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Unread 23-04-2009, 08:27   #1
Mark Hennessy
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Default Luas Red Line - Stories of Anti Social behaviour

Article in the metro today outlining stories told to Joe Duffy yesterday of the complete lack of security on the Red Line luas and the anti social behaviour that is putting people off using it.

I know Joe Duffy hardly ever has a balanced debate but this isnt the first time I've heard of this issue. On the green line i've witnessed some unbelievable abdication of responsibility from the ticket checkers when it comes to some of the seedier characters.

So how bad is it on the Red Line and do we need to start chasing Veolia to beef up security and win back the trams for the travelling public?
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Unread 23-04-2009, 08:46   #2
Jack O'Neill
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Well put Mark.

I too have witnessed the cowardice of the ticket checker in tackling ordinary decent people and turning a blind eye to the scrotes that haunt the line.

It will take a death for anything to be done about this appalling situation.

Horse bolted, stable door…springs to mind!
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Unread 23-04-2009, 09:05   #3
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I've seen quite a lot of this on the red line, and I don't use it very much. I'm always travelling on an incl feeder service train ticket or smartcard, so I don't really use ticket machines very much, but there's regularly people hassling travellers at them. Similarly there's been passengers who should have been put off the tram for many a reason.

I've reported them to drivers and CSOs, but rarely if ever does anything happen. I've even been sat next to someone with no ticket, an inspection came around and the CSO told him to get off, but the guy just ignored him. The CSO radioed to hold the tram, was told by central control that the tram wouldn't be held and they'd get the guards to meet the tram at some future stop. Needless to say, nothing of the sort happened, and the guy got his free ride.

I rang up the freephone number once (in this case to complain about a TVM that was ignoring everyone but not marked out of order) but the line was closed.
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Unread 23-04-2009, 12:23   #4
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Quote:
So how bad is it on the Red Line and do we need to start chasing Veolia to beef up security and win back the trams for the travelling public?
The answer Mark,is it`s very bad and worsening at a steady rate.

I have used the Red Line since it`s inception and have a Smart Card.

The issue of anti-social thuggery has been there from Day1 and was basically transferred from Bus Atha Cliath,who for years have operated a policy of non-confrontation in relation to such matters.

This ensured that many of West Dublins Bus Routes came to be regarded as safe during Peak Hours only with the off-peak services seen as for the scangers and criminal elements.

LUAS,with its free circulation system was always going to be a mecca for such anti-social goons and so it has proven.

However,I would refrain from laying the blame at the feet of the LUAS "Customer Service" staff.
These people have an unenviable task,which sees them encumbered by a raft of legislation all designed to protect the rights of the "youths" and others who have destruction and mayhem in mind.

The LUAS staff are dealing on a daily basis with serial offenders who are VERY well versed on THEIR legal rights and who quite often are on first name terms with any Gardai who may happen along to confront them.

LUAS is at a turning point and Veolia must be cognicent of what will happen if it does nothing.
As a largely French operation (In Tram terms) its higher management may not yet have a "feel" for the native Irish desire to soil,abuse or otherwise defile their own environment.

Regular users of The Red Line will be all too aware of the subtle atmosphere change which occurs at Bluebell (Inbound),one notices the regulars tucking themselves in a bit tighter or moving to a more strategic seat (away from the door).
The incidences of groups of young deliquents abusing other passengers and staff usually begin from around the Blackhorse stop and continue largely unabated as far as Smithfield where may of the perpetrators alight.

What`s to be done?.....I dont know,BUT the option of doing Nothing is by far and away the LEAST desirable.

I would lean towards the Lockdown check with the Tram detained and swept by a LARGE force of Security and Gardai...Veolia MUST be prepared to face down the RPA on this as the corporate fear of the RPA imposing contractual penalties for late running or other missed performance indicators is what is focusing Controllers minds rather than the actual on-tram occurences.

Such Lockdown Checks will need to be Hi Viz and mobile with certain journeys attended to more than once.
High resolution photographs and personal details need to be accquired and filed on accessible databases with the offenders reminded at every stage that THEY will be targetted and their behaviour on and about the system monitored CONSTANTLY.

