Thursday, 9 October 2008

Staff and tickets

1 - 3. In 1978 all the trams had both a driver and a conductor and the trailers also had their own conductors, now there are no conductors. In 1978 all the drivers and conductors were men, now there are a lot of women drivers and they have their own smart uniform with a yellow shirt and cravat whereas the drivers have blue shirts and ties.
In 1978 fares were paid in cash. There were two fares - one or two stages and all the way. The conductors issued simple flimsey paper tickets which were clipped with very British looking hand nippers.
4. Nowadays there is flat fare a single ticket issued by driver for 1.40 Euros (Tarifa de Bordo). All other tickets use some form of smart card which itself costs 50 cents. Multi-journey and day tickets can be bought from machines in metro stations. A day ticket costs 3.70 Euros (Bilhete 1 Dia (24h) Rede) plus 50 cents for the smart card. However the next day the smart card can be re-validated for only 3.70 Euros using one of the same machines.
5. Two designs of smart card were in use and as far as I could make out they were interchangeable. The blue one came from a Fertagus booking office and the green from a Metro machine.
6. Having got your smart ticket you now have to persuade the electronic conductor that it is valid. There is nothing on the ticket to indicate its validity. The smart card reader simply has green light with benign beep and a red light with a raucious sod off beep.

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