Client: Iarnród Éireann (IÉ)

Year: 2013

As part of a series of exercises to reduce their operating deficit, Iarnród Éireann (IÉ) asked Transport Advisory to provide support in developing their revenue protection strategy.  In advance of the work, IÉ had undertaken a survey of fare evasion, showing rates were within normal ranges for well controlled systems, however this conclusion did not fit with our expectation based on our knowledge of international benchmarks.

Our approach to measuring fare evasion differs from that generally used by operators. We believe that measurement of fare evasion is more effective when separated from revenue collection – passengers are more likely to take part, and be honest, when there is no fear of a penalty. Transport Advisory recruited and briefed the survey team to implement our approach and discovered that the evasion rate was four-fold than estimated by IÉ. 

Using our incentive-based fare evasion model, strategies meeting IÉ's budget and expectations were tested for potential gains. This model allows for quick and accurate evaluation of multiple interventions to prioritise those which are likely to have the best results in practice. Using this model we developed a preferred approach for reducing fare evasion which was adopted by the IÉ executive team. 

Post-implementation, IÉ undertook another survey following our methodology and found the fare evasion rate had decreased by 60%.

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Marianne Kilpatrick
Director, Transport Planning
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