Yes it most certainly compromise their Civil Liberties,as it will mine,however I am quite prepared to voluntarily suspend mine in order to allow MY Public Transport Service to be protected !
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Unread 23-04-2009, 12:42   #5
Mark Gleeson
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I've seen some strange things, but Jervis is always the strange spot for me, the outbound platform with its partial cover provides an ideal location to hang around

The Luas staff are trained not to confront people, the strategy is the stop tram open doors and hope the problem leaves

Veoila have hired in the same private army Irish Rail have, I have seen them take people down to the floor with an efficiency you won't see from the gardai, you just don't see it often enough

Have to fully agree with Alek Smart, the only solution here is the classic European military approach to fare evasion, a squad of battle hardened CSO's with garda support to arrest and remove

Quick solution could be to put a CSO into the back cab to watch the CCTV and direct resources to remove the problem. As has been done elsewhere the staff could wear a mic and camera so the whole thing is recorded so no your word vs them
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Unread 23-04-2009, 16:44   #6
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What's the point of the CSO's doing anything? They'll just attract trouble on themselves and I'm sure they're not paid well enough to get beaten up by thugs. If they call for backup, the Gardai may or may not arrive. If the Gardai do arrive, the judges will do nothing. Square one, here we come again. Society has decided these people aren't a problem so it's doing nothing about them.

Last edited by markpb : 23-04-2009 at 16:46.
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Unread 23-04-2009, 20:33   #7
Colm Moore
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I'm sure they're not paid well enough to get beaten up by thugs.
It isn't necessarily "thugs" who are the problem. I was doing city-Tallaght-city one evening and it was mostly a bunch of younger teenagers just making a nuisance of themselves - they same ones on both trips. Then of course you have the miscellaneous drunks, junkies and homeless, some harmless, some not. However, I even complained to the security guys once about drinking and they weren't interested.

I think tagging might be an idea with the tag playing "I'm a little teapot" or other uncool tunes whenever they are within reach of a tram or stop.
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Unread 26-04-2009, 03:48   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Hennessy
Article in the metro today outlining stories told to Joe Duffy yesterday of the complete lack of security on the Red Line luas and the anti social behaviour that is putting people off using it.

I know Joe Duffy hardly ever has a balanced debate but this isnt the first time I've heard of this issue. On the green line i've witnessed some unbelievable abdication of responsibility from the ticket checkers when it comes to some of the seedier characters.

So how bad is it on the Red Line and do we need to start chasing Veolia to beef up security and win back the trams for the travelling public?
I'm a regular user of the Red Line, and a less regular user of the Green Line. Obviously 90% of problems with trams are on the Red Line, the worst example I've seen is a group openly sniffing drugs down the back of the tram. It was a late-night journey and there was security on board, at the front of the tram of course. I'm often down the back of the trams as most of my journeys after getting off are shorter from the back. Then there's smokers, scroungers banging on the windows at platforms, riding on windscreen wipers, and stones being catapulted from the bridge at Drimnagh at passing trams.

I honestly don't know what can be done to stop anti-social behaviour tbh. Buses can go on detours, the Luas is stuck on the same track, with no possibility of changing lines between Blackhorse and Heuston. It's a fixed route, which is not underground, and is open to widespread abuse. It's something we have to live with.
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Unread 26-04-2009, 11:12   #9
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Originally Posted by on the move View Post
I'm a regular user of the Red Line, and a less regular user of the Green Line. Obviously 90% of problems with trams are on the Red Line, the worst example I've seen is a group openly sniffing drugs down the back of the tram. It was a late-night journey and there was security on board, at the front of the tram of course. I'm often down the back of the trams as most of my journeys after getting off are shorter from the back. Then there's smokers, scroungers banging on the windows at platforms, riding on windscreen wipers, and stones being catapulted from the bridge at Drimnagh at passing trams.

I honestly don't know what can be done to stop anti-social behaviour tbh. Buses can go on detours, the Luas is stuck on the same track, with no possibility of changing lines between Blackhorse and Heuston. It's a fixed route, which is not underground, and is open to widespread abuse. It's something we have to live with.
Why? It's because of this hand wringing, 'can't do', attitude that things are in their present state. You should get a job with CIE/IE as this has been their attitude to dealing with anti-social behaviour for years. Zero tolerance of anti-social behaviour from graffiti to general yobbery on public transport is the ONLY answer. Undercover security, gardai and and serious penalties for those convicted of wrong doing. Will it happen - not with the sort of weak-kneed, wishy washy politicians running this country.

