I have just received a printed copy of the fares for the new light rail service in Dublin, the Luas. It’s very strange – it costs more to buy a ticket from a machine at a station than it costs to buy the same ticket from a shop.
How can that be right? Surely the commission payable to a shop for selling a ticket is going to be a lot greater than the cost of operating vending machines?
The Luas website seems to be a bit of a mess. It doesn’t have the same prices as the printed brochure (it doesn’t mention the discount for buying through a retailer).
A lot of the critical information is contained in PDF’s. They tell you to ring them if you can’t open the PDF, and they will send it out to you. But what’s the point in that? That will just drive fares higher.
The customer charter is in the mysterious PPS format, which is about as proprietary as you can get. It’s hard to understand why, because all it is is a standard page, about A4 size.
They commit to respond to written comments within a week. But they don’t have an email address or even a fax number. It looks like they are trying to deter customers from making written comments.
I don’t mean to unduly criticise what is happening on the Luas. The Dublin City Council website is far worse, for example. But it isn’t a great start.