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Dubai: Metro inspectors track down Gold Class violators

Dubai Metro track at sunset

March 14, 2013 10:45 by

In the past two months, 1,236 fines were issued to commuters travelling on Dubai Metro’s Gold Class cabin without valid NOL cards. According to a report by Xpress, Ramadan Abdullah, Director of Rail Operations, said that a total of 8,600 fines (for the same violation) were issued in 2012.

The offense lands a commuter with a 200 dirham fine – both for those travelling with a silver card and those who ‘cheat’ by paying their fare with the silver, and show the gold one when inspectors ask for them.

We must admit something, Kippers. We are slightly relieved to be reading this bit of news. Perhaps it’s for selfish reasons, but don’t judge us just yet. In December, Kipp wrote an affirmation on the daily experience of travelling on the metro’s Gold Class cabin, based purely and primarily on our own encounters, of course.

We talked about how we’ve hardly ever seen cabin attendants asking commuters for proof of a valid Nol Card, let alone actually be allowed to carry magnetic card readers to find fraudsters as inspectors do. We talked about how the attendants both need and deserve more power and authority.

And as you would expect with any review based on personal experiences, Kipp received the words of supporters and critics. And the critics – as always – make for much more invigorating discussion.

Describing himself as ‘an avid reader of Kipp Report’, here is an excerpt of what Prasanth wrote:

How does the author assume that the majority in the Gold Class are travelling without having paid the required fare? I hope he is not doing any profiling to come to this assumption!

The guys in RTA & Serco are not fools either. If, like he claims, the inspectors had caught a large number of people doing this when they do their checks, I am sure that they would definitely have been checking more frequently and vigorously.

Indeed. Kipp must confess that after having read Prasanth’s comment, we did slightly doubt ourselves on whether our own daily experience was perhaps too narrow  a scope to be used in a column or review. We began to think, perhaps he’s right. If the RTA did catch a large number of people doing this, surely they would have ‘definitely started checking more frequently and vigorously’. Wouldn’t they?

More than one thousand two hundred fines issued in the past two months alone, particularly when inspectors carry out arguably rare and random inspections? Sounds like a substantial number to me.

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