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  • FIRST POST
    • funtimefranky23
    • By funtimefranky23 6th Apr 17, 10:06 PM
    • 16Posts
    • 12Thanks
    funtimefranky23
    0 WOW
    Leaving Italy without paying a bus fine
    • #1
    • 6th Apr 17, 10:06 PM
    0 WOW
    Leaving Italy without paying a bus fine 6th Apr 17 at 10:06 PM
    My wife and I got bus fines today in Bologna. We had only recently arrived and had purchased a ticket from where we were staying which was about 6 or 7 km from the city. The hotel receptionist explained the ticketing system to us and said that if we buy a ticket we could use it on as many journeys for 75 minutes so we took the bus from our hotel to bologna and then straight away got on another bus to get to central bologna where all the sights are. When we got on this other bus we assumed that it was ok as we were still within the 75 minutes. However, when we tried to validate our tickets in the machine it flashed red like an error had occurred so we figured something wasn't right. we tried to ask the driver about it or if we could buy a ticket but he just grunted and started to drive off. We therefore started to leave the bus at the next stop so we could try and buy another ticket or figure out what was going on but were ushered back on by a few men who turned out to be ticket inspectors! They alleged that our tickets were not valid in the city and that we had to pay a 65 euro fine. They wanted to see our official documentation and so took details from our UK driving licences and issued us both with fines. He wanted us to pay there and then but we explained we didn't have enough cash on us to do so and he then stated we could pay by card. However, I still wasn't happy about doing that so he then said that we could pay later by going to an Italian post office or if we don't pay within a certain time the fine will go up to 270 euros each and will be posted to us (he got our addresses off our UK driving licences)!

    I am a bit miffed about this as we were noway trying to evade and as soon as we realised our mistake we tried to talk to the bus driver to buy a ticket or get off the bus, but he drove off and ignored us! I have a slight suspicion that it was a rouse as it is very strange that he did this and then out of nowhere bus inspectors got on and made a beeline for us!

    If we go back to the UK without paying these fines and ignore the subsequent fines that they send us through the post (if they do send any), then what happens? Do they have any powers when we are back in the UK? a total fine of 500 euros for an honest mistake seems utterly outrageous.

    Any advice would be gratefully received!
Page 1
    • dj1471
    • By dj1471 6th Apr 17, 10:33 PM
    • 778 Posts
    • 520 Thanks
    dj1471
    • #2
    • 6th Apr 17, 10:33 PM
    • #2
    • 6th Apr 17, 10:33 PM
    Yes they can still chase you for the debt in the UK, there's an EU-wide small claims system.

    But this sounds a lot like a scam, particularly the pressure to pay on-the-spot...
    • Neil49
    • By Neil49 7th Apr 17, 7:35 AM
    • 1,190 Posts
    • 584 Thanks
    Neil49
    • #3
    • 7th Apr 17, 7:35 AM
    • #3
    • 7th Apr 17, 7:35 AM
    Check with your hotel reception as they were the ones who provided the tickets originally.
    • littlereddevil
    • By littlereddevil 7th Apr 17, 8:21 AM
    • 4,629 Posts
    • 1,924 Thanks
    littlereddevil
    • #4
    • 7th Apr 17, 8:21 AM
    • #4
    • 7th Apr 17, 8:21 AM
    I'm not sure it's a scam, as fines for ticket infractions are very common in Italy.
    Why don't you just pay ?
    travelover
    • jpsartre
    • By jpsartre 7th Apr 17, 8:32 AM
    • 2,643 Posts
    • 1,772 Thanks
    jpsartre
    • #5
    • 7th Apr 17, 8:32 AM
    • #5
    • 7th Apr 17, 8:32 AM
    I have a slight suspicion that it was a rouse as it is very strange that he did this and then out of nowhere bus inspectors got on and made a beeline for us!
    Originally posted by funtimefranky23
    Oh for heaven's sake. If you travel without a ticket then be prepared to pay the fine should you get caught. Whether you intended to cheat or not is entirely irrelevant.
    • PeacefulWaters
    • By PeacefulWaters 7th Apr 17, 9:05 AM
    • 6,718 Posts
    • 8,260 Thanks
    PeacefulWaters
    • #6
    • 7th Apr 17, 9:05 AM
    • #6
    • 7th Apr 17, 9:05 AM
    I'm not sure it's a scam, as fines for ticket infractions are very common in Italy.
    Why don't you just pay ?
    Originally posted by littlereddevil
    Because it's expensive and if there's a chance it might not be pursued the MSE thing to do would be a runner.
    • wdw2003
    • By wdw2003 7th Apr 17, 9:14 AM
    • 229 Posts
    • 95 Thanks
    wdw2003
    • #7
    • 7th Apr 17, 9:14 AM
    • #7
    • 7th Apr 17, 9:14 AM
    I'm just back from Poland where similar fines seem to be common but apparently mostly affect tourists who don't understand the subtleties of the complicated system. Those affected on the Tripadvisor board just accepted it and paid up, even though it seemed harsh.


    I've also been caught out myself in France, but the inspectors have no sympathy as they hear the same excuses from "innocent" tourists every day and I can see why they think people are trying it on.