I recently had reason to report long-term graffiti at Beechwood Stop (on the Green line) to the RPA, Veoila and Morton's of Ranelagh see link below:

www.irishrailways.blogspot.com

and, of course, I have heard nothing back from anybody yet. Anyone here know if it has been removed?

Last edited by PLUMB LOCO : 26-04-2009 at 12:16.
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Unread 26-04-2009, 13:41   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PLUMB LOCO View Post
Zero tolerance of anti-social behaviour from graffiti to general yobbery on public transport is the ONLY answer. Undercover security, gardai and and serious penalties for those convicted of wrong doing.
Penalties need not be severe - an instant, meaningful reprimand is much more important than a fine or prison down the line.
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Unread 26-04-2009, 15:21   #11
PLUMB LOCO
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I quite agree Victor but what would you suggest - 100 lines 'I must not be an anti-social scumbag'? Perhaps 5 smacks on the back of the hand with a plastic ruler? In all seriousness I am all for cutting out the causes of anti-social behaviour - poverty, drugs etc.etc. - but the public must be protected.
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Unread 26-04-2009, 17:03   #12
Colm Moore
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A sharp verbal rebuke and putting someone off the vehicle and making them walk (obviously most practical on last bus ) would be one way.
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Unread 27-04-2009, 05:09   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PLUMB LOCO
Why? It's because of this hand wringing, 'can't do', attitude that things are in their present state. Zero tolerance of anti-social behaviour from graffiti to general yobbery on public transport is the ONLY answer. Undercover security, gardai and and serious penalties for those convicted of wrong doing. Will it happen - not with the sort of weak-kneed, wishy washy politicians running this country.
It's simply not enforceable.

The Gardai have other things to be worried about, and as for undercover security, well they've just fired a security firm, presumably to cut costs. The STT guys are up to their necks as they have to run the train stations as well, and can't be expected to ride trams to see if teenagers are acting the maggot at Suir Road once every couple of hours. They have other duties to do.

There are problems on the Luas, but there are problems on all transport networks, even those at 30,000 ft with full crews on board. It's important though not to blow it out of proportion. There are hundreds of tram journeys per day in Dublin, there are relatively few issues, and it attracts 25 million passengers a year. The route runs through working class areas, where the risk of incidents increases, but most of the time, there are no problems.
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Unread 27-04-2009, 13:03   #14
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Thats why we need Transport Gardai.
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Unread 27-04-2009, 19:24   #15
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Toronto transit special constables have pepper spray (although as a foam given the possibility of collateral damage).
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Unread 04-05-2009, 10:13   #16
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I regularily take the tram from Heuston to Connolly (because IE havent yet managed to connect the two main train stations in Ireland with a commuter rail line!)

I regularily see ticket checkers ignore scumbags when looking for tickets..or if they do check them they just ask them to get off the luas. For normal respectable commuters who do forget to get a ticket (or are too afraid to go near the ticket machine that is surrounded by junkies ) they demand details from them to give them a fine. I once saw an overzealous ticket checker tell a foreign national that they were required by law to have id with them at all times!

I dont see how that is fairly applying the laws..and if ever I happen to forget my ticket and am checked..I will not be paying any fines
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Unread 04-05-2009, 10:29   #17
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I regularily see ticket checkers ignore scumbags when looking for tickets...
Thanks Hoopsheff, This is more the norm than the exception.

I dread the thought when this line is extended to Sherrif St, sorry "Docklands".
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Unread 04-05-2009, 12:52   #18
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I once saw an overzealous ticket checker tell a foreign national that they were required by law to have id with them at all times!
They are. But only a garda has a right to demand it.
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Unread 04-05-2009, 13:10   #19
Mark Gleeson
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It depends Luas or CIE ID card is required for a monthly ticket and all student tickets
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Unread 04-05-2009, 20:14   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoopsheff
I regularily take the tram from Heuston to Connolly (because IE havent yet managed to connect the two main train stations in Ireland with a commuter rail line!)
They have, they just refuse to use it.
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