Uniformed inspectors on Krakow’s trams and buses?

Ticket inspectors on Krakow’s buses and trams will not wear uniforms – because a visible presence would alert would-be fare dodgers and give them a chance to validate their tickets before being caught and hit with a hefty fine, according to the Krakow city edition of the national Polish language newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza.
The newspaper also reports that the cost of kitting out ‘controllers’ in special uniforms would be too high. But in other Polish cities, such as Rzeszow, Wrocław and Łódż, ticket inspectors have at times been given reflective vests or uniforms, making them immediately visible to passengers using the public transport networks, and reportedly encouraging them to pay the correct fare and validate their tickets when they board a bus or a tram. And public transport users in those cities have praised the decision, saying that revenues should be dependent on ticket sales, not on fines. But in Krakow, inspectors will remain in plain clothes. MPK spokesman Marek Gancarczyk said: “Everyone would see them on the bus or tram and validate their ticket immediately. Such a solution would generate serious costs for the city.”

Do ticket inspectors need uniforms?

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In Wrocław, tailor-made uniforms costing 1,000zł each were issued, for full-time inspectors, in order to raise the professional profile of staff. Part-timers and contract staff continued to work in their own clothes. And three years ago in Warsaw, inspectors were given official jackets. Their uniforms came with additional duties, such as giving passengers information about connections and stops.

6 thoughts on “Uniformed inspectors on Krakow’s trams and buses?

  • August 24, 2012 at 11:36 am
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    Yes of course ticket inspectors should wear a proper uniform because given the corruption and scams in Poland ,anyone could forge a fake official card ,pretend to be ticket inspectors and charge fines which would go directly in their pockets!

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  • October 25, 2012 at 3:22 am
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    They definitely target tourists. We tried to validate our ticket but the line was long and after a certain point the machine shut off and wouldn’t let us validate. Other passengers saw this and told the inspector. We were on a tourist heavy route to the Salt Mines and had purchased a round trip ticket that had been stamped (and checked by the same inspector) on the way going. I disputed the charges with the credit card company and the charge was removed. The whole experience left a bad taste in my mouth. And because the inspectors are not wearing uniforms it makes then look like just anyone off the street pulling a scam.

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  • November 10, 2012 at 7:33 pm
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    I think having guys just with an ID checking tickets and monthly cards is still old times. If not plain cloths something else. For sure I buy tickets and use my monthly card. I was fined once because I forgot to pay the monthly fee. On other ocasion because the system is not efficiant I almost paid another fine but then I argued with them and got away with that.
    But in front of my eyes have seen someone who didn’t pay the ticket who refused even to get off the bus then the inspector just got away

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  • August 17, 2015 at 1:19 am
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    just tonight I saw a single female American tourist caught by inspectors and taken off the tram. She had just arrived and had not validated her ticket (she had no time to see, let alone read the regulations). One actually let a polish guy go off the tram who hadn’t a ticket a moment before! Clearly it was because she was a tourist. It has a nasty impact on visitors and might well in the long run lose income for the city as people are put off visiting Poland to some extent. I wish the company would stop this practice. They give commission to ticket inspectors for fines and it only encourages this kind of unforgiving behavior – they don’t use their discretion in genuine cases of honest error as they wont get extra financial rewards. Maybe there should be no commission on fines and they should be paid a proper wage for the work they do. That would discourage scams and tourist targeting.

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  • January 8, 2017 at 8:08 pm
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    We have just returned from a 5 day wonderful visit to Krakow and environs and that our experience was more than delightful by the hospitality, warmth and friendliness all round, but for one miserable and utterly abomnible experience we had on our single journey on the tram no. 3 returning from the Bus Station to Kazimierz on Friday 6th January 2017 at approximately 7pm. We had just bought our 4 tickets from the ticket machine on the tram, unknowing to ‘validate the tickets’ and we were almost immediately seized upon by two rather unkempt and grubby ‘controllers’ who took hold of our ID and wouldn’t return it until we paid a total joint sum of 491 Polish Zlotys as tourists. To say that these men were underhanded is an understatement!
    Our tram journey was several stops and at no point did either of these unpleasant men tell us that we could and should just get up from our seats and validate the tickets at the machines dotted around the tram, one would have been a mere arm’s reach away, had we have known which one and where. They wouldn’t return the ID and were pressing us for payment. I am from Polish descent and I had two teenage girls with me at the time, as well as my partner who doesn’t speak Polish. We were truly frightened of their overbearing presence and intimidating tactics. We felt threatened and in all the kerfuffle and unclear guidance that they gave us once we got off the tram, unable to get away from the menaces, at -11 degrees, we were kept outside for a long time, at our fear and reluctance until payment was extorted by credit card. Quite a princely sum, for an evening’s work preying on tourists! It is simply not acceptable. What I had budgeted for the holiday was spent beautifully and reasonably thus far – we were more than happy to pay for most excellent services with tips – but this greedy ‘fine’ went beyond the pale and now leaves us all with a bitter experience of your City.
    Such primitive and disgusting way to get money out of people/Tourists in my opinion – well below standards of Western culture. Krakow deserves better. Our firm impression now of Krakow, is that we will never return to Poland again. There must be another way of making money for this beautiful city. It’s very principle and tactics isoutrageous and lacking in civility.
    This pair of state sponsored thugs are well known, as in restaurants I got the local knowledge that this is the common tactic. Clear, visible public information and deterrents should be accessible to all and everywhere so that no one is deceived or misled. It is not sufficient to say that the need for validation is printed on the actual tickets – and in 4 different languages. The tickets are small, fiddly and not easy to read if one needs glasses and is without glasses when experiencing all the joys of travelling by Krakow tram for the first time.

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  • October 24, 2017 at 7:36 pm
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    Bus was too crowded and the machine shut off before I could validate the ticket. Three inspectors (one disguised as a tourist who also minutes before struck up a conversation with me) said that the ticket was invalid. It would’ve been more proper if there was a uniformed inspector who could’ve just kicked me off at the next stop.
    When I offered to pay the inspector said “your call to pay is proof that you had invalid ticket”
    This is a scam basically. Why shut off the machine so I couldn’t pay with ticket?
    Inspectors aren’t visible so they aren’t able to correct or inform passengers or tourists (especially) that the ticket needs to be validated and if it isn’t get kicked off the bus. Instead the system is set up so inspectors can make money on fines
    It’s really unfair

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