    Next time, just read up on public transport in advance and come prepared.
    Last edited by wdw2003; 07-04-2017 at 11:45 AM.
    • Benzie
    • By Benzie 7th Apr 17, 10:19 AM
    • 15 Posts
    • 17 Thanks
    Benzie
    • #8
    • 7th Apr 17, 10:19 AM
    • #8
    • 7th Apr 17, 10:19 AM
    Something sounds strange as you shouldn't need to validate for every journey, once its been stamped the clock starts ticking. Did you check the date and time stamped was correct? Are these the 1,50euro tickets? I suggest you complain to the hotel if your story is right and they have sold you the wrong tickets. I cant find any 75mins tickets on the tper.it site for 'extraurbana' http://www.tper.it/sites/tper.it/files/Listino_AREA_EXTRAURBANA_BACINO_BO_dal_19_08_13.pd f
    • Voyager2002
    • By Voyager2002 7th Apr 17, 8:41 PM
    • 11,528 Posts
    • 7,791 Thanks
    Voyager2002
    • #9
    • 7th Apr 17, 8:41 PM
    • #9
    • 7th Apr 17, 8:41 PM
    Oh for heaven's sake. If you travel without a ticket then be prepared to pay the fine should you get caught. Whether you intended to cheat or not is entirely irrelevant.
    Originally posted by jpsartre
    No, because the driver refused to provide clarification and refused to allow them to get off once they suspected there was a problem with their tickets. Under these circumstances, a court operating under English or Scottish legal principles would acquit them.
    • daveyjp
    • By daveyjp 7th Apr 17, 8:51 PM
    • 6,978 Posts
    • 5,338 Thanks
    daveyjp
    Oh for heaven's sake. If you travel without a ticket then be prepared to pay the fine should you get caught. Whether you intended to cheat or not is entirely irrelevant.
    Originally posted by jpsartre
    I suspect this poster has not actually been in a bus in an Italian city.

    All three doors are used for entry, despite signs saying not to and there is one machine somewhere near the driver. Try getting a ticket validated when you are at the rear of a bendy bus with 150 people between you and the front! Couple this with some tickets which do need validating and some which don't and its easy to not have a clue how the system is actually supposed to work.
    • katejo
    • By katejo 7th Apr 17, 9:16 PM
    • 2,964 Posts
    • 1,133 Thanks
    katejo
    My wife and I got bus fines today in Bologna. We had only recently arrived and had purchased a ticket from where we were staying which was about 6 or 7 km from the city. The hotel receptionist explained the ticketing system to us and said that if we buy a ticket we could use it on as many journeys for 75 minutes so we took the bus from our hotel to bologna and then straight away got on another bus to get to central bologna where all the sights are. When we got on this other bus we assumed that it was ok as we were still within the 75 minutes. However, when we tried to validate our tickets in the machine it flashed red like an error had occurred so we figured something wasn't right. we tried to ask the driver about it or if we could buy a ticket but he just grunted and started to drive off. We therefore started to leave the bus at the next stop so we could try and buy another ticket or figure out what was going on but were ushered back on by a few men who turned out to be ticket inspectors! They alleged that our tickets were not valid in the city and that we had to pay a 65 euro fine. They wanted to see our official documentation and so took details from our UK driving licences and issued us both with fines. He wanted us to pay there and then but we explained we didn't have enough cash on us to do so and he then stated we could pay by card. However, I still wasn't happy about doing that so he then said that we could pay later by going to an Italian post office or if we don't pay within a certain time the fine will go up to 270 euros each and will be posted to us (he got our addresses off our UK driving licences)!

    I am a bit miffed about this as we were noway trying to evade and as soon as we realised our mistake we tried to talk to the bus driver to buy a ticket or get off the bus, but he drove off and ignored us! I have a slight suspicion that it was a rouse as it is very strange that he did this and then out of nowhere bus inspectors got on and made a beeline for us!

    If we go back to the UK without paying these fines and ignore the subsequent fines that they send us through the post (if they do send any), then what happens? Do they have any powers when we are back in the UK? a total fine of 500 euros for an honest mistake seems utterly outrageous.

    Any advice would be gratefully received!
    Originally posted by funtimefranky23
    I have been to Bologna many times but have only caught buses from the airport to the city centre plus a couple of short trips. However I suspect that you may have got the red flash on the 2nd bus because you had already validated the ticket on the first bus (to start your 75 minutes). Have you spoken to the hotel staff again about what they told you and what actually happened? They might be willing to make a call on your behalf to the authorities. how far out of the centre of Bologna is your hotel?
    • Pop Up Pirate
    • By Pop Up Pirate 19th Apr 17, 8:52 AM
    • 683 Posts
    • 1,818 Thanks
    Pop Up Pirate
    I would just go home and forget about it.
    • ttoli
    • By ttoli 21st Apr 17, 7:02 PM
    • 651 Posts
    • 418 Thanks
    ttoli
    The mistake you made was trying to validate the ticket on both buses, the ticket is valid for 75 mins from validation time , no need to validate on each bus/tram as long as you are within the 75 Mins .

    I've seen similar scams from "Ticket Inspectors" in Rome.
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