The introduction of exact fares on Dublin Bus routes is producing sizeable amounts of unclaimed cash.
Autofare, an exact fare system was introduced to sixty per cent of the Dublin Bus fleet. Passengers on these routes must insert the exact fare, in coins only, into the Autofare machine as they board the bus. The machine does not give change and drivers no longer handle cash. The system helps to protect drivers from assaults and to speed up boarding.
Some passengers find looking for change when in a hurry is inconvenient. If passengers do not have the exact change their ticket indicates they are entitled to reclaim the difference from the Dublin Bus head office. However many people never bother to reclaim their change and Dublin Bus gets £4,000 a month in unclaimed cash.
From July 1999 all Dublin city buses will operate on an exact fare basis and this amount could rise to £70,000 a year, leading one Dubliner to conclude,
That’s why they got them machines put in, because they know people wouldn’t go all the way back into town to collect it, the 55p or the 15p.
Dublin Bus spokesperson Joe Collins says it will be easier for people to get to grips with exact fares when the system is rolled out across the whole service. He also suggests that people purchase pre-paid bus tickets.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 25 May 1999. The reporter is reporter Anthony Murnane.